By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
If you ever thought car washing was small business, here is a man who defies that notion. Three decades of his life spent on one road and he is still going strong. He is tall, well-built and means business as he wears a T-Shirt, rolls up his trousers and starts cleaning four-wheelers parked on D. Devaraja Urs Road every morning. He strongly believes in the adage ‘Work is Worship’ and takes great pride in his job, thus attracting everyone’s attention.
A resident of Ashokapuram, Car Cleaner Devaraju has won the confidence of car owners. Even though the number of car cleaning services (fully automatic ones) has gone up, keeping pace with the growth in vehicular numbers, Devaraju’s clientele has not dropped.
He cleans cars parked at the junction of Devaraja Urs Road and JLB Road opposite ‘Coffee Mane.’ His work starts as early as 6 am when he comes with a bucket, three or four cleaning clothes and a mug. The work goes on till 1 pm, almost at the same spot.
If customers who come for shopping ask him to clean their cars, he readily does it. His other customers include those who come and park their cars at 6 am while they go for jogging, walking or playing games at the nearby Maharaja’s College Grounds. Those who come after 7 am for coffee and breakfast also get their cars cleaned. Every day he cleans five to ten cars.
Devaraju uses just one or two buckets of water to clean any car. By using very little water, he cleans and makes the car surface shine. Customers return a happy lot with his service and hence there are many who are using his services since a number of years.
“I started cleaning cars on Devaraja Urs Road before I got married. It is 28 years now since I got married. I have two children. I have got my daughter married and I am educating my son. I do not consider this job demeaning. When I started this work I was being paid only Rs.2 per car. Now, I earn anywhere between Rs.30, Rs.50 and Rs.100 depending on the customer. Many who come from Kodagu look for me to get their cars cleaned,” he says.
Explaining the cleaning process, Devaraju says, “First I wash the dust on the car with water and then I use a clean cloth to wipe it. Later I clean the mat inside the car. Finally, I wipe the car with cloth and polish.”
“There are customers who are with me since 20 years. Officials, people who work in companies and others get their cars cleaned by me. I will not give up this job and will do it with all dedication. In spite of many service stations opening, I do not have shortage of customers and I lead a satisfied life. From the time of Ambassadors to Fiats, I now clean all the latest models,” he says with pride.
So next time you go shopping on D. Devaraja Urs Road, look out for Namma-Nimma Devaraju !