The Hush Post| 17:48 pm| one-minute-read|
In an unusual tale of love, a 65-year old man from a village in Tamil Nadu pedalled 130 kms on his bicycle to ensure he reaches for his wife’s chemotherapy session on time.
The nationwide lockdown, that has cut public transport, has come down hard on people like Arivazhagan, a daily-wage labourer. Arivazhagan felt stranded without a mode of transportation to take his wife to the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) hospital in Puducherry.
Arivazhagan along with his wife Manjula, 60, cycled from his village near Kumbakonam to reach JIPMER hospital in Puducherry for her chemo session.
Draped in his dothi, Arivazhagan made his wife sit on the carrier of his bicycle. He then tied her body to his using a piece of cloth so she did not fall from the bicycle when he began pedalling fast. The couple started as early as 4.45 am and reached JIPMER hospital at about 10.15 pm. They stopped on the way for tea and also catching up on their sleep for about two hours by the damp coolness of a pond en route.
Although the Out Patient Separtment (OPD) and the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) of the hospital had been colosed due to Covid-19, hospital officials upon hearing his astounding feat, decided to give Manjula the needed treatment. The couple were then lodged at the hospital for the night provided food and sent back home the next day in an ambulance.
Speaking to IANS, Arivazhagan said, “They gave my wife the needed treatment and pooled money together and gave me that. They also gave medicines for one month and paid about Rs 6,300 for Ambulance to drop us back.”
According to him, a doctor at JIPMER had called him on Saturday morning and enquired about Manjula’s health. “He also told me that an ambulance could be organised to bring Manjula to JIPMER for treatment,” Arivazhagan said.
Arivazhagan and his wife, who are not covered under the Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme or under the Central government’s healthcare scheme, preferred to be treated at JIPMER instead, for better treatment. “I save from my daily wages and take her to JIPMER in Puducherry,” he adds.
Looking back at his own determination, Arivazhagan wonders out loud, “It is still unbelievable as to how I pedalled the distance.”