In a rare gesture, Domlur residents on Saturday felicitated a pourakarmika who retired after 32 years of service in the locality.
The Domlur Layout Residents Welfare Association (DLRWA) and Domlur Senior Citizens Charitable Trust felicitated Puttamma for her service.
Talking to DH, 58-year-old Puttamma admitted to being emotional having to bid adieu to a job she loved doing.
“I was really touched by their gesture,” she said. “I’m grateful to each one of them. Their trust and love gave me a sense of fulfillment in the work I did.”
Living in nearby Kodihalli, Puttamma’s day would begin at 4.30 am as she would finish household chores and report for work at 6 am. She said the work taught her discipline that helped her lead a healthy life.
“The health card issued by the municipality remains unused since I didn’t get admitted to hospital in all these years,” Puttamma said.
Originally from Mandya, Puttamma came to Bengaluru 40 years ago, after marriage. Her husband worked as a car driver to an official from the then municipal corporation. “After his passing away in 1992, I had three young children to take care of,” she said.
Since the Rs 900 pension she received from the corporation after her husband’s death was insufficient, she took up the job as a pourakarmika that helped her raise her children.
“My brother-in-law guided me in securing the job of sweeping streets in 1993 with a salary of Rs 1,200,” she said.
Now Puttamma retires with a monthly salary of Rs 42,000 and Rs 10,000 pension, which is sufficient to the needs of her big family.
“We are a joint family with 13 members — two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren. I am proud to say I have shaped all their lives single-handedly,” Puttamma said.
“Work helped in forgetting my personal struggles as I got to interact with and learn from so many people each day. Luckily for me, I have swept the streets of residents who respect the work I do and look after me like one of their own.”
Being a permanent employee of the corporation, she did not face issues like salary or safety offered by the civic body. “I’m grateful to the BBMP,” she added.
Already on the next job
Two private offices in the locality have already appointed her to work. “As it is tough to stay at home with nothing to do, I was more than willing to get back to work immediately,” said Puttamma.
Shivkumar V Naidu, general secretary, Domlur Layout RWA, said Puttamma always worked with a smile on her face and covered five streets a day. “She was one of the most helpful, kind-hearted persons who never missed work, come rain or shine. Residents will miss her service,” he said.