Ramaswamy, popularly known as Traffic Ramaswamy is a self-appointed traffic policeman, public interest litigator and social activist from Chennai. Much of his involvement is in regulating Chennai’s traffic and filing PIL in court. Traffic Ramaswamy is a man for fighting against the wrong doing and his fights continues till date.
Out of great interest in doing social service, he started directing traffic unofficially at the one of the busy area of Chennai, Parrys Corner. His efforts pleased the local police and they provided him an official identity card. From then on, he was called by the nickname Traffic Ramaswamy.
By spending many hours on city roads, he studied many traffic issues; saw cops harassing street vendors and cops demanding bribes from motorists. The wrong doings irritated him – it initiated him to take pictures of police officers, who did the wrong and send them to the city police commissioner. This created a list of enemies began to him.
The police started troubling him and filed false cases against him. He was arrested and put behind bars for seven times.
In 1998, he filed a PIL challenging the decision of the state government to construct a fly over on the NSC Bose road near the High Court. His plea was after the construction of the flyover, street vendors would increase and the government officials would earn a lot of money every month by taking bribes from each of the shops.
In 2002, he filed a PIL against motorized three wheeler make-shift auto-rickshaws that were used for selling fish. Engines from stolen bikes were used to in such make-shift auto-rickshaws. The fishermen community got very angry with him as his PIL affected their jobs.
In October 2013, the bold man filed a PIL against the then-Chief Minister of the state of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa seeking for the removal of name Amma from the Government schemes.
Traffic Ramaswamy’s activism has cost him much – an eye, quite a few enemies, and his family. Yet, he is not tired, he is strong still.
His well-wishers have helped him a lot. Still, at the age of 82, the strong man is seen yelling into one of his phones at his office. His voice is as hoarse as before and also carries a strength message in it.
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