Potholes in India kill thousands every year and to tackle the problem, an elderly couple from Hyderabad has take it upon themselves to fix as many as they can in their city. For the last 11 years, the duo has been spending money from their own pockets to fix potholes and level the roads. For over a decade, the couple has been driving to various busy roads and intersections in their city and use their money to fix the gaps and holes on city roads to reduce the number of accidents happening. 73-year-old Gangadhar Tilak Katnam and his wife Venkateshwari Katnam (64) drive out in their own car, which they call a ‘Pothole Ambulance’ and fill up potholes anywhere they find them, news agency ANI reported.
“I decided to fix it myself. I’m using money from my pension. I have filled over 2,000 potholes till now and spent about ₹40 lakh," Gangadhar told ANI.
Telangana: An elderly couple have been filling potholes in Hyderabad for past 11 yearsI shifted here after my retirement from Indian Railways. I saw accidents every day, due to potholes. I even took the matter with the concerned authority but it was not resolved: GT Katnam pic.twitter.com/tZiQlMKS8i
— ANI (@ANI) July 10, 2021
Gangadhar who is fondly called the ‘Road Doctor’, said he decided to emabrk upon this path after he saw innumerable accidents happening due to the potholes.He said that despite complaining to the authorities with police and Municipality, no one paid much heed and that is when he decided to do it by himself.
“That is when I decided to fix these potholes all by myself," he told ANI. A former employee with the Indian Railways, after 35 years of service Gangadhar and his wife had shifted to Hyderabad and he had joined a software company as an engineer. But the poor condition of the city roads and the accident prompted him to leave his job and do this instead.
Gangadhar’s efforts have also started reaping fruits and some support from offiicals too. They came to him with the necessary things he needs to do his job. He has also started an orgnaisation called ‘Sramadhan’ where people make donations voluntarily to buy materials for the potholes.
“Many problems can be solved very easily if everyone starts helping each other. Road by road, we make a difference," he was quoted by ANI as saying.
In a similar fashion, a cop in Mysuru recently spent money from his own pockets to fill up potholes on roads.
Potholes in a five-km road between Madapura and K Belattur, which connects the Chikkadevamma temple in HD Kote taluk, were causing serious problems for motorists and pedestrians. After repeated requests and memorandums to officials and elected representatives failed to evoke any response, locals asked S Doreswamy, an assistant sub-inspector of police to help them.
Doreswamy of HD Kote police station, who is known as a people-friendly cop, then contributed Rs 3 lakh from his own pocket to the cause along with his wife Chandrika of Rakshana Seva Trust. He also lent a helping hand to the labourers while they were fixing the road. Armed with a shovel, the officer helped the workers to fill the potholes.