Jharkhand man pedals 400 km once a month for ailing son amid Covid lockdown

Express News Service
RANCHI: The Covid lockdown has brought different travails for different people. For 40-year-old Dilip Yadav, a daily wager in Jharkhand’s Godda district, it means the ordeal of travelling 400 km on his bicycle every month. 

But he does that without any complaint because it’s a matter of life and death for his five-and-half years old son Vivek, who has thalassemia and needs blood transfusion. Yadav, a resident of Pratapur village, said his son has the rare A (-ve) blood group which is not available all the time in Godda. Hence, he has to travel to other districts to get the transfusion done. 

Yadav travelled with his son to Jamtara on May 25 and returned on May 31 after Vivek received two units of blood. In April, too, he travelled to Jamtara. It takes him two days to cover 200 km on his bicycle. He cannot afford to hire a private cab while public transport is restricted.

“So far, I have made four trips on my bicycle — once each to Dumka and Deoghar last year and twice to Jamtara this year,” said Yadav. Before the pandemic, Vivek was undergoing treatment at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi where he was being given free blood. “But because of the lockdown, we had to return last year,” said Yadav.

He arranges blood for his son with the help of some blood donation groups in Jharkhand. “Through them, I get leads on where A (-ve) blood is available. I go to that place after making all the arrangements on the phone,” he said.

According to doctors at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, Vivek will have to undergo an operation for permanent cure which will cost around  Rs 10 lakh, but Yadav cannot afford the cost. Earlier, at the initiative of Godda MP Nishikant Dubey, Rs 3 lakh was sanctioned by the central government for Vivek’s treatment. But the amount lapsed as Yadav could not arrange the rest of the money. When contacted, Godda Civil Surgeon SP Mishra said he was not aware of Yadav’s agony and assured to get A (-ve) blood arranged for Vivek as and when required.