NAGPUR: In a touching gesture, a district collector drove his chauffeur to office in his government vehicle on the latter's retirement day. G Sreekanth, the District Collector of Akola in western Vidarbha, gave a pleasant surprise to Digambar Thak, who retired on Thursday after serving as a driver in the Revenue Department for more than 33 years, by chauffeuring him to office on his last working day.
As per his daily routine, Thak reached the official residence of Sreekanth, an IAS officer of the 2000 batch who hails from Karnataka, in the morning to drive him to office. But a pleasant surprise awaited Thak, who has worked with Sreekanth for the last one-and-a-half years. He saw the official car decorated with flowers, which left him puzzled.
When the IAS officer offered to drive him to the office, and told him that this was his farewell gift, Thak was overwhelmed. He pleaded with the bureaucrat to change his decision but to no avail. Sreekanth took to the wheels and Thak sat at the back seat. "I don't have words to describe my feelings. I feel I must have something worthwhile in my service to deserve this honour," Thak told PTI in an emotion-choked voice.
During his service, Thak had seen many bosses, but 31-year-old Sreekanth's gesture left him overwhelmed. The district collector did not stop at this. On reaching office, the IAS officer made Thak sit on a chair next to him and then felicitated him and his wife in presence of all Collectorate employees. "He also gave me gifts," Thak said with a big smile on his face.
He has a son and daughter, both married, and owns a few acres of farm land in Akola. Thak's colleagues were impressed when Sreekanth asked them to make arrangements for his felicitation, but the gesture of driving him to office made them feel honoured. "Not only Thak, but all staffers of the Collectorate also felt honoured by the gesture," an employee working in the Collector's office said. Sreekanth could not be reached for comments.