Jobless, homeless woman rides 1,800 km on scooter from Pune to meet son in Jamshedpur
For the past three month, the Covid-19 lockdown had left a young woman jobless and homeless after she was evicted from her rented accommodation in Mumbai – far from her 5-year-old son and family.
But it could not break Sonia Das’s resolve and she rode 1,800 km from Pune via Mumbai on a scooter with her friend Sabia Bano to reach Jamshedpur on Friday evening to see her family from a safe distance before the two women were shifted to a quarantine centre.
“I saw my son and other family members standing on the balcony upstairs from the road outside our house in Kadma Bhatiya Basti in Friday evening before being shifted to Telco quarantine centre along with my friend Sabia Bano who accompanied me all the way from Pune on the Scooty. The administration here got my son here and arranged my meeting with him after I tested negative for coronavirus today,” Sonia said here Saturday afternoon.
Sabia is a Pune resident.
The Jharkhand health department had taken the duo’s samples for Covid-19 tests as Sabia was running fever while Sonia had developed a cough and cold with a minor breathing problem.
Deputy superintendent of police Arvind Kumar and Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) special officer Krishna Kumar were present during the meeting. “We have shifted both Sonia and Sabia to 14-day home quarantine as per their wish and SDO has provided dry ration,” the DSP said.
Sonia was forced to stay at Sabia’s place in Pune after she had to vacate her paying guest accommodation in Mumbai for failure to pay rent.
“I had no money, food, no job and now no room to stay. I had shifted to Sabia’s place in Pune. I tweeted to Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, called helplines of Maharashtra and Jharkhand governments but none was working. I tweeted to (actor) Sonu Sood Sir too but to no avail. Finally, I decided to return to Jamshedpur on my own and left on the night of July 20,” said Sonia.
Sonia’s husband Abhishek Ghosh is a heart patient fitted with implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) machine. “He is not in a position to work anymore and for the past two years, I have been doing jobs in production houses in Mumbai on a freelance basis. I had gone to Mumbai in February for such a job and was supposed to return on March 20 but got stuck there as lockdown came into effect,” said Sonia.
Sonia and Sabia stopped at ten petrol pumps and three dhabas on the way as they crossed Covid-19 affected states and cities on the way but faced no safety and security issues during the four days on the highway.
“We mostly survived on bada-pav and water. Most people took us for boys as our faces were covered with helmets and we were wearing shirts and pants. At some places people did stare at us but we left those places immediately. On the other hand, some locals also came forward to help us and gave food and water. One such person whom we met at the Maharashtra border kept calling Sabia enquiring about our wellbeing and safety,” recalled Sonia.
The unique journey finally came through after Jamshedpur deputy commissioner (DC) Suraj Kumar gave the permission to enter Jamshedpur a few days ago after Abhishek Ghosh’s repeated requests.