Thiruvananthapuram, August 22 (BPNS)
P.A. Thomas and his wife Neena were on a journey to Mumbai from Kottayam in 2019. Not being frequent travelers, and not knowing the intricacies of train travel, they did not get a reservation. Determined, the couple took a train to Pune in a general compartment and planned to go to Mumbai from there.
On reaching Pune, they could not board a connecting train, as the general bogies were crowded and people were standing on even the footboards. They let go of that train and waited in the railway station for the next train and by that time dusk had set in and Thomas decided to spend the time in the railway station rather than take a room in an unknown city.
While spending boring hours in the station, he noticed four girls, all cuddled together at the corner of the station and Thomas went to them and bought them soft juices, biscuits, and snacks and became close to the girls. They were siblings and the eldest was all of seven years of age and the youngest was of four years. The two girls in between were twins and were one year younger to the eldest girl, they were of six years.
On enquiry , the couple found that the parents had abandoned the children at the railway station and left. The children were in the station for the past two days without proper food and both Thomas and Neena decided that God wanted them to take care of the children.
Thomas while speaking to BPNS said, “It was indeed love at first sight. All four were frightened and were beyond consolation. Myself and Neena decided that we will take the children back home and called up a friend of our’s who was in Pune. He knew the language and together we went to the Police station and got a one-month temporary adoption paper.”
Thomas and Neena returned back to Kottayam with the four new guests and reached his parental home. Family and friends did not much appreciate the gesture of the couple and soon after differences cropped up in the extended family and Thomas had to move out of his ancestral home to rented accommodation.
Meanwhile Thomas was working as the Public Relations officer of the hospital development committee at Kottayam Government, Medical college hospital and Neena also secured a job in a private college as office staff.
Thomas was religiously pursuing the legal papers for adoption of the children and the adoption process which commenced in 2019 with a temporary adoption certificate was completed in July 2022 and the four children are now the legal daughters of Thomas and Neena.
Among the children, nine-year-old Eira Elsa Thomas is the eldest who can speak a little bit of broken Hindi but is fluent in Malayalam. Next comes the eight year old twins, Antria Ross Thomas and Elain Sara Thomas. The youngest is the six-year-old Alexandria Sara Thomas.
In between Neena gave birth to a daughter who had congenital heart disease and passed away soon and Thomas said that the love and care of the four daughters took them through those hard days.
Thomas has now bought a little piece of land and constructed a new home and all the four are studying in an English medium school near to the home at Puthupally.
Thomas said, “Life is moving on. We are happy and now slowly the family and friends understood our seriousness and our love towards the girls and we are being recognized. It is indeed the decision of God and we are carrying out his wish.”