THENI: A journey of more than 70 km under a bristling summer sun on a rickety bicycle can unnerve even the hardiest of men, but when 21-year-old Jeevaraj heard his ailing mother’s plea to see her daughter, who is working in Theni, he did not have many options, given the lockdown.
A final-year degree student, Jeevaraj stays with his mother, Tamilselvi, at Madurai’s Dinamani Nagar near Koodalur. His sister, Pravina, works as a nurse at a private eye hospital, according to sources. Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, Tamilselvi had been worried about her daughter. When she fell sick recently, her desire to see her daughter could wait no longer, and she requested her son to bring Pravina home.
That no vehicle was available to reach Theni did not deter Jeevaraj. So he set forth on Monday morning, knowing fully well the challenges ahead. Steep climbs, flat tyre and an unforgiving sun tested his mettle, but he trudged on. By Monday night he reached the hospital. Exhausted, he slept on the entrance, and on Tuesday morning asked the hospital management permission to take his sister along back to Madurai.
Though awestruck, the hospital management was not ready to send the nurse with her brother on a damaged cycle.
Fortunately for the siblings, the matter came to the attention of a textile shop owner. Having heard their story, he arranged for a car to take the duo back to Madurai. Police permission was also sought.
Having parked his bicycle at a police station nearby, Jeevaraj, along with his sister, set out for Madurai later that day.