Mangaluru: The Karnataka-Kerala border closure at Talapady amidst nationwide Covid-19 lockdown has not only prevented the movement of vehicles and people from Kasaragod to Mangaluru but also stopped the supply of life-saving drugs from Karnataka’s medical hub to its bordering district.
Hundreds of people from Kasaragod and Kannur districts who were treated in hospitals of Mangaluru for past several years are still dependent on some of the medicines that are available only in Mangaluru. Such medicines have become inaccessible for Keralites following the border closure. Every day, a number of people from Kerala call their acquaintances in Mangaluru to see if there is a way to get medicine.
In fact, Karnataka government has blocked all 23 roads that connect the state with Kerala. The reason given was, Kasaragod is the hotbed of coronavirus and allowing traffic even in emergency cases might lead to spread of Covid-19 in border districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru. The attitude has resulted in the death of around a dozen people in Kasaragod district in last couple of weeks.
Even after the intervention of the Supreme Court a few days ago, the authorities in Karnataka are facing the allegation of being hostile either by blocking the way ahead or turning a deaf ear to the patients reaching their border.
At this juncture, three Good Samaritans – P K G Anoop Kumar of Canara Engineering College, Mangaluru, Satheesh Shetty of Kasaragod Patla and P Jayaprakash of Ponnangala – have come to the aid of the Malayalee patients who are dependent on medicines from Mangaluru.
The three activists who are currently staying (in fact stranded amidst lockdown) in Mangaluru, are delivering life-saving medicines to patients in Kerala through Kerala fire servicemen and policemen posted at the Talapady border.
Anoop Kumar says that took the initiative after a woman, Maria Augustine from Chemberi (Taliparamba) Nellikkutty, contacted him for a medicine. He managed to buy it from a medical store in the port city and handed it over to a Kerala fire serviceman at Talapady border.
All three are activists of Communist Party of India (Marxist). After moving to Mangaluru, they set up ‘We Donate Charitable Society’ to donate blood. The activists say that they are ready to dispatch medicines from Mangaluru to any person in Kerala. Those Keralites who are in need of medicines from may contact: 888471344 - Anoop, 9895135881 - Jayaprakash