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Gangadhara Tilak: India’s Renowned Road Doctor

Gangadhara Tilak, this name itself, has created quite a humdrum in our country; this man truly believes in the quote “Be the Change” and conveniently proved that a single person is enough to make a visible change in our society. This man is known as the Road Doctor by the common people of Hyderabad as he always works to improve the road. It is known to all that damaged road can be life-threatening sometimes, and it has proved to be deadly as many kinds of accidents have taken away many lives due to various types of road damage, especially potholes, many times these potholes create some embarrassing situations, especially during the rainy days when a vehicle runs through this pothole and the muddy water splashes on someone’s dress making it dirty. Though the solution to mend these potholes is relatively easy, people are still least bothered about it.

Though people are quite aware that road damage can cause many problems like more fuel consumption, traffic delays, and damage the vehicles, all these types of unwanted situations made him dedicated that he must do something to improve this kind of unbearable condition of the roads.

Early Life and Background

Gangadhara Tilak, not to be confused with the great freedom fighter moderate leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak but Gangadhar Tilak is also doing his bit of work for the betterment of our nation and going on with his journey by carrying some simple tools needed for repairing damaged roads. Gangadhara Tilak, a simple man of sixty-six years born in a farmer’s family in a Yarnadeum village in the west Godavari district, is a man who is admired by every single person a man who started the journey towards the betterment of mankind after getting retired from his nine to five job.

Worked previously as a senior engineer in southern railways for 35 years. He took his retirement in the year 2008; he took up a job as a consultant in a software company and led a simple life. He thought of doing something for his country but was confused about what to do. One day while he was driving his Fiat car, unfortunately, the wheel of his car fell on a pothole. He unintentionally splashed muddy water on the dress of a school-going girl and her mother. Many other unwanted accidents took place in various places due to the potholes and making repeated complaints to the police and local councilors. Nobody paid any initiative toward repairing those potholes. The most remarkable incident that changed his mind was the accident in the old city of Hyderabad, where an RTC bus collided with an auto and killed a person immediately. Tilak was horrified that the accident could have been easily avoided if the pothole had been mended in time. Then there was no looking back then; he decided that enough was enough. Now he will mend those potholes so that no more innocent people die due to the road’s potholes.

His Work for a Better Society

He always keeps the raw materials needed to mend the potholes ready in his car wherever he goes and instantly fills the potholes with tar lumps from the footpath while he travels by his car. During the lunch break at his office, he set out to find several potholes and mend them with his effort. He used to skip his meals to work on the damaged road. He became so involved in the work that he quit and spent the entire working hours repairing the potholes on the road. Initially, his wife became upset by seeing that he was working under the scorching heat and rain and spending his pension buying the raw materials needed for mending the potholes. His wife called his son from the US to give his father some sense so that Tilak could stop this craziness of filling up the potholes of the entire city. But when his son saw his father’s determination, he decided to help him by creating a website and Facebook page in his father’s name. Then the birth of Tilak’s organization, “Shramadaan”, happened an initiative where young people get involved in filling up the potholes. They even have a helpline where people inform them about the potholes in their locality, and they instantly fill them up without charging a penny.

Tilak’s son also asked for help from the GHMC, and they came forward to fix the problem, but Tilak refused, so now GHMC works with Shramadaan. From 2012 onwards, GHMC has provided all kinds of resources to Sharamdaan so they can work without any worries. Tilak agrees that he could feel that, slowly, the mindset of the people was changing. They started to think for the nation rather than thinking only about themselves, the common people and the media greatly admired Tilak’s work, and he got a lot of appreciation from them. Still, according to him, getting appreciated for his work is good. Still, he feels that if the political people had paid more attention to his work, it would be better for the country’s future, as this is the responsibility of those who made the system to bring some change.

The Man with Unstoppable Determination

It is very hard to find such men who sacrificed their comfort for the betterment of the common citizens of India. Being a high-rank government officer, he could have easily led his retired life by enjoying and relaxing with his family and friend, but he chose a lot more difficult work as a laborer working in a harsh climate all alone. He never thought of his relaxation and fun. Rather he felt the pain of those people who lost their dear ones in an accident due to a road accident and thought of bringing the change all alone.

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