Kerala CM accepts late night call to help stranded people during lockdown

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2020

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan extended assurance and comfort to stranded people who were coming through the dense forest route to Tholpetty near Muthunga wildlife sanctuary on the Kerala-Karnataka border at 1 am on Wednesday. One of the group members, Athira, googled CM’s contact number and approached him for help.

Athira narrated her ordeal and told media, "As I dialled his mobile, I never thought he would pick up as the time was 1 am. But to my surprise, the Chief Minister answered my call on the second ring.” According to Athira, CM responded with humility and said, “Don't worry child, we will try and find a solution." Athira she was travelling with 13 colleagues who work at TCS Hyderabad - 12 women and a man.

The incident surfaced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced nation-wide lockdown due to the widespread coronavirus in the country. The announcement had led to the shutting of all state borders at midnight. This had further led the group marooned in the midst of a forest when they were returning from Hyderabad as their firm observed shutdown and asked them to work from home.

The 14-member group hailed from Kerala and had started from Hyderabad on March 24 in a tempo traveler and was stopped by police on the Kerala-Karnataka border. Athira said they tried to get help, but failed and that’s when she googled CM’s number to ask for help.

Athira said the CM gave her the numbers of Wayanad Collector and SP and asked her to get in touch with them and also said he would give them necessary directions. She contacted Wayanad SP and by the time they reached Tholpetty, the Thirunelli Sub-Inspector was waiting for them with a vehicle to take them home. Their temperatures were also checked before they left for Kozhikode, she added.

Athira further made a call to the CM to thank him for his service, while the CM asked her to observe strict home quarantine.

Kerala has crossed the 100-mark with 19 new cases being reported on Thursday, taking the total number of people undergoing treatment to 126.

Published on March 27, 2020

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