SR Ramanan is the director of the Area Cyclone Warning Centre in Chennai. Many of us might remember him due to the popularity he received as the city’s weatherman last month. He would report the weather forecasts for the next day, and the whole state would listen in silence, curious whether schools, colleges, and offices would be open the next day. Only a few weeks back, light humor and memes on him had spread on the social media, making him a favourite among school and college goers, who could now miss classes, thanks to his announcements.
Times have changed over the past week with Chennai receiving massive amounts of rains. As we pray for Chennai, Ramanan has been stuck in the meteorological office for the past few days, still providing timely updates on the weather. His own house has been severely flooded, and his own family, stranded in the house, had to be rescued. Ramanan told the Hindu, “I could not reach them as there is no mobile connectivity. Many roads to my area are blocked. I am waiting for water to recede to take a quick break from work and reach home. Several of the other meteorological staff members are also in the same plight.”
A few days ago, Ramanan himself was stranded on a flooded arterial road on his way back home. He rejects the celebrity status he has been given over the past few weeks. “I am just a government servant and it is my responsibility to alert people and government of the weather situation,” he says. This is his last year in office, as he awaits retirement in March next year.
We pray for his and his family’s well being. The Chennai floods has seen many heroes stepping beyond boundaries to do their bit, and he is certainly one of them.
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