I am a professional software engineer, but after working for three years, I left my job because I wanted to solve the problems of potholes in our country.
In 2016, I read one newspaper article where a young lady died in an accident after her two-wheeler ran over a pothole. The incident shook me to the core. I decided to solve this problem, and this is how my journey started. I started to think about how I could contribute to the betterment of society and help in saving lives.
Journey With The PotHoleRaja
In 2017, I came across 'PotHoleRaja', a social venture fixing potholes in Bengaluru city. My journey started as a volunteer there. While working there, I fixed potholes for the next six months, which gave me immense satisfaction. This was something that I always wanted to do.
So the orientation was provided from the beginning on what should I do and what is the thing that is missing, can it be solved or not, and potholes emerged to be the biggest unattended issue. That is where I decided that I would not wait for a personal tragedy to start serving society.
Primarily, PotHoleRaja focuses on eliminating potholes, not only from roads but also from our lives. We collect data from citizens through our app across multiple cities in India. Once people report the potholes in their area, we go and fix them.
We have a specific number, we ask people to send us the pothole picture and the GPS location, that is how we have a record of each and every pothole reported to us. Secondly, we raise funds for fixing it, either from people who report it or at large from the CSR route.
The logic behind 'PotHoleRaja' is anybody who fixes potholes with us is a Pothole Raja or a Pothole Rani. My company and I believe that any person who lives in this country is entitled to ride smoothly like a king or a queen on pothole-free roads.
One of the latest products that we have come up with is made of recycled plastic waste. We call them 'PotHoleRaja Grid Mats'. It can be laid efficiently, and its life span is about 40-50 years.
A pothole is one of the biggest issues. Reading newspaper articles to see people dying of potholes every day has always been disturbing to me. My friends from other countries say, "India is a beautiful country with an amazing culture, but the roads are horrible and the traffic is nonsense." Unfortunately, this is true. We don't do anything apart from cribbing and complaining.
More than 50 per cent of roads in India are present in villages. We are now planning to make Pothole Raja's presence in rural parts of the country as the streets there are horrible.
People need to be very proactive with their surroundings. They can collectively make this country a better place. Instead of ignoring, people should learn to acknowledge any issue around them. Once they recognise, they also need to take action for it. My intention has always been that if we could be little responsible towards our surroundings, we can do much better as a country.
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