Nadish Sabharwal, before his abduction, in his official Bridge of Hope profile photo from 2007.
Nadish and his mother, Gopika, just a few days after his escape.
Nadish Sabharwal, a student in a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center in India, escaped from his kidnappers in February 2010, after being held captive for more than two years. Nadish and a roommate were able to escape when their kidnapper failed to lock the door of the room in which he kept them. The kidnapper, who was also holding other children captive, was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
Nadish was only nine years old when he was snatched in December 2007. He had run away from home after his mother scolded him for not devoting enough effort to his schoolwork. Nadish, like thousands of other runaway children, was living in a large railway station in one of India’s largest cities. It was there that an elderly man befriended the confused little boy and took him to his home village.
But Nadish did not find a loving home. He ended up in the hands of a landlord who made Nadish a child slave. This nine-year-old boy went from singing about Jesus in a Bridge of Hope center to living as a prisoner and cleaning up animal waste all day. When Nadish finished his daily work, his captor locked him in a room and gave him just a tiny amount of food to eat. He was forced to sleep near the animals he cleaned up after.
This horrific situation was Nadish’s life for 26 long months.
Meanwhile, Nadish’s mother grieved deeply. She had already lost her husband to cancer, and now she had also lost one of her sons.
Nadish was able to escape in February, just 13 days after his 12th birthday. The landlord brought another boy he had kidnapped to Nadish’s room. When the landlord put the new boy in the room, he forgot to lock the door. As soon as the landlord was out of sight, the boys bolted out the door and ran to the nearest police station.
When Nadish testified against his captor, he said he wanted to go back to the Bridge of Hope center.
The Bridge of Hope center staff prayed diligently for Nadish during his long captivity. They are now rejoicing that the Lord answered their prayers and released him from slavery.
They ask for continued prayers for Nadish. He is struggling mentally as a result of his lengthy captivity and ill treatment. Pray also that he would be able to concentrate on his studies and catch up from what he missed.
The staff also asks for prayer for another Bridge of Hope child named Prince, who is missing. They are praying that he will be returned home unharmed to his parents. They also ask for prayer for the millions of children being forced to work in jobs rather than attend school.