A special trip to get camel milk for autistic child


MUMBAI: A desperate Mumbai woman’s plea on
Twitter for camel
milk from
Rajasthan for her three-and-a-half-year-old autistic
child during the lockdown went viral, leading to an Odisha-based IPS officer stepping in to help her source it.

On April 4, Chembur resident Neha Kumari tagged PM Narendra Modi in her tweet that read: “@narendramodi Sir I have a 3.5 yrs old child suffering from autism and severe food allergies. He survives on
Camel Milk and limited qty of pulses. When lockdown started I didn’t have enough camel milk to last this long. Help me get Camel Milk or its powder from Sadri (Rajasthan).”

The message was retweeted, and heard, by many, and offers of help poured in. IPS officer Arun Bothra, who is posted as CEO at the Central Electricity Supply Utility in Odisha and has a sizeable following on Twitter, was alerted about Neha’s post by one of his followers.

Bothra, originally from Rajasthan, told TOI, “Since I am an IPS officer, many are of the view that I will be able to help out. I contacted the lady, who said her family usually stocks up on camel milk for two to three months. She got emotional saying they barely had enough left for three to four days and her child will collapse without the milk.”

While Bothra got in touch with the railways to try and procure it, one person messaged him on Twitter saying he knows of a firm that supplies camel milk powder. The officer said, “The firm owner told me that a stockist in Andheri had just 400gram of the milk powder. The lady’s husband picked it up from the location and said it would suffice for four days.”

Bothra said he shared the woman’s request on various WhatsApp groups in Rajasthan. “One of the group members informed me that Tarun Jain, chief passenger traffic manager with North-Western Railway, looks after freight operations. Since I know Jain, I put across a request to him too. He told me that one parcel
train was to leave from Ludhiana and pass through Pali-Marwad-Jodhpur before reaching Mumbai.”

Following Bothra’s request, Jain reportedly asked the railways’ commercial department in Ajmer to get in touch with the vendor to find out a convenient station for him to deliver the stock. Falna was found to be the closest station as Sadri is not along the route of the train. As the train does not have a halt at Falna, the railways agreed for a special stoppage to load the parcel. The milk supplier loaded 20kg of camel milk powder along with 20 litres of camel milk.

Bothra said, “The stock arrived in Mumbai on April 9 and it was collected by the family on April 10 at 5pm. In the interim, another family made a similar request on Twitter for their child, but the train had already left from Rajasthan by then. I requested the Chembur family and they were kind enough to share 5kg of milk powder and 5 litres of milk with the other family.”

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