Chennai

Have you met the candidate who wears a PPE suit?

S. Ashok Kumar during a campaign Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B  

An independent candidate contesting the State Assembly elections from the Kolathur constituency is making heads turn. S. Ashok Kumar, who runs an automobile consultant service in Perambur, has been canvassing for votes donning a PPE suit. While Ashok Kumar certainly wants to make a mark in the election, he seems more keen on people following the safety guidelines while stepping out of their homes.

So, he can be seen offering pamphlets and face masks to road users and holding forth on the necessity of maintaining social distance in public places and wearing a mask, as he goes about his canvassing work.

Recently, he was spotted handing out face masks to passengers of a share autorickshaw on Kolathur Main Road. Before handing the pamphlet and face mask, he shares the plans for the neighbourhood he would work on, if he wins.

S. Ashok Kumar Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B

S. Ashok Kumar Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B  

Initially, Ashok Kumar wanted to wear the kit once a week, just on Sundays, when he would meets a huge number of voters as part of a door-to-door campaign. However, the enthusiastic response from voters to how he spoke about COVID-19 protocols and how he wore the message, led him to be togged in PPE suit all seven days of the week.

“I really understood how difficult it would be for the frontline workers to wear a PPE kit and work, through their duty hours. We also have a bag full of face masks to distribute to those who do not wear them, during our campaign,” says Ashok Kumar, who has a post-graduate degree in sociology.

A resident of Jamalila Lane opposite Brinda Theatre in Perambur, Ashok Kumar was born and brought up in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) quarters that comes under Corporation Ward 68 and 69. He understands the need for basic amenities in an area.

Prevention of inundation, especially overflow of excess rainwater from Retteri lake during monsoon, and traffic regulation on the Kolathur-Perambur Main Road are the two major promises made by the young candidate.

Ashok Kumar says that having spent all his life in the region, “I know our residents’ aspirations better than others. Many know my social work in the area — such as the street-cleaning campaign twice a year and the health camps that we have conducted.”


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 10:06:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/have-you-met-the-candidate-who-wears-a-ppe-suit/article34230356.ece

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