Hyderabad: With the intention of saving lives, an old couple from Hyderabad have been filling potholes of the roads of the city for the last 11 years.
The couple has been using money from their own pockets so that people can be saved from accidents that happen due to potholes.
Gangadhar Tilak Katnam, a 73-year-old man from Hyderabad, is popularly known as the ‘Road Doctor’.
He, along with his wife, Venkateshwari Katnam, 64 years of age, set out on to roads in a car, or what they call it as a ‘Pothole Ambulance’, and fill up potholes where ever they find one.
Speaking to ANI, Gangadhar Tilak Katnam said, “After witnessing several accidents on the roads because of potholes I decided to do something about the issue and to find a solution to it.”
“Initially, I tried to complain about the issue with the police and the Municipality officials but none of it was of any use. That is when I have decided to fill these potholes by myself,” he added.
Tilak worked as an employee with the India Railways for nearly about 35 years. After his retirement, Tilak came to Hyderabad to work as a software design engineer in a software company. He has been filling up potholes across the city ever since.
With zeal to make roads free of potholes, he quit his job as a software design engineer within a year and has been, since then, completely dedicated to filling the potholes of the city.
When asked about the finances, Gangadhar said, “I am managing the finances of this initiative from the pension that I receive.”
“All the material that is required for the task is bought using money from my pension. For the last 11 years, I was able to fill nearly about 2,030 potholes in and across the city and spent about Rs. 40 lakh on it” he added.
He further said that looking at his works, the government officials have also stepped forward to help him and have provided him with the required material.
He also mentioned that he runs an organisation called ‘Sramadhan’ with an aim to extend his work. “I would never ask anyone for funds/donations. People would step-in voluntarily step to help in filling the potholes,” he said.
Mentioning that increasing population is a burden only until everyone steps out to help, he said, “Many problems can be solved very easily if everyone starts helping the other.”
Lastly, he said, “Road by road, we make a difference.”