In an extraordinary gesture, NCP leader and ZP member Salil Deshmukh came to the rescue of Nagpur residents, including elderly and physically challenged, who were stuck in Pune since March because of the lockdown. Since most eateries/hotels are shut and these residents drained their financial resources, it was becoming extremely hard for these residents to stay in Pune.
When these residents reached out to Deshmukh, who’s also the president Koshish Foundation, he immediately swung in action securing permissions for arranging for six buses to get the stranded to their respective villages in Nagpur District.
Deshmukh said, “While dropping them to their respective homes through the buses was easy, coordinating the whole operation wasn’t,” said Salil Deshmukh. Deshmukh added, “We created a war room and got two teams to work on the details from Pune and Nagpur for over a fortnight. This meant getting all the passengers registered online, getting them medically tested for COVID-19, getting permission from the Pune collectorate and an NOC from the Nagpur collectorate. We had to arrange the seating in the buses with respect to the government guidelines on social distancing. We also had to provide volunteers trained in basic healthcare in each bus.”
Once, all the people were on the bus, they were given dinner, morning tea and snacks during the journey. After the buses reached Nagpur, each passenger was put through testing again. Their names and addresses were communicated to their local tehsildars and health authorities so that they can keep a tab on the passengers.
Deshmukh said, “All of them have been advised to strictly self quarantine at home. Our organisation will reach out to each of them over the coming fortnight to ensure they adhere to the quarantine measures.”
Speaking about young students reaching their homes through the buses, Deshmukh added, “The tears of joy, relief and gratitude in their parents’ eyes made it all worthwhile.”