Actor Sabyasachi Mishra receives Pradeep and his family at Bhubaneswar airport
BENGALURU: A family of seven from Balangir in Odisha, who migrated to Bengaluru three months ago in the hope of making a living, returned home broke and disheartened on Wednesday evening. The migrants who came to Bengaluru in a train flew back home, thanks to Odia film actor Sabyasachi Mishra who bore their flight charges.
Pradeep Tandi landed in Bengaluru just five days before the national lockdown was announced. He was to start work as a labourer at a brick kiln on Hosur Road.
Soon after the lockdown was announced, Pradeep’s employer asked him to leave without any notice. Over the weeks, he exhausted all the money he had. On Saturday, his landlord asked him to vacate the house as he could not pay the rent for May.
“My 73-year-old mother suffered a stroke about 10 days ago and the right side of her body is paralysed. We reached the railway station in Majestic (KSR railway station), when a photojournalist happened to capture a picture of ours and put it on Twitter,” said Pradeep. Along with mother and son were Pradeep’s wife and four children, including an infant.
Odia actor sponsored flight tickets for family of seven
The tweet tagged the national president of Youth Congress, who intimated Ashik Gowda, head of the Youth Congress relief team in Karnataka. Ashik and his team provided Pradeep and his family food and room to stay for the next two days. “It was heartwrenching to see people as helpless as them,” Ashik said.
Meanwhile, Odia film actor Sabyasachi Mishra, who learnt about Pradeep’s plight, got in touch with Ashik and his team and offered to sponsor flight tickets for the family of seven to reach home. “I have been helping people since the outbreak. Someone who knew that tagged me in the tweet. When I heard about the plight of Pradeep and his family, I knew I had to help them,” Sabyasachi told TOI.
Once Mishra heard that Padma Tula, Pradeep’s mother, would not be able to sit on a train or a bus for long hours, he decided to book them on a two-hour flight home. The tickets cost nearly Rs 80,000.
The family left Bengaluru at 5pm on Wednesday. “I have never travelled by air before. I am nervous, at the same time my children are extremely happy about it,” Pradeep said.