Meet the teenager who found the missing Sharjah boy

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Sixteen-year-old Ronit Lachhwani

Dubai - Ronit was returning home from a career counsellor meeting near La Mer when he spotted Ameya at 2.25pm.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Tue 26 Nov 2019, 9:21 PM

Sixteen-year-old Ronit Lachhwani acted purely on instinct when he spotted and rescued the missing teenager from Sharjah, Ameya Santosh, for whom a massive online search campaign was launched. Ameya's family and friends hailed Ronit as the 'guardian angel' who reunited the family after the younger teen was announced missing on Friday.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Ronit, a Grade 12 student of GEMS Modern Academy, said he recognised Ameya from the "missing posters" that were doing the rounds on social media.
Ronit was returning home from a career counsellor meeting near La Mer when he spotted Ameya at 2.25pm. "I live in Bur Dubai near Al Fahidi station. I was walking towards my car for our driver to take me back home. That's when I spotted Ameya standing next to a bus stand," said Ronit.
"My classmates were sharing the posts. I realised he looked familiar and could be the same guy from the posters. I shouted out his name, and he turned to look at me. That is when I was 100 per cent sure that it was Ameya," he said.
"I did not want to spook him, so I told him that I knew him from somewhere else. I then casually slipped into the conversation that his parents were looking for him."
According to Ronit, Ameya looked tired, had dry lips, and wasn't keen on having a conversation. "It seemed as though he wanted help, but was scared to ask for it. He wanted to go back home, but was scared," Ronit added.
"A little later, I showed him the post that everyone was sharing on social media. I told him everyone is worried about him, and kept talking for 20 to 30 minutes," the 16-year-old said. "I convinced him to call his father on the same number that was shared on social media. We spoke to his parents and shared our location with them," he added.
Once the boys established contact with Ameya's parents, the older teen realised that the boy was surviving on water for the past two days. "I offered him food, but he kept saying no. That's when I agreed to eat with him," said Ronit.
The teens went to the nearby McDonalds store while waiting for Ameya's father. "As I kept talking to Ameya, he got more comfortable, and eventually began discussing sports," said Ronit. "His dad got there pretty quickly as he was in the area. I had tests to prepare for, and wanted to give the family some privacy, so I left in two minutes of his dad arrival," he added.
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan


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