Cobbler to councillor: A success story

Beyond skin deep

Cobbler to councillor: A success story

The Town Municipal Council, with its new entrants, has a member with an unusual profession: a cobbler.

Rathnaiah, who won from Santhe Maidan, ward 6, with the JD(S) ticket, has been working with shoes sitting by the street next to the bus stand.

The new TMC member, however, finds nothing unusual in his occupation. “Most residents of the Santhe Maidan area are manual workers of some form,” said Rathnaiah, adding, “Only that the representatives of the area have not undertaken any development work as they claim they have. Which is what gave me the idea of contesting the elections and trying to improve the condition by providing at least basic amenities to the people at Santhe Maidan.”

Rathnaiah, who won with 264 votes, said he would continue with his profession even as a Municipality member. “I will manage both duties- as a Municipality member and as a cobbler- together. After all, membership in the Municipality is merely for five years. I need to earn my bread even further, if I have to manage my household. I will probably set up a shop by the road to continue as before,” he explained.

Remembering the condition and reactions when he decided to contest, Rathnaiah said, “I had to face quite a bit of derision from the residents of the ward, who were not confident I would win the TMC polls. But I carried on, even campaigning for votes without spending any money. People respected my courteous nature, and showed they had confidence I would represent them successfully in the Municipality.”

He added that he would strive to live up to the expectations of the residents of Santhe Maidan area diligently.

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