Chennai: As a resident of Tambaram, you would have visited the marketplace several times a week. When you take a walk on Shanmugam Road, you can hear the constant announcement ‘Podhu makkalukku kaval thuraiyin anbana vendugol…’
You may assume it to be a recorded message that is being played on loop. However, News Today’s search revealed it was a ‘spot announcement’ by S Harichandran, a citizen like you and me.
Harichandran said, “I have been a resident of Sadanandapuram for the past 18 years and own a vegetable birinji shop in the market just like any other vendor.”
All of a sudden, one day, his cop friend, Ravi, who was with Railway Police Force (RPF), with whom Hari had been maintaining cordial friendship, asked if he can assist him.
A shocked Hari accepted immediately as he always was inclined to serve society in the best possible way.
“Ravi was posted as head constable in Selaiyur police station and later, in 2011, came back to Tambaram police station as sub-inspector. After coming back, he asked me if I can spare three hours every day and aid him. I could not turn down his request,” recalls 44-year-old Hari.
Now it was Hari’s turn to make a request. Acceding to it, his friend Ravi got him a ‘Friends of Police’ (FoP) card to be formally authorised by the police department. The duty he was entrusted with was to make the public service announcement, emphasising safety among the visitors to the market and commuters.
Sharing one of his cherished moments during the course, he adds, “I was once down with chikungunya and the Tambaram Police Commissioner offered me a sum for treatment. However, I was unhappy with his shelling out such a big amount. Seeing me being dejected, he and other cops of the station pooled in money together and handed over the collected money. The local police are very close to me.”
After making announcements almost all day long, how does he manage his eatery? Hari has handed over the shop to his parents who have been supportive since the day he assumed charge.
So, what next? Going a step ahead, Hari has an offer from Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) to make announcement of buses.
For rendering his duty tirelessly, he has been widely acclaimed by several police officers of higher grade and also praised by several social workers and activists.