K. R. Ramaswamy
Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Sampath, Traffic Ramaswamy|
K. R. Ramaswamy (born 1934), referred to by the media as Traffic Ramaswamy, is an Indian public interest litigator and social activist from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is a former mill worker, a founder member of Tamil Nadu's Home Guard, and a self-appointed traffic policeman.
Much of his activism relates to regulating traffic in Chennai and filing PIL in court. Initially he started unofficially directing traffic at the city's busy Parrys Corner. The local police were pleased with his efforts and provided him with an official identity card. He acquired the nickname Traffic Ramaswamy after that.
He has brought many public interest lawsuits in the Madras High Court as well as Supreme Court of India. In 2007, he was attacked by his opponents' lawyers on the steps of the courthouse. This was not the first time, he has been attacked: in 2002, he was assaulted by fish sellers, after he obtained a ban on the use of motorised fish carts, damaging his sight and his family have disowned him. He has also had his office ransacked and papers were stolen. However, helped by donations from friends and public he claims he will continue his fight to make Chennai the most livable and lovable city.
His activism have resulted in the demolition of many illegally constructed buildings in Chennai, restrictions on motorised fish carts, de-congestion of major bus routes by banning auto rickshaws from them, and a review of lavish state funding for a feature film (arguing the money could be more properly used for development work). He is now accompanied day and night by an armed police bodyguard appointed by the Madras High Court.
- Chennai Best, "Battling for the Cause of Chennai Citizens" Retrieved: 9 July 2007
- The Hindu, 27 Nov 2006 Online edition of India's National Newspaper Retrieved: 10 July 2007
- IBN Live,, 23 January 2007, "This 73-yr-old is largest PIL filer"
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