December 22nd, 2016
Bangalore/Bengaluru, a city famous for its traffic. Every day this town deals with thousands of vehicles. In the midst of the traffic congestion, smog, dust, and the sun, stands Traffic Warden Manju Mehra managing the traffic.
It all started when she used to see children of the government school cross road in chaotic traffic near Bannerghatta, Bangalore. Seeing the children brave the unending traffic and cross the road while almost risking their lives made her worried. It angered her that no one wanted to stop and give way to pedestrians or let the other vehicles pass first, which inevitably led to a big traffic jam.
When she saw that there were at least two accidents in that route, she felt it was time for an intervention. That is when Manju started volunteering as a traffic warden. For the past two years, she has been volunteering as a traffic warden at Graphite Signal in Marathahalli, clearing congestion and resolving road rage incidents.
It is almost like a passion for her to clear the jams in the city’s very busy IT corridor. Speaking to The Logical Indian, she says that according to her, every life is important. We can get a pill for anything except for the pain of losing our children. She feels saddened to see individuals who drive recklessly without giving a second thought about their family.
Helping the smooth flow of the traffic, she feels that the traffic and the police are like two sides of the same coin. Both have to work together to move seamlessly.
Apart from managing the traffic, she also helps in filling the potholes in the routes she oversees. She feels that potholes are also a leading cause of deaths and spinal injuries.
Her job is thankless, and she faces a lot of abuse by traffic violators every day, but she takes them as a compliment and continues her work.
It is evident; she meets a lot of goons every day who abuse her, but this satisfies Manju as she thinks that people swear when they are hurt, and something hard has triggered them inside. But, this experience is overshadowed by the amount of love she gets from the other people.
Many people have memorised her contact details. In fact, once she helped a blind man cross the road and gave her phone number. A few months later, he met with an accident. He could only reach out to her, and Manju selflessly helped him. The man has now fully recovered.
Manju’s passion expects her to be on roads for 16 hours straight sometimes and she is always available on her phone.
Manju’s day starts at 7 AM after her daughter leaves for school and the rest of the day she catches hold of traffic violators. From her uniform to her job, nothing is remunerated. Her husband supports her financially. In the weekends, she commits her time to her daughter and learns from her. She believes that her daughter teaches her more as kids are curious.
Born in Pune, Maharashtra Manju has been living in Bangalore for the past 20 years, and considers the city as her ‘Karma Bhoomi.’
Even in future, she sees herself on roads managing traffic and gesturing through changing colours of a traffic signal.
The Logical Indian salutes Manju for her selfless and inspiring work. We thank you for giving it your all to keep the roads safe.
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