A teary-eyed Arif stands near his unconscious father in Chandigarh after three days of cycling and another 3 days of truck travel from Mumbai Credit: Twitter

Guwahati: The story of Mohammad Arif, a 36-year-old watchman who decided to cycle from Mumbai to Jammu & Kashmir to meet his ailing father, is one of the most followed stories during the national lockdown over COVID-19 pandemic. And rightly so.

On Tuesday, Arif finally got to meet his father in Chandigarh after cycling for three days and travelling on truck for another three days. The whole nation is rejoicing the triumph of love and humanity during these dark times.

Credit goes to the entire team of CRPF officials who came together to help the reunion in every possible way. A tale that is inspiring and full of positivity needs yet another mention in these difficult times.

During the six-day journey form Mumbai to Chandigarh, Arif was helped by CRPF officials all the way

With the nation in full lockdown, Arif, who works as a security guard in Mumbai, received the unfortunate news that his father Wazir Hussain was in a critical condition after he suffered a stroke on April 1. A distraught Arif saw no choice but to embark on the 2,100-km-long journey to his native village in Panjgrain Rajouri in J&K on a bicycle which he brought for this special reason from a fellow watchman.

After this touching story made headlines, the Central Reserve Police Force’s Madadgar, a 24×7 helpline set up by the paramilitary force, contacted Arif and offered him to help. After contacting, the CRPF’s 72nd Battalion which is stationed 15 km from Rajori, took no time to send a team of officials to Arif’s house where his father resides with his wife and three kids.

Wazir Hussain (Arif’s father) being airlifted to a hospital in Jammu by CRPF personnel

Nothing less than a miracle, the CRPF team then put Wazir Hussain (his father) in contact with a panel of doctors who then recommended immediate hospitalisation. The CRPF wasted no time and immediately admitted Hussain to a hospital in the Rajouri district.

On the other hand, due to the information by a media outlet about Arif’s journey, the CRPF establishments spread across five states arranged help for him as well. By then, Arif had already traveled 400 km on his cycle. On Sunday, Arif was provided with real food (not biscuits), cash of Rs 2,000, hand sanitizer, masks and some dry fruits at Vadodara in Gujarat.

Arif’s father Wazir being brought to the Government Medical College in Jammu

The team of CRPF led by special DG Zulfiqar Hasan even reached out to his batchmates to arrange special curfew passes for Arif. They even arranged a private goods delivery truck with the help of the Vadodara Police to carry Arif till Jodhpur. The CRPF then picked Arif up by a truck at Jodhpur and drove him to Chandigarh.

Meanwhile, Arif’s father was airlifted to Government Medical College in Jammu via a 40-minute Pawan Hans chopper ride. From there, the CRPF arranged for Arif’s father to be brought to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh where Arif was finally able to meet his father.

Addl SP of Rajouri visiting Arif’s father where he got his mobile phone recharged so that he can keep in touch with others

After cycling for three days and then a truck ride for another three days, a teary-eyed Arif finally met his sleeping father. Although the battle is not over yet, as the doctors at PGI Chandigarh has recommended neurosurgery for Hussain, this journey by the son to meet his sick father is nothing less than an inspiration.

The untiring and non-stop work of the CRPF, police officials, media personnel and the helpful people Arif met on the way is a tale of success. A tale that truly speaks volumes about humanity and the ingrained helpful nature of us human beings. A tale that truly follows the spirit of a corona fighter.

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