Anna Durai’s Unique Journey as an Auto DriverJun 19, 2018
Operating on the Thiruvanmiyur–Sholinganallur pathway is Annadurai’s auto rickshaw. His auto is not like any other that you may have seen. While riding in his rickshaw, the riders have access to magazines, television sets, ipads, tablets, laptops, mobile charging stations, Wi-Fi connectivity, and newspapers.
Annadurai’s well-equipped rickshaw
Customers can listen to songs in their native language when travelling in his auto too. Anna stocks film songs from popular films for keeping the commuters entertained during their journey.
Fondly called as ‘Anna’, his share auto is able to carry five to six persons. Several IT companies are located on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and he takes the passengers to and fro is his auto. On the 20-km stretch that spans across Siruseri and Tidel Park, his fares amount from Rs 10 to 25 for different distances.
Annadurai is above 30 years of age and hails from Peravuranu in Thanjavur District. Some years ago, he migrated to Chennai with his family. Presently, he resides in Injambakkam and has been running a shared auto for more than 4 years.
Since a couple of years, he has been equipping his auto with resources for the benefit of his customers. At first, he kept only newspapers. Then, he installed Wi-Fi connectivity so they have access to the internet while commuting. Also, he has invested in an expensive Samsung tablet because his customers are from the IT domain and would find the device handy during their travels.
Annadurai Inside his Auto
Annadurai needs to be lauded, also, because he offers free rides to nurses and teachers. Also, on momentous days (such as Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and Mother’s day) his clients can avail discounts.
Moreover, he sponsors children’s education and also, has encouraged others to follow suit.
Anna’s story was posted by the group ‘Photos that shook the world’ on Facebook. Shortly thereafter, the post went viral and he was inundated by calls to hail him for his unique initiative.
According to him, his work gives him job satisfaction. Also, he is all praises for teachers because they are charting the course for the future generation and their work requires due recognition. Thus, he says that he will always offer free rides to people in this noble profession.
His plans also include sponsoring the education of more children. Moreover, he wants to start an old-age home for providing a home to the elderly persons. Additionally, they will be trained to perform simple jobs so they can earn money.
His credentials include being a speaker on ‘building customer loyalty’ in corporate houses as well. From being a Class 12 dropout to reaching this position, his achievements are surely praiseworthy.
On Facebook, he has more than 10,000 followers. Also, he has given more than 40 speeches at corporate hubs and two TED talks too.
Annadurai at a Corporate Event
Anna has socialised with employees of companies such as Gamesa, Danfoss, Royal Enfield, Hyundai and Vodafone over the years. Moreover, he has travelled extensively around India in cities such as Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai on various assignments.
In 2013, he gave his first-ever speech at The Weekend Leader’s Friends of Positive Journalism (FPJ) members’ programme. After being uploaded on Youtube, he received congratulatory messages for his noble deeds.
Furthermore, he has installed a swiping machine and you need not worry if you do not have cash to pay the auto fare.
Anna has a website and mobile app too. You can book your ride in his auto through the app.
On a regular basis, Anna holds contents for his customers as well. As part of one contest, the participants are asked five questions and the prize money of Rs 1000 is awarded to the winner.
Also, every customer who boards his rickshaw is given a token. After reaching a certain amount of tokens, they win money. The contests are being held for over a year and have met with a positive response from the crowd.
Anna’s concept is so unique. Also, his story is well-meaning and inspiring too. Originating from humble backgrounds, he has carved his own niche. Maybe, we should take a leaf from his book and start contributing to the community in whatever way we can.