V Jaganathan (70), Sugarcane juice seller
From the age of 12, I have been selling sugarcane juice. I have overcome a lot of obstacles in these past years. My wife passed away very early and I was left with five daughters. During those days, I used to have nightmares on how I am going to get them married. Now all of them are married and are with their families. I earn Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 per day. This business is seasonal as people prefer juice only in the summer. During winters I usually don’t see more than Rs 200 to Rs 300 per day. I have borrowed loans for my daughters’ weddings and now the burden is on me to pay them. Today, my machine is damaged and I have to go home empty-handed. It takes around Rs 6,000 to repair this. I have to borrow money for this again. Life is revolving around debts. I don’t have a son who could support me in my old days and can’t depend on my daughters. I have never been more vulnerable as I feel now. I believe in the man above and trust that he would give me a painless death. My motto in life is to work honestly till the last breath. Till this moment I have never fooled anyone or had that intention. I am happy to say that it’s my own hard work which is making me survive the hardships in life.