Bengaluru: A driver-conductor duo of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has won hearts after rescuing a distressed young woman who seemed to have been lost along a highway between Kerala and Karnataka, near the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pavanakumar TS and KA Shekharegowda were on a routine trip back from Kerala’s Munnar to Bengaluru when they were accosted by a tea-shop owner near a forest check-post at midnight. The shop owner told them that a lady appeared to be lost and requested them to take her to the nearest city as it would not be safe to leave her alone near the forest; he even pressed Rs 50 into their hands.
The shop owner reportedly also told the two that he did not know if someone was accompanying the woman, who appeared penniless and lost. The owner added that he was unable to make out who the woman was or how she landed there.
It was a little past midnight and the bus crew agreed to drop the woman as far as the Rs 50 would take her. When they tried to slowly question her, she initially hesitantly spoke in English, later switching to Kannada. It was then the duo figured out that she was a native of Karnataka.
But further probing led them nowhere. When asked her name, the woman said it was “devate” (goddess in Kannada). When asked who her father is, she said he was a “devaru” (god). When the men realised she appeared to be mentally unsound, they did not want to drop her at any bus-station. They bought her food at the next stop; a little later, she seemed to recall a phone number.
When the men dialled the number, they realised it was her father from Raichur town, more than 400 km from Bengaluru in the north, in a direction opposite to the Kerala route.
The father requested them to bring her to Bengaluru where he would pick her up.
"We had to lodge a police complaint since it is the norm. Her father came to the police station to pick her up. We were told later that she is a B.Tech graduate, just 25 years old, had been married a short while ago to a man in Bellary. But we did not want to probe further, she either seemed tired of her family or there appeared to be some depression-related issues. She seemed like she needed counselling and moral support; we told her father that and left it there," said KSRTC Bangalore Central Depot Manager G Nagaraj.
The woman had apparently left her home almost a week back, telling her family she was going to Chennai. She had come to Bengaluru, gone on to Chennai, and later found her way to Munnar, by which time she had run out of money.