NEWS: Last week, a clip of a toddler at Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar tugging at a piece of cloth covering his dead mother, went viral. The video left many distressed about the state of the migrant workers in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak. Shah Rukh Khan’s Meer Foundation also took notice of the video and decided to help the toddler who lost his mother.
“#MeerFoundation is thankful to all who helped us reach this child, whose heart wrenching video of trying to wake his mother disturbed all. We are now supporting him and he is under his grandfather’s care,” the foundation shared on Twitter along with a photo of the toddler with his family.
Extending his support to the little one, Shah Rukh Khan tweeted, “Thank you all for getting us in touch with the little one. We all pray he finds strength to deal with the most unfortunate loss of a parent. I know how it feels…Our love and support is with you baby.”
The saddening video clip became a powerful emblem for the trauma faced by thousands of migrant workers returning home to escape the lockdown distress. Today, that image has a name, a devastated family, a single-room asbestos-roofed house in Katihar’s Maradangi village, and a cloud of unanswered questions. Caught in the swirl are Arveena Khatoon’s two sons — Armaan (4) and the child in the video, Rahmat (18 months) — and her stunned parents, Shairoon and Voka Mir, a landless daily wager. Arveena’s husband had deserted her two years ago.
Shah Rukh had earlier contributed towards various relief funds, and pledged financial support for daily wage workers across the country. His IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders and Meer Foundation collaborated with the West Bengal and Maharashtra governments to provide 50,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to healthcare providers.
In a statement, he emphasised on how we should be there for each other in these difficult times, and said, “This is a moment for all of us to come together in a collective effort to make each other kinder, stronger and braver to face the days ahead. This crisis is not going to pass in a hurry, it will take its time and its toll on all of us. It will also show us that there isn’t really a choice between looking out for ourselves and looking out for one another. There’s nothing more obvious in the spread of this COVID-19 pandemic, than the fact that each one of us is inextricably connected to each other, without any distinction. Together, we will overcome.”