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TNSTC bus conductor gets felicitated for winning hearts of passengers

Prema Kala is a regular passenger of the TNSTC bus that plies between Colachel and Kodayar in Kanniyakumari district.

Published: 20th August 2021 05:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2021 12:31 PM   |  A+A-

T Babu

T Babu

Express News Service

NAGERCOIL: Prema Kala is a regular passenger of the TNSTC bus that plies between Colachel and Kodayar in Kanniyakumari district. It is conductor T Babu’s presence, and not the scenic route, from the coastal village to the foothills of the western ghats, that brings a smile to the passengers in the bus.

The 51-year-old, a native of Andoor near Kulasekaram in the district, has been in TNSTC’s service since 2008, seven years before he was made permanent. The very sight of Babu, clad in a blue uniform, standing on the footboard of the bus, is a relief to any one waiting to board the bus.

“He treats everyone, including the elderly, the disabled, women, and others with great respect. Recently, a woman boarded the bus without money. It was Babu who bought a ticket for her,” says Prema.

Babu never misses a chance to help anyone who boards the bus with a free ticket or medical expense. It is this attitude that has earned him a nickname among his colleagues: Shortage Babu, for he is always short of ticket collections at the end of the day. To make up for the shortage, Babu works at brick kilns in Thiruvattar and Payanam on his off days. Babu says he is reminded of his own parents whenever he sees an elderly or a disabled person struggle to board or get off the bus.

Had no idea he was supporting poor travellers: Babu’s wife

Working at a kiln is not something new to him. He has been working on daily wages ever since he was a teenager. However, this part of Babu’s life is a complete mystery to his wife, Merlin Prabha.

Bus driver Bensingh, who has been working with him for the past six years, says, “Babu is very cooperative. He gets down and helps in clearing the traffic sometimes. He even lets passengers not pay change, if they don’t have it.”

Former secretary of Lions Club of Kulasekaram, D Don, told Express they observed his good service and decided to felicitate him.


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