62 year old V. P. Kumaresan is the owner of Nehru News Mart. He has been delivering newspapers from the time he was a seven year old boy.
Interestingly, for the last two decades, he has also been performing road safety and security service as a volunteering initiative along with a group of friends in Mylapore.
This lockdown Sunday morning, the group of 12, part of the Station Vigilance Committee were at their posts at Luz Circle.
Kumaresan told Mylapore Times that their job is to educate people to not travel around unnecessarily. “We allow hospital-bound travellers but even with the online food service providers we ask for their identity card.”
Selvam, who is a car driver by profession and has been in this voluntary road safety service for the last 17 years, was also at the post. He said, “We caution young motorists against using the Sunday lockdown for joy rides on two wheelers.”
R. Kumar is an administrative staffer at Kauvery Hospital and had been on professional duty through the night but he reported at 8 a.m. here for this volunteer duty. “We are here to educate the people on the importance of exercising restraint in pandemic time.”
Alongside this team were Mylapore Police staff. Those without masks were fined Rs. 200.
Supporting the police personnel, these volunteers are also involved in night patrolling and in conducting vehicle checks, especially on the weekends. They also lend a hand at temple festivals where large crowds are expected.
The team of volunteers is sixty-strong. Their services are coordinated by K. Sankar and K. Viswanathan.
- Report and photo; S. Prabhu