A gritty teacher from Bodhan in Telangana goes on a solo rescue mission braving lockdown and loneliness
At first, it sounds like an impossible mission. But the 1,400-km distance did not deter doting mother Rajia Begum from riding her scooter to bring back her son Nizamuddin, stranded in Rahamatnagar in Nellore city following the sudden imposition of the lockdown. He had gone to Nellore on March 12 to drop his friend from a NEET coaching institute in Hyderabad and got stuck there.
Fearing she would be dissuaded from her mission if she revealed her idea, Ms. Rajia Begum set out with a pack of rotis and a five-litre petrol can without informing anyone on the morning of April 6 and reached Nellore the following day. She travelled all alone even at night via Kamareddy, Gajwel, Nalgonda, Addanki and Ongole. Concern about the safety of her son overtook her fear of loneliness on the NH-44; SH-2; and the six-lane NH-16.
A lonely ride
She was the lone rider all the way barring a few trucks and transport vehicles. But Ms. Rajia Begum’s daily drive of 25 km to and from the Mandal Parishad Primary School in Salampad for several years made the teacher a seasoned rider.
Armed with a letter from ACP Jaipal Reddy and a Google Map app she hit the highway. “I have undergone problems en route as food was not available with hotels and dhabas closed. I took only fruits and relaxed for a few minutes intermittently. I managed to reach Nellore early on April 7. On the return, I dared to travel at night as my son was with me. So, we started our journey at 4 pm and reached Bodhan on Wednesday around 3 pm,” said Ms. Rajia Begum.
‘Everyone has a heart and love’
“My travel has gone viral in social media after one of my colleagues posted it on WhatsApp. On the way back mediapersons at Kamareddy hosted lunch for us,” she said, praising the police for their help. “Everyone has a heart and love in the society,” Ms. Rajia Begum added appealing to people to stay indoors to combat COVID-19.
A resident of BT Nagar in Bodhan, she had faced hardships in life in raising her two sons Yasar and Nizamuddin, and daughter Ayesha after her husband Mohammed Waliuddin – also a Government teacher died in 2006 after a prolonged illness. Yasar has completed his B.Tech and Ayesha graduation, and have been in search of jobs.
A few years ago 16-year old mountaineer Malavath Poorna conquered Mount Everest. Now Rajia Begum, both from Nizamabad district, have done the district and humanity proud.