There are people who blame others for the change and then there are people who become the change and inspire everyone. He’s called the Road Doctor providing free road surgeries with his own money for the safety of his fellow citizens, His Name Gangadhara Tilak Katnam, 67yrs old, A retired railway officer who has spent the last 15 years of his life filling potholes using his own pension money. He has filled over 1125 potholes in Hyderabad so far, For two and half years, he filled potholes single-handedly and with his own money just to make sure roads are safer for the commuters.
He is a man on a mission. A mission to fill the dangerous, life-taking potholes on Indian roads. Every day, he goes out in a car and wherever he spots a pothole, he makes sure he fills it up paid through his own money.
It started in 2010, on a day when he was trying his best to maneuver his Fiat car on a road near his home which was filled with potholes. As careful and considerate he was to the pedestrians he could not help splashing muddy water from one of the potholes onto the uniform of a little girl and her mother on her way to school. He deeply regretted his mistake and immediately got off the car to express his apology and spent Rs. 5,000 to buy the necessary material and filled that pothole,” recalls Gangadhara and Since then he has filled over 1125 potholes
Seeing him work on the roadside, no one came forward to help him. But the lack of support never stopped this determined man from doing what he believed in.
Soon after this incident on his way to work Tilak had to witness an unfortunate accident in which a very young man lost both his limbs. Another day a collision of an Auto with an RTC bus damaged the auto and severely injuring its occupants. The reason for these accidents were not carelessness or reckless driving. The primary reason was bad roads and driving conditions.
Embracing Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” he embarked on a journey who as comfortably and respectably settled as he was would even care to consider.
Starting on 19th January 2010 filling the potholes became a typical weekend ritual for Tilak. Every Saturday and Sunday morning as soon as he found a pothole he got to the task of repairing the pothole. Gangadhara spends Rs. 500 every day on fuel, making sure that no pothole is left unrepaired. The good Samaritan believes that if he can do field work at this age, anyone else can also do some or other kind of work to eliminate the “avoidable sufferings” to our people.
On July 31st 2011, this pothole man quit his job and made filling the potholes his new job so that the roads his fellow citizens can travel safe. Instead of resentment, indifference, complaining and talking, he choose sympathy, concern, solution and action.
Now many citizens and software engineers are joining in Gangadhara’s “Shramadaan” (voluntary contribution of labour). From June 2012, the GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) started supplying BT MiX material to Gangadhara.
Gangadhara’s amazing work has surely given us a reason to celebrate the power of a common man. To know more about his work, contact him at – [email protected]
We Salute you sir for Inspiring humanity in everyone !