Following Mahatma Gandhi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” he did so and for all of us who travel on the roads in Bengaluru. He is an engineer named Benedict Jebakumar, a 44 years old systems engineer working at Intuit Technology Services.
He is combing the roads for nails since July 2014. He combed a record of 1654 nails off the road in a single day. Sometimes his bag gets filled and he has to return without collecting more nails. Till date, he has collected about 37 kgs of nails.
He said “The main objective is to spread awareness among people. I will not stop till the authorities sit up and take notice”
It all started as he came to Bengaluru in 2012, he used to take the Outer Ring Road (ORR) to travel from his home in Banashankari to his office in Bellandur. His two-wheeler often got punctured on the ORR near Silk Board. Initially he thought of his bike’s tyre quality, but lately he realized that the same is caused due to the nails and most times they are alike and were found close to places near puncture shops.
Initially he started to collect the nails bare hands, but now he uses a foldable magnetic stick. He leaves his home early 7 in the morning, stops at the specific spots and clear up the area. And he repeats the same on his way back home.
He started a Facebook page named `My Road, My Responsibility’ in October 2014, where he documents his daily findings along with a photograph of the nails on weighing scales.
He explained that the authorities were either lethargic or that the problem was not big enough for them to pay attention.”It causes a lot of inconvenience to commuters. They might fall down from the vehicle or even get into accidents,” he pointed out.”Two arrests have been made in the past but miscreants were released within three months and the nails were back on the road.”
He noted that in the absence of CCTV cameras or official validation for puncture shops, it becomes tough to pin people down.
Jebakumar hopes that someday , authorities will find a permanent solution to this menace.”Till then, I will continue as I am helping many people,” he said.