September 8, 2015
The next time you stop by a traffic signal, if you come across a man who is spreading awareness about a social cause, using his Maruti omni van and a public address system, you can be sure that he is V.S. Surresh Kumar.
It has been two long years since Surresh is involved in the activity of sensitizing the public on various topics like keeping the city clean, waste segregation, and planting more trees among other subjects.
He plans his day the previous night and he sets out in his Maruti van post breakfast. He drives down to the planned crowded traffic signal area and parks his van by the road. He targets traffic signals that are busy and he ensures that he is there during peak hours in the mornings and evenings. This he says helps him reach out his awareness message to maximum people.
His van is equipped with a public address system. His script is also planned. He uses a microphone and he delivers his awareness message. Those who use that signal generally lend him an ear. He is happy that many riders and drivers listen to him out of curiosity. Some of them even gesture him thumbs up. Strangers flashing a smile and waving at him has become very common for Surresh.
During off peak hours, Surresh visits schools in order to spread his awareness message to children. “I target Government schools as the kids in these schools need a piece of advice the most. With school kids I share information on value of parents, merits of education, quick Math tips, and time management among others,” 45-year old Surresh says. Till date he has reached out to more than 37,000 school children and he has visited over 200 schools located in and around Coimbatore.
“I have received the necessary permissions from the Coimbatore Corporation and Commissioner to carry out this social service work.” says Surresh.
It was what Surresh went through in his life that made him get involved in social service full time. Two road accidents, the second (in 2008), which left him unconscious and hospitalized prompted him to look at life differently. While he was recovering at home he made up his mind that he would do something good for the society and its people. Thus was born the idea of spreading awareness about social causes.
Surresh was working with KG Group. He gave up his job to start his own business through which he made enough money for his family. “We have a simple lifestyle and we make our ends meet. Today, I am into social service full time. I am happy that through my initiative I am able to give back to the society and its people in my own way. I am contented that the purpose of my life is fulfilled.” Surresh says.
Funds to carry out his ambitious awareness drive pour in from various sources. He carries out this initiative in the name of Vidya Saraswathy Academy that is part of World People Welfare Trust that he started in 2004. Surresh is Apex Member of Siruthuli, Managing Committee Member of Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore (RAAC), and Core Committee Member of Towards a Serene Kovai (TASK).