DHARAN, APR 20 -
She found a bag containing Rs. 9.1 million and a diamond necklace and returned it to the owner after three days. Twenty-year-old Anuja Baniya found the unclaimed bag on a bus while she was travelling in Dharan.When nobody claimed the bag she took it to her residence thinking that she could return it to the rightful owner with the help of documents that the bag possibly contained. She was dumbstruck when she opened the bag to find it contained Rs. 9.1 million in cash and a diamond necklace.
Baniya, a permanent resident of Jhulke of Bhojpur, has been staying in Dharan of Sunsari, with her uncle and aunt. She is an ordinary woman with just normal education.
Baniya found the owner’s telephone number from the documents she found inside the bag. She knew that the bag belonged to Purushottam Poudel of Sitapaila, Kathmandu. She then telephoned him at his residence and informed him about fimding the bag. It was on April 9 when Poudel, who was heading to his daughter’s house at Dharan-9, absentmindedly left the bag when he got off the vehicle. He had received the cash from a IME Itahari branch that he had transferred from the Capital. Poudel had intended to take the money to his daughter Sudha Pokharel for the purpose of purchasing a house.
Poudel said that he had no hope of finding the bag and returned to Kathmandu without informing the police. “I had never thought that I would get the money back,” said an elated Poudel, 65. He came to Dharan on April 12 and received the money.
According to Anita Karki, a relative of Poudel, he offered Rs. 200,000 to Baniya as a cash reward but she refused it. Poudel later tried to gift her the diamond necklace gift but she did not accept.
After handing over the cash and valuables Baniya spent some time with the Poudel family but she refused to give her address and contact number. “People may not believe it. But it’s a true story of this remarkable women’s honesty,” said Pokharel.