42-year-old K Saravanan only studied till class 10. Having lost both his parents very early on in his life, he was brought up by his grandparents. He lives in a rented house in Thukkampalayam, a place in Tamil Nadu, along with his wife and three kids. To earn his daily livelihood, Saravanan rides an autorickshaw and has been doing so for the past 2 decades.
During the lockdown, his income suffered a severe blow. Because schools and offices were closed, he barely earned Rs 200 per day. It was then that the people of his locality helped him immensely. One wouldn’t think that a man coming from such a humble background would one day become a mayor in Tamil Nadu. But Saravanan did!
According to The Indian Express, K Saravanan is now the first mayor of Kumbakonam corporation in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district. What is even more fascinating is that he arrived for his oath-taking ceremony riding his autorickshaw!
Kumbakonam was recently upgraded as a corporation and the elections took place in ward 17 of the temple city. He managed to secure 964 of the total 2,100 votes and emerged as the winner. He wasn’t expecting to win at all. In fact, his party has several other senior functionaries who had a better chance of winning.
“Thanjavur North Congress Committee district leader T R Loganathan asked me to come to the district office and said he had a surprise for me. I was clueless. When I reached the office, he gave me a rousing reception saying: ‘Welcome, Kumbakonam’s first Mayor’. I was shocked. I never expected this because there are so many senior leaders and functionaries,” he said.
“I told him that I am just an auto driver, but our leader said I have the qualities to become the Mayor,” he further added.
Now, as mayor, Saravanan’s initial focus will be on the completion of underground drainage works, repairing damaged roads and ensuring basic amenities like drinking water supply, street lights, etc.
Sometimes, people from the humblest of backgrounds can emerge as the inspiring leaders our country needs.