RAIPUR: A tragic news couldn’t come at a worse time for security personnel Santosh Yadav (30) deployed in the remote terrain of Maoist-affected Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district as the jawan embarked upon an 1100-km tough journey to attend the last rites of his mother.
Upon hearing the demise of his mother at Sikar village in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh, the jawan working in Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF) got quick official approval to leave his work station to his native place.
The travel to his village, however, swamped with trials and tribulations as it took nearly more than two days for him to see his native place.
Yadav moved out of his camp in Bijapur and walked for some kilometres. He spotted a truck on the way that dropped him off in Jagdalpur - the district headquarters of Bastar, 150 km from Bijapur, his place of posting. He continued to travel on foot, took a lift on a mini-truck to reach another district of Kondagaon in north Bastar, while on his way to Raipur.
“I was stopped at various checkpoints by the police. An officer at Kondagaon, who was familiar with me, helped me to board a Raipur-bound vehicle carrying medicines. I was getting restless to reach home as early as possible”, he said. After waiting for hours at Raipur station, he took the help of his friend in Railway Protection Force (RPF) to board a goods train.
Besides the cops at different locations, Yadav was also questioned by the railway authorities at the successive stations as he shifted to other goods trains while proceeding with his trip.
Despite lockdown, the freight operation of Indian Railways is on to ensure uninterrupted supplies.
“To reach Chunar railway station, on the Mughalsarai-Kanpur route, which is closest to my village, I had to board different goods trains — changed at least eight times along the connecting routes. I luckily got help from the friends who are working in railways and also the station masters to carry on my journey. After walking for 5 km from Chunar, I crossed the Ganga river on a boat to reach my village”, said Yadav, who is with the CAF since 2009. His wife and two children are staying at the Sikar village.
His younger brother and a married sister are living in Mumbai and for them to reach Uttar Pradesh was beyond the bounds of possibility.