Chennai

A Good Samaritan for these times

K. Pandivelu and his colleagues clean the SWD blocks on Poonamallee High Road. Photo: R. Ragu  

Recently, when EVK Sampath Road, off Poonamallee High Road, in Vepery was flooded after sudden showers resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, a six-foot-tall man with a thick moustache pulled up to the curb.

Removing his brown shoes, polished to a glint, and then folding his trousers up to the knees, he took a long cane (lathi) from his vehicle and proceeded to attend to the inlets of the widened stormwater drain. He hunkered down to the job of manually unclogging the drain.

In a short while, the rainwater that had accumulated on the stretch road drained and he left the spot.

He is fifty six-year-old K. Pandivelu, Inspector (traffic wing) at Vepery Police Station.

He is a familiar face in the neighbourhood, known both for his traffic regulation skills and the community service that he renders selflessly.

During the pandemic, he has been activel enaged in COVID-19 relief work.

“Being a farmer’s son, I have worked in the farmlands in my hometown as a boy. Cleaning a drain is like removing weeds from the paddy field. I do not feel awkward unclogging a drain,” says Inspector Pandivelu.

A native of Salaiyur Koil village in Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu, Pandivelu is a first-generation learner who had spent much of his early years in his village. He studied at a government school in the village before going in for higher education in the same district.

He joined the police service in 1984. Apart from a two-year stint at Manaparai village in Tiruchirappali district, much of Pandivelu’s career has been under the Greater Chennai Police Commissionerate as traffic police officer.

During the lockdown, along with his team of 40 traffic police personnel, Pandivelu organised many awareness campaigns on COVID-19 including street-corner meetings that had residents attending them, standing in the safety of their balconies.

He has distributed cloth face masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and food packets to the poor and the homeless persons in the neighbourhood since July this year when he was shifted back from Tiruchirappali.

Unlike the other police patrol vehicles that carry a bubble water container for the police team, Pandivelu has large cloth bags containing cloth face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers, to be given away for free to persons on the streets. The patrol vehicle also has an extra bag of food packets that are kept as a reserve for the poor and homeless who might have missed having even a single meal for the day.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 6:31:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/a-good-samaritan-for-these-times/article32989042.ece

Next Story