ALAPPUZHA: The nationwide lockdown barely posed a barrier as a one-and-a-half-year-old girl from Cherthala kept her date with specialised cancer treatment at Hyderabad. With social media highlighting Anvitha’s case, the state government and political parties joined hands to send her with parents over a distance of more than 1,130 kilometres. Having started off at 7.15 am on Sunday from Cherthala, the state government-arranged ambulance carrying Anvitha was slated to reach Hyderabad late night, Health Minister K K Shailaja said.
At the time of going to press, TNIE learnt the journey was on schedule. “After treatment, the same ambulance will bring them back,” Shailaja said. “The state government has made all arrangements to remove hindrances on borders.” Vineeth Vijayan and Gopika, residents of Cherthala municipality, were earlier worried about how to take their daughter suffering from retinoblastoma — a type of cancer affecting the retina — to LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad by April 7. The doctors there had given the appointment before the lockdown announcement.
Anvitha’s father then explained their plight on social media, following which the state government, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, A M Ariff MP, and other politicians like former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stepped up to help. The state government arranged for an ambulance with two drivers, though other organisations like Seva Bharathi too had offered ambulance services. As per Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s directions to meet Anvitha’s travel expenses, Social Security Mission officials reached her home on Sunday morning and handed over the money required.