A four-year-old son of migrants from Bihar based in Delhi died at the Muzaffarpur Railway Station on arrival by a Shramik Special train while his father desperately hunted for some milk which he believes would have saved his child.

Maqsood Alam alias Mohd Pintu, the bereaved father, worked as a house painter until the coronavirus-induced lockdown rendered him jobless and drove him to penury, forcing the family to leave their rented home in a Delhi slum and head home after selling off their meagre belongings.

Accompanied by wife Zeba and son Ishaq, Alam had started the journey hoping to reach West Champaran district, his native place, on Monday.

“The child had fallen ill, apparently because of oppressive heat. By the time our train reached Muzaffarpur junction his condition had deteriorated considerably. I ran pillar to post searching for some milk for my son. The administration took too long to respond and the child lost the battle for life,” alleged Alam. The mother was still in a state of shock and unable to speak.

Ramakant Upadhyay, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Railway, however, claimed the boy was ailing for some time and had died before the train reached the Muzaffarpur station.

The family had boarded a Danapur-bound train and the boy, who was apparently in poor health for some time, fell seriously ill on board. From Danapur they took one of the intra-state trains, headed for Sitamarhi, which was to make a stopover at Muzaffarpur junction.

Incidentally, on the very same day and around the same time, a train pulled up on a different platform carrying hordes of migrants. Among whom was a woman who breathed her last shortly before Ishaq’s death.

(With PTI inputs)