Lockdown woes: Actor stuck in Bilaspur, desperate to reach ailing mother, calls for help

An actor, a son waits in Chhattisgarh to reach his ailing mother in Bihar. And the distance between the two states seems to be a distance between two worlds in this time of lockdown

Chandramani Mishra
Chandramani Mishra
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Pragati Saxena

Chandramani Mishra is from Bihar and has been in Mumbai for 12 years. Well-known for his roles in Savdhan India and Crime Patrol, Chandramani had boarded the train from Mumbai to go to his ailing mother in Sukhi village, Madhubani, Bihar. On March 23, he reached Bilaspur and went to a hotel. He had to board another train. But the next day, the 21-day lockdown was announced and everything stopped. The news created a chaos in the city. The hotel asked its guests to vacate the building as they did not have enough supplies to serve the guests for twenty one days.

The government authorities then took all the hotel guests to a rest house near the railway station which had poor arrangements. Chandramani refused to stay there and along with a few others requested the hotel and government authorities to accommodate them in the hotel itself.

They were permitted. The hotel too has agreed to delay the payment of bills till after the lockdown is over. The hote has been providing them with food as well. But then started a long wait and desperate attempts to reach home.

Chandramani has tried everything; talking to his friends in Mumbai to help, requesting local govt authorities, DM, SDM and even some ministers from Jharkhand and Bihar too. But nothing happened. Everyone has assured him verbally but authorities want written orders. The state borders have been sealed and to reach his village Chandramani has to cross Jharkhand and Bihar too.

“I talk to family over phone. But I am worried. My mother is unwell. I was going there to attend to her only and now I am stuck here.” He laments. “There is no work, naturally since I am stuck here and everything has closed down in Mumbai too. I thought I will somehow manage till April 14 but now even the lockdown has been extended. What should I do to get out of this situation, I don’t know,” he adds. Spending his time mostly talking to family and authorities, Chandramani tries to divert his attention by doing some exercises and reading newspapers.

Nevertheless, he has not stopped trying. He has been in constant touch with the district authorities in Bilaspur. The DM, Bilaspur is quite understanding. The SDM shared his practical problem. “The SDM said, ‘We can take you to Chhattisgarh border, but from there, how wll you manage?’ And he was right. The Jharkhand and Bihar authorities have just assured me verbally but nothing has happened.” Chandramani says.

Now the Bilaspur SDM has asked him to submit a written application. He will do that on Friday, April 17. But will that application move? Will any action be taken on his application? He is not sure. “But I need to continue trying. That’s the only thing I can do. I hope someone will help me”, Chandramani said swinging between hope and desperation.

Back home, his ailing mother waits. The unplanned lockdown has brought lives to a standstill. But will the ailing, the hungry be able to wait for that long? Will the family members have to wait for a written permission to meet their near and dear ones in the hour of need? The authorities, the leaders who clamped the lockdown and support it have no answers to these questions.

It seems we as a country may win over a tiny virus, but are losing majorly in supporting those who need it the most

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