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A bus conductor brightens the day for passengers in Coimbatore

Going out of the way:K. Sivashanmugam distributing masks to passengers in Coimbatore. Photo: Special arrangement  

The troubled times that people have had in the past year have made even modest attempts at brightening up a day worthy of praise. A welcome message on a bus trip and the offer of free masks have delighted passengers in Coimbatore.

The conductor, who became popular on social media platforms with his welcome address to passengers, is also giving away free masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. K. Sivashanmugam is the conductor of the Coimbatore-Madurai bus of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) that leaves the Singanallur terminus. He buys masks and offers them to passengers not having one. “Many assume that I am selling these masks and offer me money, but I decline it,” he says. He himself has recovered from COVID-19 recently.

A resident of Perur, Mr. Sivashanmugam, 54, has been a conductor throughout his career. He started working in private buses in 1985 and joined the TNSTC in 1995. In 2019, he became famous after videos of his delivering a welcome address to passengers went viral.

“Thank you for choosing Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation for your journey and giving us an opportunity to work with you,” begins his address. Requesting the passengers to keep the bus clean, he goes on to inform them that plastic bags and sour candies are available for those suffering from motion sickness. “Driver Shanmugam and I wish you success of your journey and I thank you for this opportunity to work with you,” he concludes, prompting a round of applause.

Before he begins his welcome address, he gives sanitiser to all passengers. He insists that passengers wear masks and says those who do not have one may get it from him. He keeps the masks in a bag near the driver’s seat, along with sour candies and plastic bags that he has bought with his own money.

Mr. Sivashanmugam says he has been delivering the welcome address for two years, motivated by another conductor who recited Thirukkural couplets.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 12:25:10 PM |

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