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Ramakanta Biswas

Nayagarh: A daily wager in Odisha’s Nayagarh district has been cycling 130 kilometres to the State capital every month to fetch medicines for his ailing one-and-a-half-year-old son due to disruption in public transport amid frequent COVID19 lockdowns and his inability to afford private transportation.

Maguni Behera (45) of Talakani village under Ranpur block of Nayagarh district travels to Bhubaneswar from his village on a bicycle every month to buy medicines for his son Rudra, who is suffering from heart disease.

Behera said the medicines Rudra requires are not available in his locality and that he cannot afford an auto-rickshaw to visit Bhubaneswar to buy them every month.

“The public transport services are suspended in the wake of Covid-19. But I have to save my son anyway. Therefore, I have to go to Bhubaneswar on a bicycle and bring medicines for him,” said Maguni.

“Doctor asked me to bring him for check-up every month. However, I cannot take him with me as an auto-rickshaw will charge Rs 1,500 and also there is risk of Covid-19 infection,” he said.
According to sources, Rudra was only 5-month-old when his mother Prabhasini passed away.

She was allegedly murdered over past enmity while she had gone to their village pond for bathing. Tragedy struck the family again when Rudra was diagnosed with heart disease a month later.

“A major operation is needed to save him which can only be performed outside Odisha in Bangalore or Hyderabad and a lot of money is required for the surgery. Doctor advised me to continue the medicine until the money is arranged. I have no option,” said Maguni.

“So far I have visited Bhubaneswar thrice on bicycle to purchase the medicines. I have to go again this month,” he added.

Maguni has another son who studies in Plus-II and a 10-year-old daughter. Being a daily wager, Rudra has sought government help for his son's treatment, the cost of which is expected to run into lakhs.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

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