Coronavirus: Father dead, man gets exemption to travel Mumbai to Kolkata

Iram Siddique
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A file photo of Anindya Roy with his parents.

Amid the national lockdown, one man has been exempted from the stay-at-home order. Over the next two days, 28-year old Anindya Roy will be driving close to 2,300 km, cutting across three states, to reach his home in Kolkata from Mumbai to attend his father’s last rites.

He has been issued a special pass by Maharashtra transport commissioner Shekar Channe to drive back home in his private vehicle, following appeals made on social media platforms.

Around 6.30 am Thursday, Anindya, who works for a law firm in Mumbai, woke up to 30 missed calls and a hundred text messages on his cellphone. He called back, only to be told that his father Ashish Kumar Roy, a 61-year-old and a practising advocate at Calcutta High Court, had passed away in the wee hours a ter a cardiac arrest.

His father had complained of chest pain at 1 am. Anindya’s mother could do little at that point. When the pain became more severe, she began calling friends and relatives. They reached an hour later, and took Roy to a hospital around 3 am — he was declared brought dead.

“My mother cannot drive, driving was a thing which my father took care of,” Anindya said. He began calling his friends and acquaintances to help him reach home. With no buses, trains or flights leaving the city, he was told to wait at home. “I could not imagine how mother was handling things. I wanted to see my father one last time,” he said.

He decided to use his father’s death certificate as a valid reason to return home. He then put up a post on social media platforms, urging authorities to help him out. “A friend then helped me with a former collector’s number who then directed me to the transport commissioner,” he said.

He spoke to transport commission Channe and sent him the death certificate. Within 45 minutes, a special pass was issued for his friend’s vehicle, which he planned to use for the journey to Kolkata. Along with a friend, Anindya left the city around 3.30 pm.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I will be allowed to cross the three borders and reach home. But I cannot afford to leave my mother all by herself and sit back,” said Anindya.

Channe said: “It is the first such request we received. We have issued a pass for him to facilitate his journey home on humanitarian grounds.”

By night, Anindya had reached Nagpur.

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