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2.12 Memorabilia

Mr. B G Munisamy*
Former Driver

I joined NTI in November 1961. I was given charge of Bedford van MYE 257 and sent to Anantapur camp. Sometime in December 1961, the Director, Dr Bordia came along with Dr O’Rourke and Dr Piot, in the staff car MYE 16. Its driver was Mr Chandran. Seeing me the Director called me:
“Munisamy, why are you here?”
“I am driving Bedford van sir and taking trainees for field work.”
“You give charge to Chandran and takeover the Chevrolet immediately and come with us.”

I went back with them and from then on, I drove the staff car. I had to pickup all the WHO officers and Director in the morning and drop them back to their homes in the evening after work. In the office, I was asked to assist in the repair of vehicles. I was a good mechanic. Perhaps this was the reason why I was brought to the headquarters from the field. The NTI workshop was under Mr Socrates, the transport supervisor. We had a lot of repair work then because there were more than forty imported vehicles. These were being used constantly for field work. In fieldwork, there were always some emergency because of vehicle breakdown. The moment our section got information, Mr Socrates would ask us to attend to it. We mechanics would pickup the required spare parts and material and leave.

But accidents happen. A few months later, I was driving Bedford van MYE 5569 to Magadi camp when suddenly the right front tyre burst and the vehicle overturned. Somehow, with help, I turned the vehicle upright and replaced the tyre. There were scratches on the side but fortunately nothing happened to me and the vehicle was in running condition. I brought back the vehicle and informed Mr Socrates about it. The next morning I was called by the Director. I went to him shivering thinking that I would get fired. But, he was not angry. He asked me, “Munisamy, you are a careful driver. How did this accident happen? It is a new vehicle. Tell me honestly what happened.” I narrated what had happened. He listened calmly and was not angry with me at all. He got up and said “show me”. We went to the workshop and I explained what had happened. He inspected the vehicle and got it repaired the same day. Not a word was said to me. When he left for Delhi in 1962 as Adviser, I wept. He was our first Director.

Our NTI became a very good institute and became world famous. Where did this fame come from? Because we all worked for it. Even the WHO officers praised us. I want to tell you that I was also a proud member of that group of workers.
* Passed away in October 1999

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