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Coronavirus update: Vizag man walks home from Jamshedpur to see sick mother, brought back

M Venkat Raju, who had started on Friday, was spotted by West Singhbhum police in Goilkera—122.9km from Jamshedpur—around 1pm on Saturday, officials said on Sunday.

Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 08:47 IST

By Debashish Sarkar, Hindustan Times Jamshedpur

Sudhir Prakash, Goilkera BDO, said Venkat has been put under isolation in Goilkera Panchayat Bhawan. (PTI file photo. Image for representational purpose)

A man in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur had set out on foot for a nearly 800km journey to Visakhapatnam to see his sick mother during the national lockdown for Covid-19 before being brought back by the police.

M Venkat Raju, who had started on Friday, was spotted by West Singhbhum police in Goilkera—122.9km from Jamshedpur—around 1pm on Saturday, officials said on Sunday.

“M Venkat Raju was rescued by Goilkera police station officer-in-charge and block development officer (BDO) on Saturday afternoon when he was walking along the railway track. He has been provided food and out in quarantine,” Indrajit Mahatha, West Singhbhum’s superintendent of police (SP), said.

Sudhir Prakash, Goilkera BDO, said Venkat has been put under isolation in Goilkera Panchayat Bhawan.



“As lockdown is in force and there is the threat of coronavirus spreading, we got him checked but he showed no symptom of Covid-19,” said Prakash.

Vikas Kumar, Goilkera police station’s officer in charge, said he told them he was walking all the way to Visakhapatnam where his family lives.

“He said he was informed by his family on Thursday that his mother was seriously sick. Subsequently, he decided to walk his way to Visakhapatnam to see his mother. He works as daily wage labour in a factory in Jamshedpur,” said Kumar.

Venkat said he had exhausted almost all his money and savings since the lockdown and there was no other way to earn as the factory also closed down.

“My family informed me that mother was seriously sick after which I decided to walk along the railway track all the way to Visakhapatnam. I had reached Sonua station by Friday night and set out again on Saturday but police caught me at Goilkera. I want to go to Visakhapatnam,” said Venkat.

Kumar said they had sought the guidance of higher authorities if Venkat could be sent back to Jamshedpur as sending him to Visakhapatnam under the lockdown was not possible.

Police have said hundreds of such migrant workers are being seen every day across West Singhbhum, East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts under Kolhan division of Jharkhand. They have set up 63 community kitchens in as many police stations in the three districts for those who need them.

“Lockdown means stay wherever you are so that the scope of coronavirus spread is minimised as much as possible. Yet people are coming in hundreds risking lives of their own and others as well,” said Mahatha.

“We have set up 11 community kitchens providing food to such migrant workers, homeless, destitute and poor people daily. So far, 500-700 people have been catered to,” he added.

East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police (SSP) Anoop Birthare said Jamshedpur Police also have set up 35 community kitchens in as many police stations.

“Many people are not getting food due to lockdown. That’ why we have set up community kitchens from where we are providing packaged food to people in need. This service will continue till lockdown is in force,” said Birthare.

According to Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Kartik Kumar, 17 community kitchens have been running in the district by the police.

“Food is being provided to migrant workers, poor and homeless twice a day between 11am and 6pm,” said Kartik.

Kolhan deputy inspector general of police Kuldeep Dwivedi said community kitchens have been set up in the three districts as per state director general of police MP Rao’s directive and guidance.

“These community kitchens will provide cooked food to the poor and needy during the lockdown period. We will operationalise a few more kitchens in coming days,” said Dwivedi.

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