Mom rides 1,400 km on scooter to bring back son stranded in lockdown

Love for her son, courage and determination made a woman in Telangana ride nearly 1,400 km on a scooter over three days to bring him home after he got stuck in Nellore in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh owing to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Razia Begum (48) set out on the arduous journey on Monday morning armed with local police permission, rode solo to Nellore and returned with her younger son on Wednesday evening, showing an endurance level that even seasoned rallyists would find hard to match.

"It was a difficult journey on a small two-wheeler. But the determination to bring my son back overtook all my fears. I packed rotis and they kept me going. It was fearsome in the nights with no traffic movement and people on roads," the brave mother told PTI on Thursday.

She is a government school headmistress from Bodhan town in Nizamabad district, about 200 kms from Hyderabad. Razia, who lost her husband 15 years ago, had been living with her two sons, an engineering graduate, and 19-year old Nizamuddin, aspiring to join MBBS.

He had gone to Rahmatabad in Nellore district on March 12 to drop his friend and stayed back there. Meanwhile, the lockdown was announced following the coronavirus outbreak and he could not return.

Razia was anguished to hear from her son that he was desperate to join the family and decided to fetch him back herself. The woman did not send her elder son as she thought police might mistake him for a joy rider and detain him.

After initially considering taking a car, she discarded the idea and chose her two-wheeler.

On the morning of April 6, she began the journey and reached Nellore the next day afternoon. She left for home town on the same day along with her son and reached Bodhan on Wednesday evening, Razia said.

She had packed 'rotis' to keep her from hunger pangs and rode on, making stops at fuel stations and quenching her thirst at certain points all along the way.

Speaking to reporters after her return, Razia said, "I have to thank the police department. I am very thankful to them for their cooperation. They ensured that I could rest on the way for an hour or two safely and then gave me permission to proceed further."

"I saw on the way that everyone is following the lockdown very well in Telangana. I hope this continues and appeal to the people to stay indoors together, so that we can curb the spread of the disease," she added.

Nizamuddin has completed his intermediate and has undergone coaching for the MBBS entrance exam.

Speaking to reporters, he said, "I was constantly in touch with my mother over the phone. Everyone has superheroes. My mother is only my superhero." 

While pictures showed her not wearing a helmet while riding, they were part of a photo shoot done later for the media, after her return to Telangana.


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PTI inputs