Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Video Producer: Zijah Sherwani
After more than 40 days of total lockdown, me and my friends finally got to go home to Bihar onboard one of the special trains from Kota. I was in Kota preparing for the IIT-JEE exam but since the 24 March, things became very difficult for us.
We started to hear news of different state governments ferrying students gradually. Finally, Bihar too started doing it.
On 5 May, our train was scheduled to leave Kota to Katihar. I decided to record my entire journey from Kota to Purnia and everything that we went through.
Saying Goodbye to Kota
It wasn’t easy for us to pack up, not knowing when we would return. We have many fond memories attached to this place, but we were relieved and excited to head back home to be with our family.
On the day of our departure, there were some essential items that were a must for us to carry to ensure that we don’t fall prey to the coronavirus – mask, wallet, gloves, sanitiser, water bottle tanker.
The Kota station was packed. They were checking everyone. Once we boarded the compartment, we received a hamper from Allen Institute. It had some food items. Bottle and mask were provided.
When the train had started it was such a good sight to see everyone bidding us farewell. Finally we left Kota, a place that had been our home for months.
On Way to Kanpur
We reached Kanpur station after nine hours. We were given food and water. At Kanpur station we were given biryani and a bottle of water. There was some problem with the food distribution. We were six people and only three got food.
After 21 Hours, in Bihar At Last!
As the train entered our home state, we were thrilled to see Bihar and it looked so beautiful. Maybe it was because of the lockdown and no one was stepping out.
The train halted at the last station – Katihar Junction. At the station, they were taking students out one by one. There were police who was coordinating and ensuring that people leave the station one by one.
Once we stepped out of the station and were taken to where our bus was parked which was to take us to Purnia.
We were disappointment at the level of hygiene that was maintained and there was no social distancing.
At the time of COVID-19, hygiene should have been the main criteria but no students felt that way. We didn’t even feel like sitting inside the bus even though it was sanitized.
Before we boarded the bus, the authorities had stamped our hand. The stamp mentioned home quarantine.
At Purnia, we were first taken to a quarantine centre, which just like the bus, was poorly kept.
Back Home, Reunited With Family
My father came to pick me up from the quarantine centre.
At the quarantine centre, we had to register ourselves and were required to sign a declaration form that we would follow home-quarantine for the given period of time. Once I had signed the form, I left with my father.
When we reached home, the first thing I did was bathed with antiseptic soap. Only after that did I enter the house.
Even then I didn’t touch or hug any of my family members. I went straight to my room. My room would be my world for the next 14 days. There is a window from where my family would contacts me from there.
While I continue to self-isolate myself, I would like to thank all the staff of doctors, police who have helped us to reach home safely.
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