MYSURU: As the clock ticks 5 pm, a man in his 70s wearing a uniform, resembling that of a traffic cop, descends on the busy Kautilya Circle in the city to regulate traffic and sensitise vehicle riders about traffic violations.
This has been a routine for 77-year-old A Maheshwara who is managing traffic for the last three decades. Maheshwara is a senior traffic warden who regulates traffic everyday at peak hours at several circles and junctions where the traffic police are not found generally.
Over the last few years, he has chosen Kautilya Circle and arrives at 5 pm and works till 7 pm. His way of managing traffic even at this age has made even senior traffic police officers to pale in front of him with his noteworthy contribution having made him a known face among the daily commuters and motorists on the stretch who sometimes stop their vehicles only to appreciate him for his selfless work.
Maheshwara worked as a paper agent for many years before becoming an insurance advisor to an insurance company. However, he continued with is work of regulating traffic everyday in the evening hours. He is offering his service without any break. "During COVID-19 days, I doubled my duty hours and worked even in the mornings for nine months," he said.
Reminiscing his initial days in the field, he recalled that in late 1980s, then additional superintendent of police Rammurthy sought service of like-minded volunteers to control crowd during the Dasara.
"As I always wanted to contribute to the society in whatever way I can, I thought this is the best platform I could get to pay back to the society. I chipped in as special police officer and began working. Since then, without break I am working closely with the police department following their instructions. Any bandh, Dasara or other prominent occasion, I spend more hours on duty," he said.
Once the traffic warden system got introduced, he enrolled inspiring many youngsters. Recognising his service, the police department has honoured him on several occasion including conferring him the best traffic warden award. The district administration has conferred the Rajyotsava award on him besides several awards from various NGOs and forums.
Though many who joined as traffic warden with him have quit now citing health and age reasons, but Maheshwara even at this age, works with great zeal. "People must give importance on adhering to traffic rules which can completely change the system," he said.