CHENNAI: Southern Railway has gone out of the way to deliver a cancer drug from Chennai to a patient in Chidambaram through a parcel cargo train amid the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
On April 23, the railways received a request through the SETU helpline from Vadivelu of Chidambaram for the transportation of a cancer drug from Chennai. He told officials that his relative, a cancer patient, was suffering without medicine for the past few days. As the tablets can be purchased only in Chennai, he requested the railways to help him get the medicine transported.
Railway officials manning the helpline took up the matter with the authorities in the Chennai and Trichy divisions.
The railways, which manages parcel requests from business establishments in large quantities, accepted his request on humanitarian grounds during the COVID-19 lockdown, said officials.
Vadivelu’s friend handed over the medicine to railway officials at Chennai Egmore station. Since there was no direct parcel cargo train from Chennai to Chidambaram, the medicine box was transported to Tiruchy in the Chennai Egmore - Nagercoil cargo special which operated in the chordline. From there, the drug parcel was given to the loco pilot of the cargo special train bound to Chidambaram which operated via the mainline.
The medicine box was delivered to Vadivelu’s friend on April 24, said the railways in a statement.
SETU-SR is an initiative of Southern Railway for facilitating transport of essential commodities during the COVID-19 lockdown. The helpline 91-90253 42449 which functions round the clock is manned by probationary officers, added the statement.