An autorickshaw driver till a week ago, he is now a corporator of the Mysore City Corporation.
This is the inspiring tale of Siddaiah Swamy, who successfully contested on the ticket of Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) from ward 51 in the recently concluded elections to the MCC). It was also a debut for Swamy, pitted against 12 other candidates including former corporator Shivanna. But lady luck smiled on him.
Swamy, a Mysorean, embarked on his autorickshaw driving career in 1998, to eke out a living. After failing in SSLC exams, he started shouldering responsibilities at an early age. He is the only son among five children to his parents. Also, extending a helping hand comes naturally to him. Eventually he became the ‘go to guy’ in his locality, resolving issues as and when they cropped up. In fact it is this very quality of his that’s made him an elected representative today.
Be it availing benefits from the government like social security schemes, or ferrying the beneficiaries to either city corporation or the social welfare office. A voracious reader of newspapers, Swamy has kept himself abreast of the government schemes and programmes, especially those available for dalits. When he made up his mind to contest the polls, SDPI identified the potential in him and gave him the ticket. Swamy was once a part of the hustings when his aunt Indira had unsuccessfully contested on a Congress ticket from ward 50 (which later became ward 51 after delimitation process). The past experience, coupled with his contact with the people, leveraged Swamy’s winning ability.
A resident of Adi Jambava block, Bettappana Thota, Swamy is busy in his new role as a corporator, especially with the people’s cry for water reaching its peak. He has already met officers and arranged tankers when situation has warranted.
Swamy has no qualms identifying himself as an auto driver, despite donning the new role. “For the time being I have lent the auto to my cousin. But since its my only mode of transport, I will be hopping on to it sooner than later,” he adds.