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Free ride for a milestone

Ignatius Pereira
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Moment to cherish:Sasidharan Pillai says more than 250 passengers availed of the ‘free ride' offer.— Photo C. Suresh Kumar
Moment to cherish:Sasidharan Pillai says more than 250 passengers availed of the ‘free ride' offer.— Photo C. Suresh Kumar

An autorickshaw driver in Kollam city celebrated his 27th anniversary in the profession by giving free rides to passengers on Thursday.

Sasidharan Pillai, 60, said more than 250 passengers celebrated the occasion by enjoying a free ride in his vehicle.

On March 8, 1985, he purchased an autorickshaw by selling five cents and took up the profession of autorickshaw driver.

He said for some reason or the other he could not celebrate the anniversaries earlier.

This year, he was determined to compensate that by celebrating the anniversary with a difference.

He announced the ‘free gift' by pasting posters on his vehicle.

Fellow drivers encouraged the gesture. Though the gesture was intended only up to 5 p.m., passengers enjoyed the free trip well beyond the time limit.

A devotee of the Aattankara Pallivasal mosque in Tirunelveli, Mr. Pillai had christened his autorickshaw after the mosque. He is also known for earmarking a portion of his daily earnings for charity.

Many in the city who had the opportunity to travel in his autorickshaw recall him as a model driver.

His vehicle is based at the Chamakada auto stand. He has three children and six granddaughters.

Sasidharan Pillai offered free rides to passengers in Kollam city on Thursday to celebrate his 27th year in the profession.

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