June 8, 2006

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P.Upendran, Panayil House, Medical College – Akkulam Road, Thiruvananthapuram

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For almost 40 years he has served the Government of Kerala without availing a single day’s leave.  And at the age of 69, P.Upendran of Panayil House, Medical College – Akkulam Road, Thiruvananthapuram still continues his uninterrupted service as the driver of the Minister for Food.

Upendran, who joined the Tourist Garage as a temporary worker in 1963 later became a temporary hand at the Directorate of Tourism in 1967.  In 1977 he became a regular employee and continued in Government service till his retirement in December 1993.  During this period he worked as driver and peon in the General Administration Department also.

Since he had finished his service without availing a single day’s leave, the Government extended his employment for another 5 years.  After this extended service he spent the next 1½ years at home.  However, the desire to be productive and engage in work prompted him to approach the then Chief Minister A.K.Antony.  And Upendran joined as the Chief Minister’s driver in June 2001.

Despite obvious difficulties, he used to be present during all ‘bandh’ days.  And during his career he did not claim any medical reimbursement either.

Although he worked without rest for a good part of his life, his earnings have been meager.  He lives in a rented house.  His one wish is that the Government would provide a job for his son Ramdas, who is now a final year student at Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram.

Nature has a way of bringing to the fore the glories of persons whom the powers-that-be fail to appreciate.  Upendran too was the recipient of such largesse.  As his daughter’s marriage was fixed on a working day, he had refused to go on leave.  He even informed his dear ones his inability to attend the function.  However, owing to the altered sighting of the moon in connection with the Muharrum festival, the holiday declared earlier by the Government had to be rescheduled. And March 25, 1993, the date of his daughter’s marriage, turned out to be a public holiday. 


Courtesy: S.V.Rajesh, Mathrubhumi, April 10, 2006
Contributed by: Administrator 


"Habits are at first cobwebs, at last chains."