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Of measures and pressures

Rama Rao makes a living by checking blood pressure and sugar levels of the people who come for their daily morning walks at Indira Park.



TESTING TIME: Rama Rao checks the blood pressure.

IT IS 5.30 a.m. A flock of storks fly towards Shameerpet Lake. Fifty-six year old Rama Rao is already there at Indira Park.

A quaint old, bespectacled man with an unusually broad grin and a weather-beaten black VIP.

"Good morning, young man," he announces. "Business is brisk in the morning, you know," he is quick to add.

Rao makes a living by measuring blood pressure and sugar levels of the thousand-odd people who come for their daily morning walks in the park.

"It's Monday today, isn't it?" he asks opening his black box. Retired army Colonel Raja Gopal will be here shortly to get his routine checks done. High school teacher - J. Choudary, will follow Mrs. Jaiswal next.

"It's a useful service that he is providing. I am a diabetic suffering from high B.P., as many others who come here for walks. Once a week, I get my pressure checked by Rama Rao when I come here for my strolls," says Colonel Raja Gopal.

"I save a lot of time and money when I do it here instead of going to the doctor", seconds retired Railways employee M.L.P Srinivas, a regular at Indira Park.

Rama Rao charges Rs. 10 for blood pressure check and Rs. 30 for sugar levels.

"I earn around Rs 200-Rs 300, every morning I come here. Earlier, I used to come here almost everyday.

Now I come on Wednesdays, Mondays and Sundays or any other day," says the novel entrepreneur and adds, "More than money it is the public service that I am interested in."

Loy and his wife Christina, both in their 80s are all praise for him, "Rama Rao's morning smile makes our day. His face radiates happiness as he greets each and every one," says 82-year old Christina. "If the meter shows a rise in pressure or sugar level, he consoles you and even offers suggestions to bring it under control," adds Loy.

Looks like Rama Rao has been visiting the park for ages, he seems to know everyone, the time they come, how many rounds each will make. "Oh yes. I have been coming here ever since the park opened to the public, for morning walks," he concurs readying the sugar-level testing instrument for senior journalist V. Vijaykumar.

"You should appreciate Rao. He is the first to reach the park and the last one to leave," says Vijaykumar. Morning walkers never had it so good. A refreshing amble near the pond... a lot of trees, fresh breeze, the first rays of the sun, twitter of birds... and quaint Rama Rao with his black VIP.

S.C.

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