Shutdown keeps mother from dying son

August 20th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) It was a scene that many at the railway station here would not forget quickly as Rodia, a beautician by profession, was wailing as she could not travel to Kochi to be with her four-year-old dying son because of the nationwide shutdown Wednesday.Rodia, who hails from Kottayam, had arrived here Tuesday to find out if her son, who was suffering from blood cancer, could get expert treatment at the Regional Cancer Centre after treatment at a Kochi hospital did not produce any results.

Late Tuesday night, she received a call from Kochi saying that her son’s condition was worsening. She reached the railway station early Wednesday morning to take the first train to Kochi around 5 a.m.

But she got the shock of her life when she realised that no train was moving toward Kochi, thanks to the Left-sponsored trade union shut down.

Sitting in the railway station, she was praying that the trains start moving but nothing happened and then came the bad news that her son had passed away.

Soon after the local media was alerted, leader of opposition Oommen Chandy got into action and contacted Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

By 10.45 a.m., Rodia was sitting on a train to Kottayam because she was told that her son’s body has been transported to their home from the hospital at Kochi.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who was watching the story unfold on TV, contacted the police and told them to ensure that Rodia was transported from the railway station to her home at Kattachira.

At Kottayam station, there was a vehicle for her that was arranged by local Congress leaders, and also a police vehicle.

She got into the police vehicle and reached her home, where she broke down after seeing her son’s body.

“This is really cruel. Like everyone has the right to strike, there are others who wish not to be disturbed in their daily chores. See the mental tension and trauma this young mother had to undergo for several hours. A line has to be drawn to ensure such things do not happen again,” Chandy told reporters here.

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