KOCHI: For an onlooker, the disinfection of 50 KSRTC buses on Friday would seem a routine affair in these days of the pandemic.But for M Ramkumar, 52, a visually-challenged BPCL officer who disinfected the buses with his team, it was much more. It was his way of marking Helen Keller Day which falls on March 27 and, more importantly, a way to pay tribute to his father late Prameswara Menon who retired from KSRTC back in 1986 after 30 years of service.
“KSRTC has always been kind to differently-abled people. So, we couldn’t sit idly while the corporation and its passengers struggled with Covid-19. So, to mark Helen Keller Day, we organised the disinfection drive and also distributed face masks to everyone,” said Ramkumar, who is also a member of Samadrishti Kshamathavikas Mandal (Sakshama), an organisation of differently-abled persons and their supporters. Personally, Ramkumar said he was indebted to KSRTC. “My father worked in various parts of the state under KSRTC. His job with the corporation helped us stay alive during those struggling times,” he said.
Ramkumar said he lost his complete eyesight to glaucoma. “I joined BPCL in 1996 and dedicated my life to social activities,” he said. Sakshama has over 250 members in Ernakulam alone. “On Saturday, we will honour ex-servicemen for their service to the nation at Rajendra Maidan. A commemoration of martyrs who died fighting Chinese soldiers recently will also be held,” he said.Welcoming the initiative, V M Thajudheen Sahib, District Transport Officer, Ernakulam, said, “We always reserve seats for differently-abled persons and ensure free rides to those possessing special identity cards. The community is giving us back for that care.”