Anyone who is familiar with Delhi University’s North Campus, cannot not know about Tingu ji, the puny man who has sold candies, chocolates and other knick-knacks to the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Satish Kaushik, Shakti Kapoor, Kabir Khan, Sushant Singh, and Divyendu Sharma, during their Kirori Mal College days. He has indulged generations with his sweet candies and tales of hanging out with famous alumni, including Bachchan., and he had pictures to support the claim.
He has been covered by media a lot. But, he is in news today for he has gone missing for 3 weeks. It’s sad but true that Amar Singh aka Tingu ji – the endearing old candy seller of KMC — has been missing since he last left his home on October 18, for the campus.
A social media post circulated by students of various colleges appeals for help to find him. Iyce Malhotra, a graduate of KMC, informs, “I have been very close to Tingu ji. He used to call to wish me on festivals such as Diwali. And when I shifted to Paris, he took help of a student in the college to video call me on Facebook. On October 19, when I got a call from Tingu ji’s daughter asking if Tingu ji is with me, I was a little surprised because I hadn’t met him in months, but didn’t feel startled because I knew he used to hang out with students sometimes and would be around. But, even after searching for him on the campus, when we couldn’t trace his whereabouts, we realised that the situation was serious. We have also checked night shelters, but no use. Even the teachers at KMC are really worried.”
The worry is palpable in the voice of Tingu ji’s wife, Bimla, says, “Atharah tareek ko unhone apna bag uthaya aur kaha ki mai college ja raha hun, sham ko aa jaunga, phone kar dena. Humne phone kiya to switch off jar raha tha. Tab se unka koi pata nahi hai… Kabhi kabhi vo apni behen ke ghar Jahangirpuri chale jate the, toh humne wahan bhi pata kiya, par wahan bhi nahi mile. Hum bahut pareshan hai… Humare bete Sumit aur Manoj bhi unko dhund rahe hain.”
His family had shifted base to Meerut in August, since then Tingu ji had been every day commuting to the campus from the town in Uttar Pradesh. His daughter, Laxmi Mittal, who lives near Badarpur, says, “College ke bachchon ne humari madad ki toh hum logon ne FIR karwai. Par abhi bhi kuch pata nahi chal paya hai. Kuch log toh keh rahe hain ki vo unnes tareekh ko bhi college me dikhe they.”
“When we tried to search him on the campus, we got to know that a rickshawalla saw him in a frail state at Ghanta Ghar, and dropped him at Hindu Rao Hospital for free,” says Shivansh Agarwal, a student at DU’s Faculty of Law, who is part of the search group that’s trying to find Tingu ji. He informs that a few people have corroborated that they saw Tingu ji in the parking of the hospital, but after that they hit a dead end. Shivansh adds, “We have created a WhatsApp group, and even put up posters in the campus, but haven’t got a breakthrough. Hope his mobile gets traced by the police and he is found soon!”
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