I am from Uttar Pradesh and I came to Chennai 10 years ago in search of employment as my father passed away while I was in school. I could not continue my schooling after my Class 10 and started working at small departmental stores.
It was difficult to adjust to the surroundings initially as I did not know the language and I did not like the food here. Born into a family of panwalas in my native, I set up my own shop outside Alsa Mall. Though there are not many pan shops in the locality, my customers grew over time and there are at least 20-25 regular customers who visit my shop every evening.
I have my mom, wife and three children at home and I am managing the house with the little income I get. It becomes a bit difficult at times. Thus, instead of a makeshift cart, I am planning to set up my own store in the city someday. People in the city are very generous and accepting of people from other States.
Though I could not continue my studies, I want my children to have the opportunity for higher education and choose a career of their choice. There are many sacrifices I need to make to support the family, the biggest one being not taking leave even for a day.