June 4th, 2015
Courtesy - www.shramadaan.org
Meet Gangadhara Tilak Katnam, a retired railway officer who has spent the last 15 years of his life filling potholes using his own pension money. He has filled over 1125 potholes in Hyderabad so far.
It started in 2010, on a day when he was trying his best to maneuver his Fiat car on a road near his home which ws with full of potholes. As careful and considerate he was to the pedestrians he could not help splashing muddy water from one of the potholes onto the neatly starched uniform of a little girl and hr mother on her way to school. He deeply regretted his mistake and immediately got off the car to express his apology.
He did not rest easy after this incident and immediately ordered 6 truckloads of “moram” paying Rs.4200 from his own pocket and mended the entire road starting from his home.
Soon after this incident on his way to work Tilak had to witness an unfortunate accident in which a very young man lost both his limbs. Another day a collision of an Auto with an RTC bus damaged the auto and severely injuring its occupants. The reason for these accidents were not carelessness or reckless driving. The primary reason was bad roads and driving conditions.
Embracing Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” he embarked on a journey who as comfortably and respectably settled as he was would even care to consider.
Starting on 19th January 2010 filling the potholes became a typical weekend ritual for Tilak. Every Saturday and Sunday morning as soon as he found a pothole he got to the task of repairing the pothole with a crowbar, spade and gravel/tar mix. Thus, he spent his weekends filling the potholes for close to two years. He spent hours speculating what he can do to alleviate the problem of potholes on roads and provide a more safe and secure travel road to every citizen. Once he realized what needs to be done, it was evident his weekend contribution was not adequate to solve the magnitude of the problem – where every busy and non-busy road is filled with potholes.
On July 31st 2011, this pothole man quit his job and made filling the potholes his new job so that the roads WE ALL travel are safer. Instead of resentment, indifference, complaining and talking, he chooses sympathy, concern, solution and action.
The Logical Indian applauds this incredible man and hopes that he inspires our civic officials to do their duty.