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Three Schoolgirls Fled Home To Meet BTS; Found In Vellore

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New Delhi: Three young schoolgirls from a remote village in the tranquil region of Karur district never anticipated that their shared love for music and dance, particularly their passion for the popular Korean pop band BTS, would lead them on an unexpected journey—a quest to reach a foreign land without passports and with minimal funds.

These 13-year-old Class 8 students from a government school were determined to meet their beloved BTS stars in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. An official from the Child Welfare Committee was quoted by newswire PTI, ‘They were resolute on meeting the BTS stars and considered ports in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, and Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, to travel to South Korea. Eventually, they chose Visakhapatnam.’

Setting off on January 4, the girls quietly departed from their homes, traveling from Karur to Chennai via a train from Erode.

Concerned by their absence, the parents reported their disappearance to the Karur police, triggering a state-wide search effort.

Despite possessing only ₹14,000, their collective savings, the girls optimistically believed they could undertake the journey. After facing challenges, they secured accommodation at a Chennai hotel, assuming they could embark on a ship to Seoul without passports.

However, their plans hit a roadblock on Friday, leaving them exhausted. Ultimately, they boarded a train back to their homes, encountering a situation where they missed their train during a stop at Katpadi railway station. Police and Child Line authorities intervened, bringing the situation to the attention of P Vedanayagam, head of the Vellore District Child Welfare Committee.

The girls found temporary accommodation in a state-run facility in Vellore. Counselling sessions were conducted for both the children and their parents upon their arrival.

Their deep knowledge about BTS, their fashion choices mirroring the band’s, and their intense smartphone usage revealed an obsession fueled by the band’s influence. While acknowledging the girls’ aspirations for a life in music and dance, authorities gently conveyed that their decision to pursue their dreams by attempting to go abroad was misguided.

The officials emphasized the significance of education in achieving dreams, irrespective of their nature. Advice was given to prioritize educational use of smartphones and the internet.

Considering the challenging family backgrounds of these girls—ranging from single-parent households to parents with limited abilities to oversee their children’s activities—parents were urged to provide better support and guidance.

After counseling, the girls were reunited with their parents and traveled back to their home district on the night of January 6 via train.

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