TN man who pedalled 130 km to get wife treated awaits govt help


By NS Desk 14-Apr-2020

Chennai, April 14 (IANS) The wide media coverage he got after pedalling 130 km on his rickety bicycle to get his cancer-stricken wife Manjula treated has not brought any succour to Arivazhagan as he is still awaiting Tamil Nadu government's help.

"We have not heard from anybody in the Tamil Nadu government. After the news reports, local police officials did visit us and assured they would arrange an ambulance whenever needed. They requested me not to take my wife on my bicycle to Puducherry," construction worker Arivazhagan told IANS.

He said his wife Manjula is again complaining of increased pain.

Arivazhagan said he had not heard about the couple's inclusion in the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Health Insurance Scheme.

He said a doctor from JIPMER in Puducherry calls him up to enquire about his wife's health. A good Samaritan had even transferred some money to his bank account.

"With the lockdown, the construction work has stopped and so have my earnings," he added.

Arivazhagan hit the news headlines after he pedalled on March 30 with his 60-year-old wife Manjula on his bicycle from his village near Kumbakonam to JIPMER hospital in Puducherry for her chemotherapy session.

Owing to the lockdown, buses were not plying between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Wearing just a 'dhoti', he asked his wife to sit on the carrier and tied her to himself with a towel, lest she fell en route.

"We started at 4.45 am and reached JIPMER at 10.15 pm. On the way, we had some tea and also slept near a pond for two hours," Arivazhagan had told IANS earlier.

At JIPMER the doctors and others were astounded at his cycling adventure.

Arivazhagan was full of praise for the doctors and other staff at JIPMER.

"They gave my wife the needed treatment and pooled money to help me. They also gave medicines for one month and paid about Rs 6,300 for an ambulance to drop us back," Arivazhagan had told IANS.



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