A normal person is supposed to rest and relax after retirement,but Ram Chandra BM is not a normal person.Not that he has nothing better to do in the comfort of his home,he has chosen to ease the traffic chaos in Bengaluru.For past five years, a now-retired 64-year-old Corporate executive has controlled traffic at a rather busy traffic intersection in Bangalore. No one ever asked him to do this. But he does this “because someone has to do it.”
As Bengaluru (or Bangalore) has acquired its tag of the IT capital of India, the city over the years has seen rapid expansion and urbanisation, hundreds of thousands of people have moved into Bangalore in search of a living. And as the city has grown, so has its traffic.An ever-growing number of vehicles has contributed significantly to the traffic chaos in Bangalore. In order to de-congest the roads ,the government has gone for Metro Rail, and are looking at a slew of public transport alternatives to ease the pressure of traffic on roads. These are however big projects and would take time to implement on the ground.
Meanwhile, as the residents of Bangalore grapple with growing traffic problems, one of its citizens has decided to do his bit to ease the traffic chaos.Sixty-four-year-old Ram Chandra BM, a former senior Corporate executive, served Mico for close to four decades and retired as Assistant Finance Manager in the Finance Department of the company. He has two daughters and a son who had done B.E Mechanical and also works for MICO. MICO has been renamed to Bosch Ltd in 2008. After few years of his retirement, from 2005/2006 Ram Chandra has been voluntarily controlling the traffic at Arekere Mico Layout.
A lot of commuters don’t even take him seriously, since he clearly doesn’t look like any regular traffic cop, nor does he dress as one. Others who use the traffic intersection regularly in the morning and the evening, treat him with immense respect, realizing the important job that he is doing.Ram Chandra BM is unfazed by praise or criticism. For last five years, every day, unless he is unwell, he has turned up at the traffic intersection to control the traffic there.
He is not employed as a traffic police officer by the state government. No one ever asked him to do this, he has simply been following his own conscience, driven by a need to contribute to the welfare of the society he himself is part of. He has not got one single paise for the service he has provided, nor is he expecting to.And therein lies a lesson for all of us. We need not wait to be asked do anything that would help the fellow man. We need to do what is the right thing, without being asked to do it.He does this every day without fail, in all seasons. He lives on 9th Cross Main Road. He comes from there every morning and evening to control traffic movement and avoid traffic snarls at a traffic junction where the Bangalore Traffic Police never posted one of its men.
Also called Ramprasad B M by shopkeepers near the traffic intersection point at Arekere Layout, he can be found doing this job every day from morning 6 am to 10 am and evening 5:30 pm till 7:30 pm, when the traffic is at its peak.It is not easy to stand in one spot for four hours in the morning and then again for two hours in the evening, breathing in all the pollutants, like a disciplined traffic policeman, that, too, at the age of 64.He was asked how he did his job, didn’t his legs feel pain, didb’t he feel thirsty after having to blow the whistle, or didn’t he simply get bored doing this job every day without a break?The reply was as simple and straight as the man himself. “I do it because someone has to do it. Yes my legs ache, and yes I feel thirsty, but there is a job that needs to be done, so I do it.”“I do get breathing problem but if I don’t do then here it would be a huge traffic jam and road block. People wont reach office on time. I have done this last 5 years. I hope the administration finds someone after me to manage the traffic.”
Ram Chandra has been doing this social service for more than 6 years now, for nothing in return. His inspiring act was featured in Bangalore Mirror Newspaper. He became popular through his stories shared on Facebook. In his interview, Ram Chandra explains about his earlier life and the job he is currently doing for the society. And at the end of a tiresome the day, he relaxes himself with a massage of a homemade oil that he makes himself. He also mentions that he was a marathon walker in his young age. Ramprasad came first in a walk event for 55+ age group conducted by Karnataka Veteren Athletic Association in 2001-02, also first in South Zone championship meet for the same event in 1999.
Just hold your breath-here is something unbelievable – Ramprasad has undergone a bypass heart surgery in 2008, had cataract operation in both eyes, and is also a diabetic patient who takes insulin daily. Inspite of all this, he still manages to give free service to the society – without expecting anything in return. For this selfless service he is doing to the society he is living in, he’s truly an inspiration to all the citizens.I salute him!