Lockdown Tales: Mother drives 1,800 km from Pune to Jamshedpur on scooter to meet 5-year-old ailing son

Updated: Jul 29, 2020, 20:10 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The woman became restless when her husband informed her that their son Dhruv Jyoti had fallen sick and developed fever

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

In a heartening incident, a mother from Pune drove a two-wheeler along with her friend to Jamshedpur, covering a distance of 1,800 km to meet her sick five-year-old son. The woman took the step as she couldn't afford a flight and long-distance train services are suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The woman identified as Sonia Das, a resident of Bhatia Basti in Kadma, Jamshedpur, became restless when her husband informed her that their son Dhruv Jyoti has fallen sick and developed fever. Taking to Twitter, Das tagged the Jharkhand government and even approached the Maharashtra government's helpline number, but got no response, reports Times of India.

After receiving no help, Das took it upon her to drive back home on her old scooter in order to meet her ailing son. Luckily, Das' friend Sabia Bano, a resident of Pune, also decided to travel with her. On Monday morning, Das and her friend Bano left for Jamshedpur and reached the steel city on Friday.

Upon their arrival, the two were approached by the health authorities in order to conduct COVID-19 tests. DSP (Headquarters II) Arvind Kumar said, "We conducted rapid antigen tests and we let them go after they tested negative and asked them to stay in home quarantine." He further said that the family was provided with dry ration for 30 days.

Das was quoted as saying, "Passenger trains are not running between Tatanagar and Pune or Mumbai. Moreover, my husband and I do not have sufficient money to buy an air ticket. With no help coming from Jharkhand and Maharashtra governments, I decided to drive as I was extremely worried about my son."

"Thankfully, we did not face any problems and spent the nights at the petrol pumps and dhabas. I am now desperate to hug my child. I am hoping that the quarantine period will be over soon," a teary-eyed Das said. Giving an update on her son's health, Das said he is recuperating. She also expressed gratitude towards the authorities for conducting the COVID-19 test within a short time.

The 26-year-old mother used to travel on the scooter while working with a small-time production house in Mumbai. However, she lost her job during the nation-wide lockdown. Left with no option, Das was staying with her friend Bano and looking for new opportunities as her husband's income had also dried up due to the global pandemic. She was also unable to repay her rent for the last three months due to job loss.

Das' friend Bano said, "Apprehending the risk she was going to face while travelling alone, I decided to accompany her. Initially, I was not convinced with the idea of a scooter ride but with no option available, I chose to go along. We stayed at 10 petrol pumps and two dhabas."

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