Kerala

Justin gets his bike, smile back

Gift from CM: Kottayam Collector M. Anjana presenting a bicycle to Justin. His father Suneesh Joseph is also seen.  

A few days ago, thieves stole nine-year-old Justin’s new bicycle. Along with that he lost his smile too.

But a plea from his differently abled father on social media connected the boy to just the right person. And on Republic Day, he was riding a new bicycle, thanks to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

As per the Chief Minister’s directive, District Collector M. Anjana visited Justine’s house on Republic Day and presented him with a brand-new bicycle. Officials said the boy’s face lit up with excitement when he got the bicycle.

The act of kindness was especially meaningful to Justin’s father Suneesh Joseph who is differently abled. The 35-year-old runs an online service centre at Kuruvikkoodu Junction to eke out a living for his family of four. It had taken him several months to save ₹6,000 from his meagre income to buy a bicycle for his son.

Although people assured him that the bicycle could soon be found, it began to break the father’s heart to hear his son constantly asking him, “When am I going to get it back?”

“Justine was heart-broken but I couldn’t afford to get him a new bicycle instantly. So, I posted a message on social media requesting help to find out the stolen bicycle,” Mr. Joseph said. The message went viral and many offered a new bicycle for the boy.

Moved by the family’s plight, the Chief Minister directed the Collector to buy a new bicycle for the boy.

Akshaya Centre

The Collector also promised Mr. Joseph that his request for allotting him an Akshaya Centre for him will be considered.

“Upon the submission of documents from the local panchayat, the application will be taken up as a special case. The matter has been informed to the Chief Minister’s Office as well,” the Collector said.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:28:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/justin-gets-his-bike-smile-back/article33679037.ece

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