When Mohammad Arif (36), a security guard in Mumbai, learnt that his father Wazir Hussain had a brain haemorrhage, he immediately made a decision to go see him in Rajouri district, Jammu and Kashmir, and that he would do this by cycling 2,100 km amid the countrywide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He bought a second-hand bicycle and set out from Mumbai last Thursday (April 2) only to be stopped by cops in Vadodara, Gujarat, about 400 km into his journey.
But as luck would have had it, it was the CRPF who stopped him, and that too, to help him beyond his expectations.
Mumbai-based social activist Dipesh Tank had shared his plight via a Facebook post, after which a news portal ran a story.
On intimation, CRPF’s helpline Madadgaar then coordinated with forces on the ground. Arif was sent on a private truck carrying essentials to Jodhpur, Rajasthan, from where he was put on another truck to Ludhiana, Punjab, and from there again to Chandigarh.
In the meantime, the CRPF’s J&K zone personnel airlifted Arif’s father, Wazir Hussain, to Government Medical College in Jammu, from where doctors referred him to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, where the CRPF brought him.
On Tuesday (April 7), the father and son were reunited.
Arif’s father will undergo an operation at PGIMER and if he recovers and becomes stable, he will be able to go home with his son.
“The doctors are saying that everything will be fine. I don’t know if it is true indeed or perhaps the doctors are giving me strength because they have learnt of my story. I am hoping that my father gets well,” Arif told The Print.
A CRPF officer told the news portal that all the expenses were being borne by the force.
Expressing gratitude to the CRPF, Arif hoped to return home to Rajouri. “I want to be with my father now. I will try to find work there,” he said.