Security guard cycles across South India to bring peace between Karnataka and Tamil NaduThink Change India
Fifty-year-old Chakravartthy from Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, works as a private security guard in Bengaluru. His only companion is his cycle, atop which he has spent the past few years attempting to solve Karnataka and Tamil Nadu's Cauvery issue.
After a failed furniture business in his native place, Cycle Chakravartthy, as he has come to be known, came to Bengaluru in search of work in 2005. He got a job as a security guard but was homeless for more than two years. It was because he was determined not just to save enough money to rent a place but also to buy a cycle, according to The Hindu. In his words,
“I came looking for work and got a job as a security guard with a firm for a monthly pay of Rs 2,500. For 33 months, pavements and parks were my home. I saved enough money to take a room on rent at Byappanahalli and buy a bicycle.”
Chakravartthy became aware of the Cauvery issue in the 1990s when the Tamil-speaking population started fleeing Karnataka because of the riots. He helped by providing food to the ones fleeing the state. Concerned about the brewing issue, he read extensively about the subject.
He was determined to do his part to solve the issue between two states he genuinely cares about. So, he went on his first cycling trip in 2012, a round trip between Bengaluru and Chennai. During the trip, he met people (from both states) and explained each side to the people of the other state. To attract more attention to his cause, he has taken steps to make sure people notice him — his long, coloured hair and bright clothes serve an important purpose. In an interview with The Times of India, he said,
"I gave my ride a colourful sticker job and bought a photograph of MGR (ex-TN chief minister) kissing Rajkumar on the cheek. I framed the picture, fitted it in front of my cycle, and pedalled across Bengaluru for months. I thought it was the best symbol of peace. I met a lot of curious people and spoke to them."
He has named his cycle Shahara and believes he doesn't need any other companion in his life and that married life wouldn't suit his purpose. In the five years since he started, he has taken a lot of trips across South India not just to emphasise on interstate peace but also on world peace.