By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 23, 2020 10:04:19 pm
As India entered it’s 60th day of the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Railway Ministry Saturday assured more special Shramik trains for stranded migrants in different states in the coming days. In a press briefing today, Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said, “in the next 10 days, at least 36 lakh migrants will be travelling on Shramik Special trains.”
Over 40 lakh migrants have travelled by Shramik Special trains to their respective home towns and villages since May 1 and nearly 80 per cent of the train journeys have been made by migrants labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, said the Centre.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 cases in India saw the biggest spike for the second consecutive day on Saturday with 6,654 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to over 1.25 lakh, while the toll rose to 3,720 after 137 more deaths, the Union Health Ministry said. The active cases of the coronavirus rose to 69,597, while 51,783 people have recovered and a patient has migrated, according to the ministry bulletin.
Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 60
Pune dog lovers rescue pets abandoned due to coronavirus fears
Dog lovers in Maharashtra’s Pune city have come to the rescue of pets, especially dogs of foreign breeds, who have been abandoned by their owners over misplaced fears of contracting coronavirus infection from them. Over 50 volunteers from Animal Adoption and Rescue Team (AART) have been patrolling the streets of Pune, looking to rescue abandoned pets and feeding strays during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Since the lockdown was imposed, we have seen a rise in cases of dog owners abandoning their pets, especially those of imported breeds such as Dobermans, Labradors and German Shepherds,” said Ajay Pujar, one of the volunteers of the NGO. The organisation had so far rescued over 40 such dogs from different parts of the city and sent them to shelter homes in the outskirts of Pune, he said.
MP: Couple on Shramik Special want to name newborn ‘lockdown’
The parents of a boy born late Friday night in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh during train commute said they wish to name him “lockdown”. Reena (32), traveling with her husband Udaybhan Sing Yadav on a Shramik Special from Mumbai to reach Ambedkar Nagar in UP, gave birth late Friday night in the district hospital. “He has been born in such a situation that we want to name him Lockdown Yadav,” she told reporters.
Her husband said he contacted the railway helpline after she went into labour in the train, and officials helped them alight at Burhanpur and took them to the hospital. District Collector Praveen Singh Adhayach said the mother and newborn were doing well and the administration has provided Rs 5,000 as assistance besides clothes, medicine an food. Adhayach said the family was sent to their destination in UP by a private vehicle.
From beggar boy to protector of Kerala’s homeless during the pandemic
In the time of Covid-19, when a majority of Indians remain ensconced in their homes practicing social distancing, Murugan, a volunteer with Childline, and his team of eight at Theruvoram are going about lifting the homeless and the destitute population off the streets in Kerala and taking them to safe homes. A majority of such people, surprisingly, are from other states who come to Kerala for work. “Almost 90 per cent of the people we rescue are from other states. They are often between the ages of 20 and 40. Many of them become addicted to alcohol and drugs which wreck their lives. Soon, they lose their way and develop mental health issues,” said Murugan, who at one point of time lived on the streets of Kochi and begged for food from strangers.
“We pick such people, give them a bath, fresh clothes and then transport them to a mental health centre or a hospital. For every person we rescue, we take permission from the local police who often pitch in to help us with resources,” said Murugan.
Undeterred by lockdown, teen walks 80 km to marry fiance
A 19-year-old woman walked 80 km from Kanpur to Kannauj to wed her fiance alone, unafraid and determined that the continuing lockdown would not interfere with her plans. Turning tradition on its head, Goldie decided not to wait for the groom to come to her doorstep in a grand ‘baraat’ or to play the coy bride, and just trekked the distance from her village Laxman Tilak in Kanpur Dehat district to Basaipur village in Kannauj district, said a police official.
Asked about the unusual marriage in his jurisdiction, Kannauj Superintendent of Police Amrendra Singh said, “Yes, it’s true. I know about it.” Goldie and Virendra Kumar Rathor, also known as Veeru, were supposed to get married on May 4. But couldn’t with the coronavirus forced lockdown in place. With no end to the lockdown in sight, and every possibility of the wedding being pushed indefinitely, she decided to go to Veeru’s house and get married, a police official in the know of things said. And so one fine morning early this week, the young woman sneaked out of her home and set off on foot for Veeru’s place, undeterred by the distance or the consternation it would cause.
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