Chennai: When 94-year-old Kamakshi Subramanian filed her nomination papers as an independent candidate from Chennai’s ward 174 comprising Besant Nagar and Adayar area, it is an extension of the long-drawn battle she had undertaken for several civic issues in and around Besant Nagar for the rights of people.
Kamakshi Patti (Grandmother), as she is fondly called is a fierce civic activist and fighter whose relentless fight has led to the restoration of Karl Schmidt Memorial at Elliot’s beach. She co-founded an organisation SPARK which is a civic forum to tackle the issues in the area and the organisation conducted several relentless fights for the restoration of Karl Schmidt Memorial.
She is also known for conducting ‘secret inspections’ during any corporation activity using public funds and her main area of concern is tarring of roads.
Kamakshi Subramanian while speaking to IANS said, “You see, in tarring the contractors plays games to make money. The Besant Nagar road has been tarred for the past 12 years and it is still shining. I was on a daily basis monitoring it and correcting them. People have to take up the issues at least around their premises that would put a break to the corrupt practices of the contractor, official nexus and we should not forget our responsibilities.”
The 94-year-old was in New Delhi as her husband was with the President’s secretariat and had lived in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan campus all her life in Delhi. She said that her husband had narrated the tales of bureaucracy to her and hence she understands properly how the officialdom works in the country.
She said that if elected as an independent candidate, her priority would be to consult the public on all important matters and then only take a decision on the same. The activist said,” I want to make my ward an inclusive one with all facilities for the old people and those with disabilities and my priority will be for that.”
Kamakshi Patti was noticed in Besant Nagar and surrounding areas after her long struggle for the Olcott Memorial park preventing encroachers from cutting and removing trees. People used to enter the park as it does not have any compound wall or gate and Kamakshi Subramanian took the issue up and on a daily basis called up the civic authorities and finally managed to put up a wall and prevent anti-social elements.
The nonagenarian says that whether she wins or loses, her activism for the people and for civil rights would continue.