Social worker and Traffic Ramaswamy KR Ramaswamy, popularly known as, died on Tuesday (4 May 2021) in Chennai. He was 87. A few days ago Ramaswamy was admitted to the Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital in Chennai for treatment. His corona report had come negative, but was undergoing treatment for lung trouble. According to doctors, Ramaswamy was on ventilator support and could not be saved after a heart attack.
This eminent social worker from Chennai was known for campaigning against the poster culture on a large scale in the state. Traffic Ramaswamy was also known for filing PILs in the Madras High Court against road widening, encroachment and traffic violations.
More than 500 PIL on issues related to common man
In the 1990s, he used to stand for hours to ease traffic on the main routes of Chennai city. This earned KR Ramaswamy the nickname ‘Traffic’. After regularizing Ramaswamy traffic, he soon took to court his fight for road encroachment and improving traffic-related issues. Hundreds of PILs were filed, making him a household name.
KR Ramaswamy filed more than 500 PILs during his lifetime. He is considered responsible for many changes in Tamil Nadu. In 1998, he filed his first public interest litigation in the Madras High Court challenging the state government’s decision to construct a flyover on NSC Bose Road. In 2002, he filed a public interest litigation against a motorized three-wheeler make-shift auto-rickshaw, which was used to sell fish.
Born on April 1, 1934, into a peasant family, Ramaswamy spent the first 18 years of his life helping his family. At the age of 18, he started working as an assistant to the then Chief Minister of Madras C Rajagopalachari. Ramaswamy used to consider Rajagopalachari as his role model.
Ramaswamy once said, “Rajaji always taught me to question against wrong. He also said that I should always listen to those who criticize me. We can find our mistakes through them. I had followed his advice since then. “
Elections were also fought against Jayalalithaa
Ramaswamy was a fearless activist. He could often be seen tearing down large flex boards and hoardings mounted by politicians, businessmen and common people on the streets of Chennai. She once in by-elections Also fought against Jayalalithaa. Ramaswamy then said that his fight was not against the former Chief Minister, but against corruption in Tamil Nadu. However, he lost the election by securing only 4590 votes.
Ramaswamy’s story also appeared on the silver screen due to his excellent works. In 2018, his biopic was titled ‘Traffic Ramaswamy’, directed by Vicky and played by S Chandrasekhar.