While other politicians have swanky cars, she cycles to campaign for her cause - prohibition

A school teacher keeps it simple with her bicycle campaign
news Elections Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 16:41

38-year-old Narmada Nandakumar has to begin her day early, before the scorching sun zaps out all her energy. Sporting a dull grey cap, Narmada climbs onto her bicycle to begin her day’s campaign. This school teacher from Chennai is the newly-formed Puthiya Sakthi Front’s (PSF) candidate for Ambattur.

Unlike many political biggies, who have swanky customised campaign-vehicles, Narmada has a cycle for company. And instead of a loud-speaker blaring out to people to vote for her, Narmada has a simple sign that bears her credentials – MA, MPhil in Economics, and an issue she stands for – prohibition. “It’s all about simple living and high thinking,” she says animatedly, quoting her idol, Mahatma Gandhi.

She jumps off her cycle at many points – at a tea stall, a fruit and vegetable market, at a dhobi’s – canvassing for votes.  The idea to campaign from sunrise to sunset on her bicycle, she says is not only to keep it simple but to avoid adding to the noise and vehicular pollution that comes with an election campaign.   

The Puthiya Sakthi Front that she represents is made up of over 50 social organisations. The PSF’s agenda is to provide bribe-free administration, scam-free governance and liquor-free Tamil Nadu. Calling the Dravidian heavyweights “corrupt”, she is unafraid of her competition and is ready to take them on in the electoral battlefield. “I believe I can make a difference. This is only the beginning,” Narmada trails off.  


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