Wayanad: 'Don't worry child, we will try and find a solution", were the comforting words Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said to a stranded woman, who called him in the wee hours of Wednesday from the Kerala- Karnataka border seeking help.
The time was around 1 am on Mar 25 and Athira, who was travelling with 13 of her TCS techie colleagues from Hyderabad-- all women and a man, was desperate for help as they were coming through the dense forest route to Tholpetty near Muthunga wildlife sanctuary on the Kerala-Karnataka border in darkness.
Athira said she googled the Chief Minister's number and got it.
"As I dialled his mobile, I never thought he would pick up as the time was 1 am. But to my surprise, Chief Minister answered my call in the second ring," she added.
As she explained to him their plight and realising the gravity of the situation from her voice, he asked her not to worry.
'Don't worry child. We will try and find a solution", he said.
The 14-member group had started from Hyderabad on March 24 in a tempo traveller and were stopped by police on the Telangana-Andhra border as there was a lockdown in Hyderabad, Athira told.
The nation-wide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister, came into force on March 24 midnight and by then all states had shut their borders, causing further problems for the group.
On the Telangana-Andhra border, the police were not allowed to cross and hundreds of people were waiting.
"We were also asked to return. But thanks to the intervention of the Kozhikode Deputy Collector, they could manage to cross the Andhra and Karnataka borders," she said.
The tempo driver also told them that he would drop them at the border instead of Kozhikode, as he had to go back due to the lockdown.
Though after reaching the Kerala-Karnataka border, Athira said they tried to get help, but failed.
It was then she decided to try her luck and gathered the courage to directly call Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and seek his help.
Athira said the CM gave her the numbers of Wayanad Collector and SP and asked her to get in touch with them and also said he would give them necessary directions.
She contacted Wayanad SP and by the time they reached Tholpetty, the Thirunelli Sub-Inspector was waiting for them with a vehicle for their forward journey.
Their temperatures were checked before they left for Kozhikode, she said.
On reaching home safely, Athira once again called the CM and thanked him profusely for his help.
"I am happy that everyone has reached safety", he said and asked us to strictly observe home quarantine, she said.