For over 5 decades a Coonoor resident, E. Molly Elliott has served the Nilgiris police in managing traffic and other petty responsibilities.73 aged, Ms. Elliott has been named a privileged traffic warden.
Ms. Elliott grew up in Coonoor and started helping the police in the 1970s. “When I first started helping the police, it was just with trivial police work, when there were very few women in the team. So, I used to help in keeping the roads safe and assist people who visited Coonoor,” she recalled. Ms. Elliott does not have a home or a job, but she reaches for duty on time every day.“She doesn’t complain about the work assigned to her, nor does she expect anything in return. She loves doing the job of a traffic warden,” said Coonoor DSP D. Suresh.
Rajesh Kumar, who hails from Ottupattarai, has known Ms. Elliott since he was a child. “I have seen her around town for as long as I can remember, and she has become one of the most recognizable people with her signature camouflage cap,” he said. Because she does not have a full-time job, Ms. Elliott depends on the generosity of people for food. “I don’t need much food, but I love biscuits,” she said. She is well-known in the town and people offer her free meals. “Even then, I mostly turn them down and accept meals only from people whom I consider my very close friends.”
She shows her two badges proudly, one reads E. Molly Elliott, social worker, and the other reads ‘honorary traffic warden’. Serving for the police gives Ms. Elliott a spirit of fulfillment and meaning.“Especially during the peak tourist season, I really enjoy helping the police in their duties. I always take part in awareness campaigns that the police and the municipality conduct,” she said. Among Ms. Elliott’s most prized properties are photos she has taken with top IPS officers who have visited the Nilgiris.