U. Sagayam or Ubagarampillai Sagayam an IAS officer and an activist well-known for his work against corruption in Tamil Nadu. The officer belongs to Tamil Nadu Cadre of 2001. His motto is “Reject bribes and Hold your head high.” He regularly antagonizes politicians and supporters in Tamil Nadu.
He took birth in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu on 22nd March 1962. He has handled cases in Tamil Nadu including state elections in 2011 and illegal granite-mining in Madurai. U. Sagayam is a local hero in Tamil Nadu. He got transferred twenty-five times for his efforts to eliminate corruption. Being born into a middle-class family, he became the youngest son in the family of five.
His father was a farmer. As a child, Sagayam went to a panchayat elementary school and a Government Secondary school. Later, he did masters in law and social work. In 1989, he cleared the Civil Services Examinations and joined the Central Secretariat Service. He completed training and worked in Delhi.
Later, he resigned and applied for Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. He got elected and eventually earned a promotion to the Indian Administrative Service. He started his career in Tamil Nadu in 1991 in Ootacamund District of Tamil Nadu. Initially, Sagayam had to face charges of favoritism to the tea estates, but later he got relieved of the accusations. In 2000, he became the Additional District Magistrate in Kanchipuram.
There, he forbade Pepsi from manufacturing its soft drinks due to dirt found in the product. He also took action against the sand mafia at Palar River and reduced communal violence. In 2005, he confiscated illegal subsidy cylinders used in over 500 restaurants in Chennai. In 2009, he got the post of a Collector in Namakkal District.
He made his assets public for the first time and stated that a district collector must be an example of honesty. He showed house owned by him and his wife in Madurai with a bank balance of 7,172 Rs. He transformed the district and village administrative officer (VAO) system. In his career Sagayam got transferred many times for his honesty under the influence of politicians, he got transferred twenty-five times for his efforts to eliminate corruption. But the love of local people made him a hero in South India. Many a time’s people protested against his transfer; this shows the affection the citizens had for him.