Hyderabad: A group of 68 senior citizens who went to Kashi are now stuck there without proper food and medical facilities as government has suspended all transport services till April 14. The facilitator of the group who had made all the arrangements for their pilgrimage trip is also stuck with them and is facing difficulties to arrange food for 68 people in a day to day basis.

Raghavendar Goud, the trip planner said, “It was a 15 day trip with nine days to be spent in Kashi and other nearby places like Ayodhya. The trip started on March 13 and food, stay and other arrangements were planned accordingly. We had a return ticket booked for March 28, but now it’s not possible. I went to the markets nearby to get some food, but I am getting only one or two kgs of vegetables, which is not enough for 68 people.”

Currently the senior citizens who are mostly above the age of 55 are staying at a place called Shree Purushottam Dharamshala in Varnasi. Goud also brought his parents for this pilgrimage trip to Kashi. Lakshmi Goud’s mother said, “It is a difficult situation. As we all are old, the police are not allowing us to go outside, the money that we got is also almost over and most of us suffer from diabetes and blood pressure, atleast thinking about our health conditions, they should let us go out of here.”

Currently with whatever is left over with them, the group is cooking in the kitchen, provided by Dharamshala.

Goud says, “Almost 60% people have diabetes and they also have medicines left only for two to three days, I tried to get medicines but mostly all shops are closed. Due to language issues also we are not able to communicate properly.”

As there is a strict curfew imposed by the police, none of the senior citizens are being allowed outside, it is only Goud, who is trying to get things. He is worried as there are people who are 70 years and above and are suffering from multiple health conditions.

Rama Devi, another pilgrim who is stuck in Kashi said, “I have knee pains and diabetes too, I take almost 10 to 12 medicines in a day, but the food I am eating is very less. Due to unavailability of groceries, we are eating Upma every day, that too very less. How are we supposed to take so much of medicines with such less food? It is highly important that all the senior citizens here are deported safely as soon as possible or they should provide us with food and medicines.”

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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