Udayavni Special

Lockdown: Railways transport camel milk from Rajasthan to Odisha for autistic kid with food allergy

PTI, Apr 24, 2020, 3:53 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: In a humanitarian gesture during the nationwide COVID-19 induced lockdown, the railways transported camel milk from Falna in Rajasthan to Odisha for a three-and-half-year-old boy in Berhampur who is suffering from autism and food allergy.

The milk was transported in two days by parcel express via Delhi and Howrah and then delivered to the autistic child’s family member at Bhubaneswar Railway station on Thursday evening, a railway official said on Friday.

The total cost of the transportation of the rare milk was merely Rs 125 for package weighing about 20 kg, he said, adding that the entire arrangement was made by SETU, a voluntary initiative launched by IRTS (Indian Railway Traffic Service) Probationers.

Delivery of the camel milk in time through the initiative was of immense help to the boy, said the child’s uncle, Chandan Kumar Acharya, who received the milk, carefully transported in a frozen container, at Bhubaneswar station.

“We are extremely thankful for the help rendered by railway authorities through SETU initiative during the ongoing lockdown as camel milk is essential for my nephew because of the disorder he suffers from,” he said.

The initiative adopted by the railways aims at ensuring a steady supply of essentials across the country during the ongoing lockdown enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus.

“It is a voluntary initiative of IRTS officers, with about 30 probationers and a handful of young officers,” an official of East Coast Railway (ECoR) said.

“The ongoing lockdown has disrupted the supply chains across the country. The objective is to facilitate the movement of goods through Indian Railways Parcel Trains, from literally any station to any station,” a railway statement said.

The common man cannot navigate through the maze of modes and thousands of contact numbers to move his goods. It said SETU, a Unified Helpline, and the Twitter handle were set up to facilitate the movement of goods using all available modes of transport. All anyone had to do was just call and SETU will work out the movement.

Without transgressing any rules and regulations in force, SETU acts as a bridge – An Information Bridge. The team gathers the requirements and passes to the appropriate authority who could immediately act on that information.

SETU has gone beyond railways and collaborated with NDRF, district administration, institutional bodies, and even start-ups to ensure last-mile connectivity, said an official.

In 8 days, the 24×7 Helpline, manned by IRTS Probationers, received over 1,400 calls and requests on Twitter. It connected more than 100 locations and catered to diverse needs across the country.

It facilitated the movement of critical medicines to several individuals and in bulk, lakhs of masks and personal protection equipment (PPEs), ventilators, raw material, and finished goods, farm produce, fertilizers, and other essentials.

It has also handled several distress calls regarding ration, eviction of migrants, and the like.

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