NASA and the missing Indian children

When I saw this headline on Monday I couldn’t help but laugh a little: Four [Indian] Kids on NASA Trip Go Missing. I mean, I know NASA is occasionally accused by some crackpot (even well-respected crackpots) of covering up info about aliens, but the idea of foreign kids going missing on a NASA field trip is a whole new kind of conspiracy (wrong kind of aliens). Here is how things unfolded:

The authorities of a private school here have lodged a police complaint that two of its students, who went on an educational trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at its US headquarters, have gone “missing.”

The two students, Paramjit Singh and Kunal Bhandari, went as part of a 13-member delegation of the Dayanand Model School on July 22. While the other members returned, these two students did not come back. [Link]

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p>Then there was this:

Four students from a school in Parowal village who went on a trip to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have gone missing in the US. One of the teachers accompanying them has also not returned as she reportedly got married.

Eighteen students of the CBSE-affiliated Doaba Public Senior Secondary School went to NASA for a project. While 14 returned, Arshdeep, Sumit Sahni, Dalbir Singh and Baljinder Singh have not come back. The four are aged between 14 and 15 years.

“Teacher Meenu Sharma sent an e-mail to the school authorities, requesting them to extend her leave by a month as she got married,” a source said. [Link]

Then there was another update:

Six students from Doaba region have over the past fortnight gone missing in the US, where they had gone as part of academic trips to the NASA centre…

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p>This act of the students has tarnished the school’s image, he said, adding that the US authorities will take action against the students after their visa expires. [Link]

You got to hand it to Indians. Many Mexicans choose the difficult way to get in to the U.S.: crossing deadly deserts in the American Southwest. Indians on the other hand just sneak in as space enthusiasts. The World Sikh News just comes out and says it in their headline: Want your kid to reach USA? Plan a NASA trip. Is that was SRK’s character did in Swades?

25 thoughts on “NASA and the missing Indian children

  1. This is from south asian newspaper in Vancouver on this issue.

    Here’s a case reported just this week in a newspaper of Punjab, India, that highlights the dilemma officials in high commissions of western countries face while deciding on granting visas. The Indian newspaper in a report from Jalandhar, Punjab, reported how two families apparently used an educational trip planned by some schools to the United States to stay on illegally in that country. In fact, I think they may even try to slip into Canada.

    Students from five schools are currently in the U.S. on a 12-day educational trip to New York for a conference at NASA and a pleasure trip to Disneyland in Orlando. A student of Dayanand Model School, Paramjeet Singh, said he was going out of the hotel to make a phone call and never returned. Nobody seemed to have asked him why he couldn’t make the call from the hotel itself! Earlier, the Grade 12 boy’s request to spend a night with an uncle of his in New York had been turned down by his science teacher. New York police were informed about the disappearance.

    Another student from the same school, Kunal Bhandari, also went missing after his request to attend the wedding of a relative in New York was refused by his principal, Raj Kumar Sehgal, who accused the parents of the two boys of planning the disappearances. He pointed out that the boys’ parents hadn’t bothered to inform the police about their “missing” children.

    Unfortunately, because of such cases, students, professionals and others who want to visit foreign countries for legitimate reasons often find their applications for visas rejected.

  2. could the kids have done it on their own volition? Thats not a particularly convincing theory either.

  3. These kids are gonna make it harder for other kids in India from getting visas for future school trips to the States and other western countries.

  4. Abhi: I saw this picture “Swadesh” on a plane trip to India few years ago. If I remember correctly SRK used to work at NASA – went back to India – fell in love with a village girl – came back and resigned at NASA – went back to this preety bumpkin and – happily everafter – something like that. Now, they never showed how he got into USA or NASA in the first place. May be he was born here – like you. I know few village (Ahmedabad-Population ~ 6 Million) girls who would want to fall in love with you. Should I arrange for that? Seriously, these missing kids have to have some colloboration with locals or else they are preety daring. Sure beats arriving on a Mayflower or a slave ship :)

  5. No. “Village girls” know that bloggers don’t make good husbands.

    Amen, brother. Unfortunately, they’re pretty smart like that.

  6. There was also the story of a guy in a small Maharashtra village who faked an invite by the top NASA guy.

  7. Village girls” know that bloggers don’t make good husbands.

    Neither do NASA Mars expedition aspirants. I mean, what’s she gonna do those four years?!

    M. Nam

  8. Bloggers don’t make good husbands

    Bloggers don’t make good anything.

    Typing doesn’t change the world, or people.

  9. “Neither do NASA Mars expedition aspirants. I mean, what’s she gonna do those four years?!”

    I could think of a few things…..

  10. “Village girls” know that bloggers don’t make good husbands.

    Come on, now. Haven’t you seen this ad:

    We are living in village of Gokulnagar, Gujarat, and looking for good boy for our eldest daughter, Meena. He must be Hindu, must have clean habits (no smoking or drinking) and must have his own blog. Boys with shared blogs, please excuse.

  11. well, I wish the best for the kids, but actually what I’m wondering is why Edgar Mitchell is a “crackpot?” He’s not the only “respected” person to speak on this subject, and he ismore in a position to know that of which he speaks then, say, Abhi. (no offence Abhi, but really, he is….)
    His comments don’t arouse the slightest glimmer of curiosity? surprise? intrigue? wonderment? possibility? I mean he’s one of the guys who actually has been up THERE. I’ve never seen a “ufo” pesonally, but I know airline pilots who have; I know a government official or two (not American btw) who have confessed to knowing about this stuff. I don’t dismiss them as one was nearly on his deathbed. sooooo….don’t be so quick to mock an old man who’s traveled more miles than most of us ever will.

  12. No. “Village girls” know that bloggers don’t make good husbands.

    Cerain potential desi village father-in-laws also think only doctors (not the Ph.D. kind) from America make good husbands for their daughters.

  13. I laughed too when I read this, and also it is illegal and probably not good manners. But it is kind of sad on second thought. The parents must have known the kids would disappear, and who knows when they will see their children again. Reminds me of a story by an Irish writer(can’t remember who it was) about the tense night an Irish family has, before the son leaves for the US the next morning. Both parents and son cannot help blaming each other for the situation to some extent.

  14. Reminds me of a story by an Irish writer(can’t remember who it was) about the tense night an Irish family has, before the son leaves for the US the next morning.

    The story was set sometime in the middle of the last century. A v different Ireland, of course.

  15. These kids are gonna make it harder for other kids in India from getting visas for future school trips to the States and other western countries.

    True, but at the end of the day are you going to blame them, or Lou Dobbs and the State Department?

  16. People who do this make it harder for people who want to visit western countries for legitimate reasons. They should be apprehended and sent home and made an example of.