CHENNAI: Having grown up seeing trains pass by near his house at Avadi, Kannan (14) always dreamt of driving a train. So much that he would spend hours on the internet trying to understand the working of trains. Diagnosed with haemophilia after he was born, this boy’s dream to drive a train came true a month ago, thanks to the Union railway minister and the Make a Wish Foundation.
On March 20, he helmed an engine at Royapuram loco shed, driving it for a distance of 1km, with the support of the Southern Railway general manager and other officials. “I was very happy. If I get a chance, I will be surely happy to ride a train again,” said the eight-grader. “The engineers present there told me how to ride the engine, and I followed their instructions. A loco pilot who was present also guided me.”
“For one hour, the officials showed me around the loco shed and I spoke to them about the functioning of trains. They cleared all my doubts,” he added. His mother Padma Priya added that as a kid, he loved travelling on trains and kept looking at the trains passing by their house in Avadi. “He would keep reading about trains and their working, the types of engines, how much electricity is needed, and always dreamt of growing up to be a loco pilot,” she added.
Three days after he was born, Kannan was diagnosed with haemophilia, a disorder in which blood lacks a coagulating factor and thus, doesn’t clot. Since then he has been on treatment. As he suffered from a similar bleeding a few days ago, the boy was admitted to Jipmer. Three years ago, with his family, Kannan moved to Senjikottai as his father, a doctor, was posted there. “I am grateful to the general manager, railway officials, the Union minister, and the foundation, which helped my dream come true,” Kannan added.