Ramesh Chandra from Hyderabad was in a state of shock and despair when his 14-year-old autistic son Ravi went missing on Saturday, May 28. The worry-stricken family searched all possible places and registered a police complaint.
Here is his story in his own words that he shared with McDonald’s in a mail:
“I am father of Ravi who is autistic and aged 14. He was missing from 2 pm on Saturday, 28th May. It was the worst nightmare and by far the most stressful few hours of my life. We searched all the known places, parks, shops etc. that he visits, but couldn’t find him. In that process, we also went to the local McDonald’s almost three to four hours after he went missing. And by God’s grace, or I must say the McDonald’s Hyderabad AS Raonagar team’s grace, we found our son in good condition and in very good spirits.”
“It seems he walked about 5 km from where we live on a busy road and reached McDonald’s on a scorching May afternoon. He asked for water a couple of times and obviously didn’t have money and could not communicate. But the team patiently let him have a couple of drinks and then also fed him a sandwich and fries. Ravi was pretty relaxed. But his inability to communicate forced the team of McDonald’s to approach the nearby police station. Meanwhile, we had already registered a complaint and, at the same time, started searching all nearby places. In that process, we reached McDonald’s to find that Ravi was fine and was in safe hands.”
“I must admit I am pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed with the support and maturity of the team, particularly Sai Shanker and Sampath. They did not panic and let Ravi get comfortable and tried to communicate with him for a couple of hours before taking the perfect decision to approach the authorities. Words can’t express the gratitude and we can’t thank them enough for their support and help. I offered the team a dinner or some monetary reward and they kindly refused and asked us to celebrate his next birthday or next occasion at their place.”
“I am truly touched by their maturity and professionalism and we are indebted to this team for the rest of our lives. Please thank the team and hope you have a way to recognize and appreciate the value they bring to your esteemed organization,” Ramesh says.
For the staff at McDonald’s, it was an enriching opportunity to serve people that has its own reward.
Disclaimer: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.