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At 73, she keeps traffic in order

E. Molly Elliott has stood the Nilgiris police in good stead since the 1970s.

For over 50 years, E. Molly Elliott, a Coonoor resident, has assisted the Nilgiris police in regulating traffic and other minor duties. Now 73, Ms. Elliott has been made a honorary traffic warden.

Ms. Elliott grew up in Coonoor and began assisting the police in the 1970s. “When I first started helping the police, it was just with minor police work, when there were very few women in the force. So, I used to help in keeping the roads safe and assist people who visited Coonoor,” she recalled.

Ms. Elliott does not have a house of her own or a job, but she reports for duty on time every day.

“She doesn’t complain about the work assigned to her, nor does she expect anything in return. She likes doing the job of a traffic warden,” said Coonoor DSP D. Suresh.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident of 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 recognisable people with her signature camouflage cap,” he said.

As she does not have a full-time job, Ms. Elliott depends on the kindness of strangers for food. “I don’t need much food, but I love biscuits,” she said. She is well-known throughout 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.”

Two badges

She points proudly to her two badges — one reads E. Molly Elliott, social worker, and the other reads ‘honorary traffic warden’. Working for the police gives Ms. Elliott a sense of fulfilment 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 possessions are photos she has taken with top IPS officers who have visited the Nilgiris.

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