Pudiseri Padmavathi, 50, travelled more than 1.50 lakh km in decorated tricycle covering seven States
Unlike riding a motorcycle on countryside, this 50-year-old rickshaw puller Pudiseri Padmavathi has set out on a well decorated tricycle and travelled more than 1.50 lakh km covering seven States, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Puducherry and Maharashtra.
“I love helping others and offer free ride to pregnant women, schoolchildren and old people,” he says.
“This is my Mother India,” he adds, “that is helping me in my endeavours” pointing to his tricycle that is full of meaningful messages, life-changing quotations and pictures of eminent personalities such as the Noble laureate Mother Teresa. Padmavathi, a native of Kollipara village in Guntur district has christened his vehicle as — AP 7 Mother India. He loves to call himself ‘Nijam’, truth.
Ask him whether Mahesh Babu’s ‘Nijam’ inspired him to change his name, he laughs. “That picture came much later. I started calling myself ‘Nijam’ from 2000 itself. Selfishness, deceit etc, were growing in the society. I wanted to tell the society that it’s a truth (Nijam) that there are still people who have concern for people. So, I am Nijam,” he explains.
But, why he was named Padmavathi? His parents had no girl child. So, they fondly called him Padmavathi.
He fixed an odometer and travelled around 1,30,000 kilometres in the first spell. In the second phase, he already covered more than 21,000 km. Everyday he travels around 30 to 60 kilometres, and eats only when some one offers him food.
His life changed when no one came forward to cremate his father. He took a vow not to marry and began his tri-cycle yatra in 1998 thus rendering a helping hand for the needy in the society.
This frail-looking rickshaw puller had also helped hundreds of unattended corpses get a decent burial. He collected donations and gave Rs. 10,000 to former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to help Kargil victims.