A benevolent couple and supportive cops brought a ray of hope in the life of Sachin Dass, 65, from Odisha, who was found in a state of shock in far-off Jhakri in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh two days back.

When the young couple, Sandeep Sharma, an Assistant Professor at Rampur College, and his wife Pooja Semta Sharma saw the elderly man shivering with cold on Saturday, and realised that he was not able to communicate properly, they brought him home and comforted him with warm clothes and food.

However, as Dass could only convey the word Odisha to them, they immediately got in touch with Umang Foundation, a rights-based organisation based in Shimla with which they have been associated.

The Foundation informed the Police in Shimla and Bhubaneswar to find his credentials and arranged for his journey back home in district Malkangiri.

“The Shimla district Police has been courteous enough to give him shelter for the time being,” Ajai Srivastava, the chairman of Foundation told media persons.

Srivastava said Dass, who has been working as Pujari in Nar-Narayan Sewashram Trust Temple in district Malkangiri in Odisha, had gone to Andhra Pradesh to perform last rites of his mother, who died at the age of 90. He was missing for a month since then.

“We could trace his home by getting in touch with a journalist Samanvay Nanda in Bhubaneswar who talked to him in Oriya over the phone and got the details. In a state of shock, Dass revealed that he was going to Kailash so that his mother goes to heaven. He, however, had no money in hand. Then I called Inspector General of Police, Crime, at Bhubaneshwar, Arun Bothra, who got Dass’s credentials verified quickly. I also contacted people with whom Dass works in the temple,” he said.

He said the Temple Trust was worried over Dass’s welfare as his reputation as Pujari was very good and he even helped tribal children with their education. He said the people from the Temple Trust are now coming to Shimla to take him back and Dass, who was in a temporary state of shock as per doctors, is ready to return home.