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Although the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world, it has also shown humanity at its best, with many individuals coming forward to help the families and communities in need and those facing the deadly infection.
The 75-year-old Madhusudan Patra is one of them. He has proven that age is no bar to becoming a samaritan. Patra travelled a distance of 300 km to help a family in the Jagatsinghpur district and provide them financial assistance, Hindustan Times reported.
Last week, Patra came across news in a local Odia daily about a woman, Shanti Jena, looking for her missing husband, Gandharba Jena.
Gandharba has been missing for over a month after testing positive for COVID-19. He contracted the infection in May and was admitted to Paradip Covid hospital. Later, he was shifted to government-run Srirama Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College and Hospital (Cuttack) on May 21 after his condition worsened.
The family inquired at the hospital for seven days on May 28, but could not find him. After waiting for 10 days, the daughters approached the Kujang police to file the missing report. As the 70-year-old man is the sole bread earner, the family struggled to make ends meet.
After gathering all the necessary information, Patra left with his two-wheeler covering 300 km (10 hours) from Biranchipur village in the Ganjam district to a village in the Jagatsinghpur district to meet Jena's family.
He handed over Rs 10,000 he withdrew from his savings. "He said God willing my husband would come back, and told me not to cry and then gave ₹10,000," Shanti told the media.
Speaking to the media, the daughters said they had sought help from locals and authorities for essentials and to trace their father, but no hand came forward. During this time of crisis, Patra came as God's blessing.
After spending a night with the family, the samaritan left for his home the next day. "Travelling 300 km was not a big thing. I have some land in my village, but no children. Looking at these daughters, I couldn't stop myself from doing my bit to provide relief to the family," Patra told the media.
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