Patriotic son born on patriotic day

By S Solomon Raj Published on Aug 17, 2018 01:34 PM IST

Chennai: When India got freedom from the British on 15 August 1947, Indians were celebrating the occasion.

On the same day, a family in Andhra Pradesh had double the joy because a baby boy was born to them on the same day.

He is TMK Kumar (71), a retired railway employee presently residing in Nolambur in the city. He is against bribery and corruption.

He shared his life story and experience in an interview with ‘News Today’.

Excerpts:

Q: Tell us about yourself...

A: I was born to a small family in Andhra Pradesh on 15 August 1947. During school days, I was an athlete and got medals in 110-metre hurdles. Then, I got job in Southern Railway as sports manager for the south region. My work was to take care of the sports team while they participate in games at various levels. There is a separate coach (compartment with kitchen) for people like us and we go to any part of India on this special coach attached with the regular trains. A separate yard is usually allotted for our coach.

Q: It seems you are against bribe and corruption. Let’s know more...

A: Usually, I give speeches in Nehru stadium when RRB (Railway Recruitment Board) calls candidates for interview. I inform the candidates not to give bribe to any Railway Officers and insist them that there is no link for the officers in giving job. You are recruited by your performance in exam, I tell them. Due to this strategy of mine, many employees still remember me.

Q: What are the changes you brought in ICF stadium?

A: When, I was in-charge of ICF stadium, I was very strict. I allowed walkers from 4 am to 7 am and from 7 am to 10 am, it used to be the time for sportspersons. I give one whistle and all will pack-up within 10 minutes and give way for others. It helped many sportsmen develop their skills in games. ‘Sivaji’ movie shooting was held and the pitch was developed with the support of its producer when I was in-charge.

Q: Any interesting message about your birthday?

A: In 2011, our former Tamilnadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa presided over a special programme to honour people who were born on 15 August. Nearly 150 people participated and I was among them. They honoured me in a special way by asking me to cut a 10-feet cake.

Q: It seems you are also an association’s president...

A: I was elected as the president of VGN Nagar Residents Welfare Association. People seek me for getting power, water supply and many more things from the government. I also judge disputes among the residents because we all are one family here. In 2016, I got best association president award from the then Mayor Sadai Duraisamy. I thank all government officials for lending their co-operation in getting basic amenities.

He can be contacted: 9940494099.