Last Friday, a few health officials, who have been screening the passengers arriving at the Central Railway Station in Thiruvananthapuram, were in for a surprise where six people, who had arrived from Jaipur, told them that they reached Kerala accidentally.
The five members among them are part of two families: a family of father, mother and son from Telangana and another couple from Andhra Pradesh. The sixth member, a female passenger, too, is from Andhra Pradesh and is believed to be travelling with the second couple. The six had arrived in Thiruvananthapuram on May 22 in a train that started from Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Since the six members do not converse in Hindi but only in Telugu, the health officials managed to gather basic details. According to the officials, the six members wanted to go to Hyderabad but boarded the train to Thiruvananthapuram by mistake as they allegedly could not read the destination name on the train. They did not realise this until they reached Thiruvananthapuram, officials said.
The six members have been sent to an institutional quarantine at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram. Now, they want to go to Telangana but the officials are waiting for the trains to Hyderabad to resume.
â€śThe train to Hyderabad would resume only after June 1. Till then, they will be housed at the quarantine centre. We hope the Kerala government would arrange train tickets for them or would seek help from some NGOs. We will buy the tickets for them if none of these work,â€ť a health officer told TNM.
The stranded members have been identified as a 68-year-old Anjeya, his 55-year-old wife Lakshmi and 38-year old son Ravi. The second family includes 70-year-old Bhaskara Rao and 57-year-old wife Mankamma. Sixty-year-old Sheikanji is believed to be the relative of Mankamma and Bhaskara.
â€śThey are in quarantine and even we cannot meet them in person and get more details. Since they speak Telugu and the persons in charge of the quarantine facility do not know Telugu. It is difficult to get more details from them about their whereabouts and why they had gone to Jaipur,â€ť a health official told TNM.
Apart from the Shramik trains, the Indian Railways resumed its passenger train services with 15 sets of trains from May 12. The second phase will resume from June 1, with 200 special trains.
Like other states, Kerala, too, has been grappling with a high number of COVID-19 cases following the influx of Non-Resident Keralites who have been returning to the state in large numbers as the lockdown restrictions have eased.