Passersby and motorists outside the ever-buzzing Nalasopara East police station in Mumbai amusingly look on, as a 68-year-old man in a white kurta and the quintessential Gandhi topi moves his hands in a practised fashion and blows a whistle to manage traffic.
A retired army man and Nalasopara resident, Ramdayal Yadav may not be an appointed traffic police personnel, but he stands dedicatedly outside the Tulinj police station for over four hours every day and helps the traffic police regardless.
Ramdayal was posted to the Indian Army as a cook and served the defence force for twenty long years. Unfortunately, in 1982, the man decided to take voluntary retirement after his son was killed in an accident at Bhayander, Mumbai.
Of his three surviving daughters, Ramdayal lives with the one, who is a widow.
The senior citizen first started regulating traffic as a resident of Kandivali before he moved into his daughter’s home in Nalasopara in 2013.
The traffic noise right outside his home in Kandivali had become too much for the man to bear and so he sought permission from the police to volunteer to manage traffic in the area.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Ramdayal says, “Owing to heavy traffic, people used to honk a lot near my house. When I found out that only one traffic constable had been stationed in the area, I decided to do something about it,” says Yadav.
Even when he shifted to Nalasopara, Ramdayal wanted to continue the service. He approached the Tulinj police station to seek approval. And while Yadav, due to lack of any formal appointment, cannot issue fines to motorists violating traffic rules, every time he tracks down a violator, Ramdayal alerts the traffic officials, who then take the matter forward.
The senior citizen believes the traffic duty keeps him physically and mentally fit.
“He has made our job easier, given that it is difficult to manage traffic in this area. Yadav stands near the police station for four hours every day. Thanks to him, motorists are beginning to obey traffic rules,” senior police inspector at Tulinj police station, Kerubhau Kolhe said lauding Yadav’s dedication.
Feature Image credit (in-set): Hindustan Times