Begin typing your search...

Stranded in city, they beat odds with help from Samaritans

Restricted to the confines of their homes ever since the country went into a near-total shutdown to battle the virus, households in Tamil Nadu have been managing with available resources. DT Next looks at four families that had to face unexpected hurdles but managed to overcome them

Stranded in city, they beat odds with help from Samaritans
Illustration: SAAI and snap: Jayalakshmi


Amid all the negative news that have been coming since the beginning of the shutdown on March 25, there still are stories that show the mettle and resilience of man to surmount challenges unforeseen. Consider the instance of a family of four – husband *Karthik, wife Reena and two sons aged

12 and 6 – who had driven down to Chennai from Bengaluru few days before the lockdown.

“My husband had returned by train and was to come to Chennai again to participate in another family get together. But our plans went kaput,” laments Reena.

When alone in Bengaluru, Karthik suffered a slip disc when he went out to stock up grocery. “He has a history of slip disc, owing to which he can’t be left alone. He can’t even move without help. In short, immobile. We were anxious to get back home,” says the wife.

Her aged parents were worried, but did not give up. When the normal procedure to get an e-pass did not work, a few strings were pulled. But that was not the end. Reena had a car but was not equipped to drive, and the only way was to arrange a driver who would have to drive the car with Karnataka registration one-way.

The police authorities instructed her to appear at the police station along with the driver for verification and issuance of e-pass. “My mother was a teacher at a reputable school. We approached one of her students, a person in a senior administrative position. Then things moved fast and with the help of a call taxi driver, we were able to make it safe to our destination,” says Reena.

Sometimes goodwill and the involvement of good Samaritans also work. *Krishna, a senior citizen, was down with high fever, while his wife was also suffering from fever, aches and pain. With both daughters in the US and the travel ban in place, it was impossible for them to come down or arrange a caretaker on short notice. She then called a family friend who coordinated with Dr A Ramamurthy, who prescribed medicines over phone. “A blood test was also done with the help of a lab chain that collected the sample from home,” says the wife, whose daughters – Uthra and Priya – continuously monitored the parents condition, even at ungodly hours, over internet.

Also, with the help of neighbours who provided food and bought medicines, this family managed a difficult phase. Now the couple is on road to recovery, with Krishna regaining strength to go about his regular routine.

Take the case of a professional from Riyadh, who rush to Chennai along with wife and second daughter after his super senior father was hospitalised.

Though they had to take a circuitous route, the family reached Chennai 72 hours before the lockdown. His brother drove down from Bengaluru with his wife and daughter. The old man breathed his last recently, with his entire family around him.

There are also the likes of S Jayalakshmi, yet another super senior citizen, residing in Ashok Nagar. With the help of neighbours and organisations like Bhoomika, she is managing social distancing efficiently. “From 1995, she has been staying alone. We, three daughters and my brother, call on her daily. Though she does feel alone as we are unable to visit her, she has been going about her life as usual,” says one of the daughters. It also helped that days before the lockdown, one of her grand-daughters had stocked the kitchen with provisions to last for a month or two.

*Names changed to protect identity

Visit to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Next Story