Bhubaneswar: While Bollywood’s Sonu Sood is grabbing headlines for doing his bit for the migrants, closer home, our own Ollywood actor Sabyasachi Mishra, is being hailed as a ‘super hero’ by those whom he extended a helping hand amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The actor recently helped 80 Odia students return to their native places from Central Sanskrit University in Rajasthan. “With the blessings of Lord Jagannath and help from government officials like Gyanaranjan Mohapatra, everything was arranged within nine days and we managed to bring them home,” he told a local magazine.
The actor has been doing this work through social media platforms, where he earlier used to promote his films and stay connected with the audience. “There is an element of trust between an actor and the audience, because of which I started getting messages from people from across the state and even different parts of the country requesting to solve their various problems. I had to keep this faith and tried my best to solve as many problems as I could,” he said.
Messages such as these can be seen on his Facebook timeline:
“Need a contact at Secunderabad Railway Station, For arranging some food for a group of 28 Odia migrant labours. They are in the 7th bogie from the engine. The train CSTM to BBSR entered the station and at Platform No 1, Gate 2. will stay there for another 30/40mins. Pls DM”
“ଭାଇ ମାନେ Happy Journey! I am so happy to share that another Bus has started from AndhraPradesh & on their way to Odisha with 29 migrant workers, who were in many difficulties! Finally they will touch Odisha in few hours. Govinda is the Brave boy, who reached me via Instagram! Had a video call with everyone in the bus and felt so happy! Thanks to Collector’s office Chittoor & Chittoor District Police for helping them with all the permissions and passes”
“Urgent! I hav arranged another Bus OD-02C-0972 which will rescue the 44 Odia workers at Kerala.The bus will start frm Odisha within 1 or 2days.If any Student or Workers from Kerala, TamilNadu, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh want to go home from Odisha, they can use the bus. Pls Share & DM me the details of the person who wants to go.”
Sabyasachi told the media that alerts started pouring in on his social media pages and he had to set up a ‘mini control room’ at home to address their problems. “I have a dedicated contact number for fans, which I share with them and on verifying the truth and urgency level, I extend my support to them,” he said.
The actor interacts with them through video calls to understand the gravity of the situation. He collects the registration numbers of those eager to return home and shares these with the COVID-19 control room in the state for authentication.
“We then contact the owners of the buses plying to and from to these states and seek travel permits from the respective collectors or ADM over telephone. Once they reach Odisha, we contact the nodal officers in the state for shifting them to quarantine centres,” he added.
Sabyasachi said that they have been getting immense support from the officials in Odisha and the other states.
“Some of the migrants who had led the first two buses are now in charge of the control room and coordinating with those already on their way from Kerala and Maharashtra. My laptop and phone remain on all the time,” he said, adding that sometimes it takes him the whole night to go through the messages.
He has also been connecting with people through social media platforms to help Odisha natives stranded across the country. When a bus carrying 25 Odia migrants from Maharashtra broke down 30 km away from Nagpur, he approached a group in Nagpur and arranged food for them.
“Thanks to Diptiranjan ji, Ashish Ji who got connected via FB & helped. Thanks to the groups at Nagpur who traveled 30Km to reach our brothers and sisters. Together we create memories and Smiles,” he posted on his Facebook page.
The ‘Pagala Premi’ actor had earlier helped people to get medical assistance during the lockdown.
“I have helped more than 60 such people after the lockdown was imposed. I have got very serious cases, including cancer patients, who need to be shifted to hospitals or need urgent medical care. I want to thank the hospitals in the city who have come forward to help them after getting my calls. I would also thank the authorities who extended help immediately. The satisfaction I get when people shower their blessings after getting help makes me happy,” he added.