75-year-old cleaner asked to hoist flag in Bengaluru police unit

Bengaluru: In a touching gesture, staff at Kumaraswamy Layout police station asked Lakshmamma, who has been cleaning the premises for past 23 years, to hoist the flag on 68th Republic Day.

Like it has been her routine for past two decades, on Thursday morning too, Lakshmamma came to the police station at around 6 am and started cleaning the premises.

But little did she know that a pleasant surprise was waiting to greet her on this Republic Day. As she was about to leave for home as usual after work, the 75-year-old was invited to be the chief guest of the occasion and hoist the national flag on police station premises. Overwhelmed Lakshmamma hoisted the tricolour with emotions running high all around.

“Never in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would be requested to hoist the national flag as a chief guest. On Thursday, as usual, I came to the police station with my son to do the cleaning duty.  When I was returning, inspector Ravi Patil asked me to hoist the flag. It was a great gesture I am going to remember forever,” said Lakshmamma.

With tears welling up in her eyes, she added: “I felt really happy and satisfied when policemen here told me that I was asked to hoist the flag in respect of the work I have been doing here. I am happy that my work is being recognised.”

Lakshmamma has been cleaning the Kumaraswamy Layout police station premises since it was established, and the men in khaki wanted to honour her for the relentless service on this Republic Day. She also lives close to the police station.

“For past 23 years, every day I come to the police station around 6 am and leave for other works by 8 am. My son Venkatesh does the cleaning work when I am not well. However, to ensure that he does not pay truant and does his job well, I visit the police station daily to supervise. Policemen here have helped us during tough times like family members. They also gift us clothes during festivals,” she said.

Ravi Patil, police inspector of Kumaraswamy Layout police station said, “I have seen Lakshmamma and Venkatesh working in this police station every day. They ensure that the police station remains clean and tidy. Visitors are always impressed with the cleanliness on the premises.”

“This was just a small gesture to say thanks to Lakshmamma,” he added.

Lakshmamma is paid a monthly amount of Rs 1,500 in lieu of the cleaning job.

After two hours of work at the police station, both Lakshmamma and Venkatesh work as labourers.

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