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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The 15-year-old boy has been missing from home since Friday.
The Indian teenager who ran away from home due to 'exam phobia' survived two days without any food, a close family friend said on Sunday.
Ameya Santosh,15, who disappeared from Sharjah on Friday, was found two days later in Dubai on Sunday after friends and family went on a desperate search for the missing boy.
The Grade 10 student of Delhi Private School in Sharjah was located in La Mer, Jumeirah, at around 4pm, and was reunited with his family, thanks to another teenager who spotted Ameya.
His mother's best friend Lekha Menon told Al Khaleej Today that Ameya spent the past two days with limited water and no food. "He did not even have a jacket. He's been through a lot."
As suspected, the boy suffered from 'exam phobia' and feared that his performance in his upcoming maths and science papers would not be up to the mark.
Ameya's father dropped him off for tuitions near Mahatta Park, Al Qasimia, on Friday. The teenager, according to the family, skipped science tuitions on Friday, walked to Al Jubail bus station in Sharjah and took a bus to Ghubaiba station in Bur Dubai. "He spent Friday night and the whole of Saturday at the Bur Dubai bus station," explained Menon.
The credit in Ameya's NOL card was over, and he feared going back home. Not knowing what to do next, he began walking towards Jumeirah on Sunday morning. He crossed Shindaga, Mina Rashid, Satwa, and eventually found himself on La Mer beach.
"He strolled, taking breaks. He enjoys places such as La Mer, and he loves taking buses," added Menon. "He's a very simple, soft-spoken boy who tends to keep to himself. Ameya is not the kind who will ask for money or food, even if he is hungry. He only uses his phone when he goes for tuitions," she said.
'A guardian angel found him'
Ameya was found, thanks to the quick thinking and kindness of another Grade 12 Indian boy, named Ronit, explained Menon. "Ronit, recognising him from Instagram posts of other students in his school, approached Ameya as he walked around La Mer," said Menon.
According to her, the senior student approached Ameya, spoke to him, and took him to the closest McDonalds to buy him food. "His rescuer is an angel. He was kind-hearted and could relate to what Ameya went through. Ronit alerted Ameya's dad Santosh, and we rushed to collect him," she said.
Ameya's parents received the first tip-off about him being in La Mer through his school's WhatsApp network. "Thanks to his school, DPS Sharjah, we received a lead confirming that he was spotted near La Mer. Though that tip-off did not lead to anything, we were in La Mer when Ronit called Ameya's dad," said his mother Bindu.
Thanks to all parents who prayed for our reunion
The family said they received overwhelming support from the parent community while they searched for Ameya. "From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single parent who prayed for my son's speedy return, especially the DPS family, who have been so supportive. We have God's blessings, and it is the prayers of all the parents in DPS that we were reunited with him," Bindu said.
The family also mentioned that the teen was very stressed about his upcoming exams.
"Ameya is a brilliant child, very smart. However, he is not a fan of math and science," the family said. As he is due to face the upcoming CBSE board examinations, stress levels among students are very high during this time. "There has to be some way to ease the stress," she said.
Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88
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