Assam Man Completely Renovates Poorly Maintained Road In Honour Of His Father’s Memory

A common problem among all of us is that we expect the Government or the local municipality to solve any public issue. Why? Well, there are some legitimate reasons. One is because it’s their duty. And another is because most of us are too lazy to do something in the interest of the general public. However, Gautam Bardoloi from Assam has shown that if your heart is in the right place, you can overcome both of those obstacles.

According to Indian Express, a road named after a well-known Dibrugarh-based social worker, Heramba Bardoloi, passed through the Boiragimoth locality. However, his son, Gautam Bardoloi, says that it was a huge problem for the thousands of families that resided there,

“The Dibrugarh Municipality named the road after my father in 2008. While it was a wonderful gesture, the road was in a pitiable condition.”

The road was named after Bardoloi’s father for good reason. He explained,

“My father, who was also a journalist, devoted his life to social work. In the floods of 1968, he had single-handedly rehabilitated the fisherfolk community, displaced from Mohanaghat by helping them build a new life in another village called Notun Tekela Siring Motek gaon. He helped them get documents for land, established a library and a namghar (prayer hall). My mother is still invited to the village to hoist the flag on his behalf every Bihu.

So, despite shuttling between Hong Kong and Assam due to his work, Gautam Bardoloi decided to start redoing the road. He said,

“In early 2013, with the help of some local boys, I started slowly filling up the road with land to raise its height. We raised it by about one-and-a-half feet.”

While the work in 2013 also involved laying PVC paver blocks in front of the gates of the individual houses, it wasn’t until 2017 that the real work began. Bardoloi said,

“I set up a drainage system, the lack of a proper one was what was causing the floods every year. We then started laying out garden patches on both sides of the road. Some local boys helped me in painting the road too.”

While the ‘garden patches’ consists of various ornamental plants, Bardoloi said that there’s papaya, turmeric and coriander plants among them as well.

After the road and its surrounding areas were completed, Bardoloi put up a cheeky Facebook post, saying that it looked like Singapore. But in all seriousness, he feels that it was the best way to honour his father’s memory.

“The first thing many people asked me today was: how much did it cost you? Was it a community initiative? When I say it was my own, they are shocked. But it isn‚Äôt that shocking. My father devoted his whole life to social service. This was the least I could do.”

It took Bardoloi five years to renovate this road. But all the effort looks it was worth it. What was once a barren path is now full of solar street lights, reflective studs, pavement markers, rubber speed-breakers and convex road safety mirrors to avoid accidents. In addition to that, there are vinyl posters plastered on the walls, asking people to keep the roads clean and safe.

Now, it took Bardoloi Rs. 13 lakh to get this project done. And to say that all of us do the same will be a bit hypocritical because we don’t have that kind of money. However, what we can do is follow Bardoloi’s example and make daily efforts towards keeping our roads clean, following traffic rules and urging the authorities to make necessary amendments without waiting for support.

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