The sudden nationwide lockdown announced by PM Modi has forced people to stay put wherever they are. With no food, jobs and means of transport, several thousands of people are left stranded across the country and we are getting to hear their tales of helplessness, every day.
Recently, a watchman from Mumbai set out on a journey to Rajouri in J&K to meet his ailing father, on a cycle.
36-year-old Mohammed Arif, who works as a guard in Mumbai got to know about his father’s critical condition on Tuesday, 31st March. In the absence of any means of travel due to the lockdown, he decided to pedal his way home covering 2,100 km.
After buying a cycle from a fellow watchman, he left Mumbai on Thursday morning. On Friday, CNN-News18 talked to him. By then he had already pedalled for two days.
According to Arif, he met several policemen on his way, none of them offered help, but he wasn’t even stopped by them. They allowed him to continue his journey.
Talking to CNN-News18 from somewhere along the Maharashtra-Gujarat border, Arif described his challenges. He said:
There is no one to take care of him. I don’t have any brother or sister. I have to go. I left Mumbai with Rs 800 and some water. Now I am left with Rs 600 and two bottles of water. My phone is also running out of charge. I slept on the road and started again in the morning.
When CNN-News18 last talked to him on Saturday, Arif said that he somehow managed to charge his phone at a shop and spoke to his family. His father was still serious with no one to take him to the hospital.
According to reports, when J&K administration came to know about Arif they offered to get him picked up from Lakhanpur and drop him at Rajouri in four hours.
In this time of crisis and helplessness, we hope that Arif and others like him, are able to reach their homes safely.