R Arumugam (36) Deliveryman
My day starts fairly early. After helping my wife prepare the morning coffee, I make a list of all the homes where drinking water has to be delivered. Then I head to the house of an old lady who prepares lunch for over two dozen families. The orders are placed over phone the previous night, and she has a list of recipients ready by the time I reach her.
It is my job to deliver the meals, packed in huge, steel tiffin carriers. I voluntarily check to see if the carriers are cleaned well before piping hot meals are packed in them. All of them may look similar, but some have portions for three members packed in them. Most of them are for a family of two.
Once I am given an address, I do not need to be informed of it again. I know the by lanes of Adyar, Raja Annamalaipuram, etc, so I can locate any address easily.
The food delivery takes a good two hours daily. I have to be prompt in reaching the food to the homes since most of the buyers are senior citizens, who get mentally very agitated if the food is late by even five minutes. It also means I have to be very fast in delivering. I have devised a system whereby I collect an empty carrier and deliver a full carrier. This way I do not water much time. Luckily, no one has complaints about the food, and I can do my job and leave. I earn Rs 5,000 from this job, which is not enough at all.
My wife and I have a girl child whom we want to educate well. To earn more money, I began to deliver water in a few houses. Until the North-East monsoon set in, there was a huge demand for water in cans, and I was able to earn a bit.
At the end of the day, I am happy that I am in a line where I help people eat healthy food, drink clean water.