Coronavirus: This Indian sprinter travelled 70 km to help villagers

By Think Change India|15th May 2020
Dutee Chand travelled from Bhubaneshwar to her village in Jajpur in Orissa with essentials and food supplies for the villagers.
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The nationwide lockdown imposed in view of the coronavirus pandemic has hit millions of people hard, even as healthcare workers and government officials are trying to curb this outbreak.


Many daily wagers and labourers have been rendered jobless due to the lockdown. Many villages have been severely hit due to lack of jobs and essential supplies. Several individuals and organisations are trying to help these people in overcoming their difficulties.

 

Dutee Chand

Image: SheThePeople

One such individual is Indian sprinter, Dutee Chand. She drove nearly 70 km all the way to her village, Chaka Gopalpur in Jajpur district of Odisha, to provide villagers with essential supplies in these difficult times.


“This lockdown has hit hard the people in my village and I just wanted to help them in whatever small way I could. So, I took special passes and reached my village on Friday. I distributed food packets to around 1,000 people,” Dutee told PTI.



Her family had informed the villagers about her visit and so they went to her house to collect the supplies. Dutee even went from one house to another to distribute sanitary pads to these women since they might not have been comfortable to visit her home to collect it.


Dutee drove from Bhubaneshwar to the village in her Mahindra SUV that was gifted to her by industrialist Anand Mahindra. Anand retweeted the post saying that he could not have thought of a better use of the vehicle.

Dutee is now back in Bhubaneshwar and is planning to go back to help her people.




“I am planning to go back again and distribute food to the villagers. We have around 5,000 people in the village and the next time I will take 2,000 food packets,” she told She ThePeople. “I approached KIIT founder (and BJD MP) Achyuta Samanta for help. I spent Rs 50,000 from my pocket and the rest was arranged by him.”

Dutee is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as the qualifying rounds have been temporarily suspended due to the ongoing pandemic.



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Edited by Javed Gaihlot

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