People in Mizoram's capital Aizawl came out to thank two ambulance drivers Jeyanthiran and Chinnathambi on Wednesday, April 28. The two drivers and Raphael AVL Malchhanhima travelled nearly 3,450 km from Chennai to Aizawl carrying the body of Raphael's friend, Vivian Remsanga, who died in Chennai on April 23.
The Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga took to Twitter and saluted them.
"Against all odds. 3,000 plus km of hardship and struggle won't dampen the spirit of resting the tragic earthly remains of Vivian Remsanga by his friend Raphael AVL Malchhanhima along with Jeyanthiran and Chinnathambi, both from Tamil Nadu. Mizoram salutes you," he wrote.
Vivian (28), who graduated from a Chennai-based hotel management institute in February this year, died in Chennai on April 23 due to a heart attack. His body was found by the Adyar police.
"Cause of death was not Covid-19 or physical assault. We were able to trace his family back to Mizoram. Fortunately, we found an ambulance which was willing to take the body back," Hindustan Times quoted PC Michael Lalrinkima, general secretary of Mizoram Welfare Association, Chennai, as saying.
"The ambulance, which charged around Rs 2 lakh for the trip, started past midnight on April 24 and reached Aizawl this afternoon. Vivian's friend, Raphael, decided to accompany the body," he added.
According to a report by The Hindu, the Tamil Nadu government and the police department along with the association facilitated the journey. They arranged for the required permissions for travel. On April 24 night, the ambulance began the journey to Aizwal.
"When I heard that someone needed to accompany his body back to his family, I decided to go along despite concerns raised about travelling during the lockdown. This was the least I could do for my friend and his family," Raphael said for whom the death of his best friend came as a shock.
The two ambulance drivers Jayendran and Chinnathambi took turns in driving. Help was found on the way from friends and relatives of the association who helped them with food and other necessities.
"We have already started our journey back to Chennai," Jayendran and Chinnathambi said, on April 29 stating that they were just doing their job.
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