I still feel I’m in the truck, says driver who spent 47 days in his vehicle due to lockdown
Sunil Kumar started from Delhi for Hyderabad on March 22, but was stuck at the Rajasthan border as lockdown was announced.Updated: May 12, 2020 09:31 IST
A truck driver from Uttarakhand spent more than 40 days in his vehicle due to the nationwide lockdown before reaching his home district Champawat.
He reached Champawat after 47 days on Saturday where the administration put him under home quarantine for 14 days.
Sunil Kumar is a resident of Munch area and has been working for a transport company based in Delhi for the last six years.
According to Sunil, he was stuck in the lockdown and spent 40 days and nights in his truck near the Rajasthan border.
“I left for Hyderabad from Delhi on March 22. When I reached Shahpura area near Delhi-Rajasthan border on March 23, I was stranded there due to imposition of lockdown,” said Kumar.
“Rajasthan Police didn’t allow me to proceed and Delhi Police didn’t allow me to go back. So I had nowhere to go. So I decided to wait in the truck itself. We keep a stove and ration for a few days in our truck. I cooked food in the truck and later bought food items from a grocery shop nearby,” he said.
Kumar said waiting for such a long time was very difficult. “The difference of day and night didn’t seem to matter anymore. Sometimes I would spend my nights by counting stars. I was hoping that lockdown would end on April 24 and then I will be able to go home or Hyderabad. But it was extended further and so did my difficulties,” said Sunil.
Kumar said he faced many problems while being stuck in the truck. He said he could not charge his mobile phone after some time and so couldn’t talk to his family members.
“Somehow I managed to spend 40 days and 40 nights in my truck. It was a very difficult time. Weird thoughts would cross my mind. I missed my family, especially my pregnant wife. There were times when I thought if I would someday reach my home or not,” he said.
Kumar said that finally when the lockdown was relaxed and commercial vehicles like trucks were allowed to ply on May 3, he left for Delhi and reached there on May 5.
“In Delhi, I left my truck in my transport office. I registered for return on the website of my state government. My health screening was conducted and I boarded a bus for Uttarakhand. With the help of the authorities from my state, I finally reached Champawat, my home district on the morning of May 9,” he said.
“Here, the local authorities quarantined me in a shelter house and took my sample for the coronavirus test. When my report came negative on Sunday, they sent me for home quarantine for 14 days,” he said.
“I am feeling very happy that I am finally home. Now I will go to Delhi only after my wife delivers the baby. Sometimes in the sleep, I still feel I am in the truck,” he said.