At a time when entire country is shutdown due to the nationwide lockdown following the outbreak of Chinese coronavirus, the Indian Railways came to rescue of a mother, who was in the dire need of camel milk for her three-and-a-half-year-old autistic child. The child is allergic to goat, cow and buffalo milk and they had run out of stock of camel milk.
The Indian Railway transported 20 litres of camel milk to a family in Mumbai from Rajasthan after the mother tweeted about the non-availability of camel milk in Mumbai.
On April 4, Chembur resident Neha Sinha tweeted tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Sir, I have a 3.5 yrs old child suffering from autism and severe food allergies. He survives on Camel Milk and limited qty of pulses. When lockdown started I didn’t have enough camel milk to last this long. Help me get Camel Milk or its powder from Sadri (Rajasthan).”
@narendramodi Sir I have a 3.5 yrs old child suffering from autism and severe food allergies . He survives on Camel Milk and limited qty of pulses. When lockdown started I didn’t have enough camel milk to last this long. Help me get Camel Milk or its powder from Sadri(Rajasthan).— neha kumari (@nehakum79798495) April 4, 2020
Soon, the tweet went viral across social media. Netizens suggested that camel milk is available from suppliers in Rajasthan, however, lamented over the non-possibility of transporting the camel milk from Rajasthan to Mumbai due to lockdown.
Following Sinha’s request, Odisha-cadre IPS officer Arun Bothra reached out to the Chief Passenger Transport Manager of North-West Railway to seek on how to transport frozen camel milk from the supplier in Rajasthan to Mumbai.
Final update— Arun Bothra (@arunbothra) April 11, 2020
20 lts. camel milk reached Mumbai by train last night. The family has kindly shared part of it with another needy person in the city.
Thanking Sh.Tarun Jain, CPTM, North-West Railways who ensured an unscheduled halt to pick the container.@RailwaySeva@RailMinIndia https://t.co/fCxI6EJTrX
Jain, in turn, discussed the matter with Senior Divisional Commercial Manager Mahesh Chand Jewalia, after which parcel cargo train number 00902, running from Ludhiana to Bandra Terminus, was given permission to make an unscheduled halt at Falna station, near Ajmer.
“The supplier of the milk said he could send the consignment to Falna station since that was the closest. But the station was not a scheduled halt and it was decided that the train would stop there nonetheless. The goods booking counter at the station was also opened to collect the parcel. Last night, we received confirmation that the camel milk from Rajasthan to Mumbai milk was picked up from Bandra station and reached the lady’s house by 8.30 pm,” said a senior official from the North West Railways.
In the meantime, given that Sinha was in dire need for camel milk for her child, Bothra contacted the owner of Aadvik Foods, a company that manufactures camel milk powder, and helped arrange 400 gm of the milk powder through a shop in Andheri. This was to ensure Sinha’s child had something to go on till the milk from Rajasthan reached them.
Hi Ms. Neha, sorry to have missed your tweet earlier. We had been contacted by @arunbothra few minutes back and we are trying out our best to help you out, just give us some time.— Aadvik Foods (@aadvikfoods) April 7, 2020
“After taking permission from the appropriate authority, the train was stopped and the camel milk was delivered to the woman at Bandra. For us at the Indian Railways, this is not the time to look at commercial gains. We have been asked to help out wherever possible in whichever way we can. Our (NWR) trains run through 18 districts of the country and we will do whatever is needed to help people out,” Jain said.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal took to Twitter to hail the role of the railway officials in ensuring the essential item is delivered to the family in Mumbai. “Railways to the Rescue: Acting proactively on a mother’s request to PM Narendra Modiji, Railways delivers 20 litres of camel milk for the well being of her autistic child, from Falna in Rajasthan to Mumbai,” Goyal tweeted.
Following the 21-day nationwide lockdown, the Indian Railways has suspended all passenger, mail and express train services to combat the spread of Chinese coronavirus. Only freight and special parcel trains are running to ensure the supply of essential items.