The lockdown had left a nonagenarian on Delhi sidewalk with no food, no money, partial sight and a strong will to be reunited with his ailing wife at least a thousand kilometre away. But a kind stranger’s help and Bihar government’s efforts ensured that he got back to his hometown Shahpur Patori in Bihar’s Vaishali district.
Ramvilas Chaudhary, 90, was left stranded at Palam railway crossing at Raj Nagar in Delhi under extremely adverse and miserable circumstances since Lockdown 1.0. For almost 60 days, he had no food, no help and the little money he had saved for his wife’s treatment was robbed.
But a Twitter appeal and a Bihar government official’s quick action saved him.
According to the Twitter thread, Ramvilas Chaudhary used to beg earlier at the Palam Railway crossing and slept in a makeshift tiny tarpaulin. The neighbourhood used to feed him earlier but since lockdown, he was left deserted and abandoned until an IT professional Prakash Chaudhary noticed his plight and flagged the issue on micro-blogging site.
Prakash said, “His (Ramvilas) teary eyes, choked throat and folded hands while he spoke could pierce a human’s hearts like an arrow. Although facing the most adverse conditions of his lifetime, his determination and love to meet his ailing wife waiting for him in Vaishali district were noteworthy.”
Ramvilas reportedly said, “My Budhiya [wife]) is ill. Some miscreants stole my small piggy bank filled with coins and notes accounted for almost Rs 2,000 which I had saved for my wife’s treatment. I wish to see my wife in Shahpur Patori. Just help me reach home. I don’t food anymore. I want to see her….Help me reach home”
The Twitter thread was noticed by Bihar Bhawan in Delhi and Special Resident Commissioner of Bihar Palka Sahni reached out to Ramvilas Chaudhary via Prakash Chaudhary.
On Sunday afternoon, Ramvilas was taken to a shelter home located at Rajkiya Pratibha Vidyalaya in Dwarka Sector 10 where his screening was done under the observation of medical staff and SDM Nazafgarh. Having normal temperature with no signs of Covid-19, the doctor reported him as ‘asymptomatic’.
Later, he along with the convoy of other migrants bound to leave for Muzaffarpur was taken to Anand Vihar railway station under the supervision of Delhi Police and officials of Delhi Civil Defense. From there, he was sent to Bihar in a Shramik Special train.
The Muzaffarpur-bound train reached Hajipur Junction on Monday evening where Ramvilas Chaudhary was attended and generously facilitated by SDM Vaishali and other Railway administrative officials. Post his screening on his arrival at Hajipur Junction, Ramvilas Chaudhary was taken to the local quarantine centre of his village in Patori in a government vehicle.