Good Samaritans help robbed Belgian tourist

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 18 (IANS) Had a few people not come to the aid of Belgian Steve Robert, robbed on a Delhi-Mumbai train, his woes would never have ended.

The 36-year-old Robert planned to explore the natural beauty of Kerala, GOd's Own Country. But, after losing virtually everything in the train robbery, his plans went awry.

According to him, barring his passport and the return flight ticket from here to Brussels Sep 2, the robbers took all he had.

Robert, who moves around with a walking stick, was spotted at the airport here five days back. When people tried to know what his problem was, the language threw a spanner in their conversation.

It was all thanks to the local people, including taxi drivers, that Robert managed to pull on. But the Belgian found that he would have to shell out around Rs.40,000 for advancing his return journey.

For a few days, he spent the nights at a church located close to the airport. Everyday, he reached the airport to see if the airline authorities would be able to help him, but nothing happened.

Finally, there was good news. As word spread about his ordeal, people reached out with a helping hand.

Speaking to IANS, state Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said an organisation and an individual have helped Robert get a new ticket.

"These two paid for the ticket while a hotelier has agreed to accommodate him from today (Sunday) till Wednesday when he would fly out to Delhi and catch the flight to Brussels next day (Thursday)," said Kumar.

However, what has surprised many who have provided succour to Robert was that despite being informed about one of their national's plight, the Belgian embassy did not offer any help.


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