“Bhai kahan tak ja rahe ho? Mera parcel le jao, ma ki dawai hai.” Subhash Singh was visibly agitated as he ran from bus to bus, trying to convince migrants being taken to Bihar to take with them his mother’s medicines.
Singh’s 67-year-old mother, living in Bihar’s Purnia, has a blockage in her heart, and has been prescribed medicines by a doctor in Delhi that her family cannot find anywhere back home.
For the past year-and-a-half, 40-year-old Singh has been sending the medicines to Purnia every three months, costing him over Rs 20,000 every time.
“My mother is unable to breathe properly if she doesn’t take these medicines, and that can be fatal,” Singh, employed with a private company in Delhi, said.
Ever since the lockdown was announced, Singh has been trying to find a way to send the medicines to Bihar. He went a few times to his local post office in Dwarka, which was shut, he said. “I asked private couriers and even went to the India Post head office, but none of them would accept the parcel,” Singh said.
After learning from a few labourers that a train was taking migrant workers to Bihar, Singh set off on his bike from Dwarka to the station on Friday, using the medicine prescription and a green cloth bag carrying the parcel as his pass to cross police checkpoints.
On arriving at a checkpoint outside the station, Singh stood on the footpath and requested many migrants passing by in buses to take the parcel, having less than 10 seconds to convince them before the bus set off again from the checkpoint. “She will die if the medicine does not reach her,” he told them.
After many requests, he approached police officials and told them about his problem, who then tried to hold back the buses a few more seconds for Singh to convince someone.
Finally a migrant worker agreed to take the parcel till Muzaffarpur, from where Singh’s brother would collect it and take it home. Singh had barely enough time to take down the migrant’s phone number before the bus took off again.
“It’s such a relief that after so much hardship, the medicines would finally reach home. This was a risk, but it was the only option I had,” Singh said.
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