Joydev was found curled up, ragged and alone aged about 8 at the end of the platform on Calcutta’s Howrah Station. He was a shy youngster but came to thrive on the security and routine of Future Hope. He worked hard at school, loved the sport and discovered a beautiful singing voice. His houseparent, Bikash, judged Joydev the most reliable boy in his care.
Future Hope tries where possible to trace the families of these lost boys – so Tim took Joydev back to the remote village on the Bangladesh border where the boy had been born. Joydev’s parents lived under reed matting, too poor even to build a shelter. His father was a ‘gunga’ – deaf and dumb and his mother crippled: all her limbs completely reversed.
They lived on the margins of their tiny hamlet and begged to feed themselves and their daughter. The entire village shared the parents’ joy at the return of a son they must have doubted they’d ever see again.
Joydev decided to stay on with his family for a short while, but the tiny community clubbed together to present a gift to Tim before he left. It was half a cauliflower. Joydev returned to Future Hope and completed his education. He passed his class 12 (A level equivalent) and then took up an apprenticeship in a hotel kitchen. He worked gruelling hours, but was always cheerful. He now works as a junior chef in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai.