Coronavirus-news April 15, 2020
After mother’s tweet to PM Modi, Indian Railways deliver camel milk to child with autism
Neha Kumari, who has a three and half year old son with autism, tweeted about the urgent need of camel milk for her son who has food allergies. The tweet that was tagged to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was noticed by high officials like IPS officer Arun Bothra from Odisha. After interference of top officials, railways delivered 20 liters of camel milk to Neha’s family that lives in Mumbai.
The lockdown has affected lives of millions of Indians in many ways, especially people with disabilities. One amongst them was Neha Kumari’s three and half year old son who has autism. The young child has been surviving on camel milk since he is allergic to all other kinds of milk. Due to the lockdown, the family that lives in Mumbai was unable to get the milk. Neha tweeted regarding this and tagged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To the family’s surprise, 20 liters of camel milk reached their doorstep in a few days. This initiative of officials taken up during the lockdown period has won hearts of mothers and experts from the disability community.
A kind gesture
It was on 4 April that Neha made a post tagging Modi in it. Her tweet said, “@narendramodi Sir I have a 3.5 yrs old child suffering from autism and severe food allergies. He survives on Camel Milk and limited qty of pulses. When lockdown started I didn’t have enough camel milk to last this long. Help me get Camel Milk or its powder from Sadri (Rajasthan)”. It was noticed by many officials. One amongst them was Odisha senior IPS officer Arun Bothra.
Bothra, along with many other Twitter users had come up with suggestions. Advik Foods, one of India’s leading producers of camel milk was also contacted. But apparently, they could not deliver it to Mumbai due to lack of public transport.
Bothra reportedly provided instructions to concerned officials in the railways as well. A special cargo train has been running between Ludhiana and Bandra in Mumbai. It reportedly made a stop at Falna station in Rajasthan, in spite of not having a stop there, just to pick up the camel milk along with camel milk powder too. All of this was delivered to Neha’s family who lives at Chembur in Mumbai.
The stock was collected by the family on 9 April. Though another family also made a request, the train had already left the station by then. Neha was kind enough to share some of the milk with them as well. Such kind gestures during lockdown is truly heart-warming.
A heart-warming deed during tough times
People who are lactose intolerant can tolerate camel milk much better than any other animal milk. It can also aid certain behavioral and neurodevelopmental issues too.
Prathibha Bhatnagar from Rajasthan, who has a son with autism, says that the gesture receives a huge applause.
“It is indeed a good initiative of our Prime Minister, Railways as well as IPS officer Bothra. We can imagine the distress and helplessness of Neha whose child is suffering from severe issues due to food allergy and autism. In such dark times, this is really an example of providing prompt relief to a child with autism who is sensitive”, says Pratibha.
Griva Shah, Co-founder, Pearl Special Needs Foundation in Ahmedabad says, “It is a fantastic gesture from officials. The child is allergic, and children with autism have dietary restrictions too. If the right diet is not given it can lead to behavioral issues and other problems or even medical emergencies”.
Seema Lal, Co-founder of Kerala based parent support group TogetherWeCan is looking at a wider picture.
“It is surely heartening to know that the authorities have responded to individual issues raised and are doing their best to reach out. This however is a material need. The larger issues is of parents being empowered to carry forward home based programs for their children since therapy centers are not open now. It is during this lockdown period that the need for each family to be equipped to work with their own child has become inevitable”, says Seema.
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