Stuck in a Remote Village During Covid-19 Lockdown, Bengali Singer Makes Boat His Quarentine Home

Kolkata: Amid nationwide panic over the religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, which has been linked with several Covid-19 cases, there has emerged a unique case of self isolation from West Bengal. A Bengali folk and devotional singer, who got stuck in a different village due to 21-day lockdown, has been living in a boat since a week.

Niranjan Haldar, 60, a resident of Nabadwip in Bengal’s Nadia district, visited his niece’s house in Malda district’s Bulbulchandi village in the last week of March. On his way to the house, located in Habibpur Block, he roamed around in the nearby villages and sung folk songs and kirtan to earn a few bucks.

Upon reaching, his family at his niece’s house and local villagers told him about the outbreak of coronavirus in the country and the central government’s mandate for all to maintain social distancing and self-quarantine to curb its spread.

The sudden lockdown situation made him worried as he could not go back to his Nabadwip house due to strict police vigil and his niece’s family members (BPL card holders) told him they didn’t have a separate room to offer his for his quarantine period. Left with no option, Haldar asked if he could stay in isolation in a boat in a nearby Tangan River. A local village leader Tapan Biswas was contacted and he arranged a boat for him. It’s been one week since Haldar has been living in self isolation on that boat.

Speaking to the News18, Tapas Biswas said, “There is no space to stay at his niece’s house. So we arranged a boat for him and he is willing spending days there in isolation.”

“We are helping him with food and drinking water. Some NGOs are also helping him,” Biswas added.

Meanwhile, BDO, Habibpur, Subhajit Jana came to know about the matter and instructed the administrative officials to shift Haldar to a quarantine centre setup by the state government.

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