17-Year-Old JEE Aspirant Missing From Bhopal Found In Mumbai

17-Year-Old JEE Aspirant Missing From Bhopal Found In Mumbai

17-year-old JEE aspirant Utkarsh Jha, missing after disappointing exam results, found in Mumbai. The family expresses concern as his safe return brings relief.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 07:49 PM IST
article-image

Utkarsh Jha, a 17-year-old student aspiring to crack the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), went missing from his home in Bhopal on February 13, 2024. After a frantic search by his family, he was located in Mumbai on February 17, 2024.

According to sources close to the family, Utkarsh, a student at Red Rose Public School, had checked his JEE exam scores on the morning of February 13. Disheartened by his 69 percentile, he confided in his mother, who, in turn, urged him not to neglect his 12th-grade studies. She said, “It’s okay there is another chance to give but don’t fail in 12th grade.” This conversation seemingly triggered Utkarsh's decision to leave home.

Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Utkarsh’s uncle, Swatantra Shandilya, shed light on the teenager's motives, stating, "He felt upset by his mother's words and was also inclined towards entrepreneurship. He was fascinated with the idea of pursuing his business dreams in the 'City of Dreams.'"

Shandilya disclosed that Utkarsh was highly drawn to the idea of launching his own business in Mumbai from the ground up. He found great allure in the notion of living on the streets, engaging in odd jobs, and diligently building his enterprise with the ultimate goal of establishing it successfully one day.

Timeline of the events

The timeline of events reveals that Utkarsh boarded a train bound for Mumbai at 2:30 PM on February 13, arriving at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Railway Station at 5:07 AM on February 14. Subsequent CCTV footage showed him taking a local train towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at 5:15 AM.

Despite efforts by Utkarsh's family to involve the authorities, including the Bhopal police, they felt their concerns were not adequately addressed. "The police seemed to treat him as a runaway, rather than a missing child," said Uncle Shandiyal.

During his time in Mumbai, Utkarsh survived by selling flower bouquets and undertaking odd jobs. He spent nights at Dadar's Kabutar Chowk, seeking shelter and work from locals. Eventually, he found temporary employment as a decorator for an event, earning him enough to sustain himself.

It was only when Utkarsh stumbled upon his parents' frantic search for him on Instagram that's when he realised the gravity of the situation. He told an acquaintance about his condition because he was reluctant to go back home.

The ordeal came to a close when the owner of a fast-food shop, aware of Utkarsh's situation, made the call that reunited the teenager with his family.

The incident underscores the challenges faced by students under pressure to excel academically and the need for robust support systems to address mental health issues among youth. Utkarsh's safe return brings relief to his family and highlights the importance of community vigilance in ensuring the well-being of students.

RECENT STORIES

NHAI Open Vacancies For Three Positions; Check Eligibility Criteria, Age Limit

NHAI Open Vacancies For Three Positions; Check Eligibility Criteria, Age Limit

Fact Check: Viral Post Misleads On Delhi University's PhD Maths Cutoff For SC/ST Candidates

Fact Check: Viral Post Misleads On Delhi University's PhD Maths Cutoff For SC/ST Candidates

BSE Odisha Class 10 Result 2024 DECLARED, 96.07% Students Pass

BSE Odisha Class 10 Result 2024 DECLARED, 96.07% Students Pass

DU PG Registration Date Extended Till June 5, Check Official Notice Here

DU PG Registration Date Extended Till June 5, Check Official Notice Here

JEE Advanced 2024 Exam Today; Check Important Guidelines Here

JEE Advanced 2024 Exam Today; Check Important Guidelines Here