91-year-old Chennaiite woman felicitated for social works

By Naomi N Published on Jul 28, 2018 11:50 AM IST

Chennai: While there are several voices that campaign for resolving the issues of the locality, the strongest among them is undoubtedly that of Kamakshi Subramaniam, a resident of Besant Nagar in the city.

It hence seemed fitting when she was felicitated on 15 July, by Governor Banwarilal Purohit at the MGR centenary celebrations, for her social and civic contribution to the society.

This acknowledgement was indeed special, as she turned 91 the same week.

Kamakshi Paati, as she is fondly called, and who is also the co-founder of the civic initiative ‘Spark’, says, “I was happy to receive the recognition from the Governor and from former Mayor Saidai Duraiswamy, who was also present. The latter has always been kind to us by never refusing to address our problems.”

“I hope this award motivates others and sends a message that age must not be a limiting factor and the need to be fearless’, she adds.

Dedicating it to her family, to Spark, city Corporation, police department and Ramky Enviro Engineers, she states, ‘"Without all their support, we could not have achieved anything at all.”

So what drives this 91-year-old?

“I am passionate about the environment and cannot tolerate corruption. I have never paid any bribe in my life. I am saddened about the deterioration of values and the lack of interest among youth in politics and governance.”

As citizens, she feels we have nobody but ourselves to blame, “If we voice out, we will be heard, she says.

Kamakshi also states that it is important for people to know the rules and law so that laymen would not fall for corruption to get things done.

It may be noted that recently, she got an under-construction building in the area to stop carrying out work at night, while some of her past activities include getting the locality a roadside park, preventing illegal movie shootings, pulling out shoddy public works and so on. She also ensures that officials give their due diligence while carrying out their responsibilities.

“They must have a dialogue with citizens before commencing any project like laying roads or pavements,” she feels, adding, “Even if I am not in town, I keep track of what’s happening.”

This is why her alarming phone bill does not worry her. “That is my contribution to the society too,” she quips. She can be reached at 99400 61810.