I could not study beyond Class 5 due to my family’s economic situation and started helping my father, who was also a cobbler. I used to sit on the roadside near Kancheepuram market and stitch slippers. I got married at the age of 26 and have two children now. Both of them are studying in a private school in Kancheepuram.
After taking over from my father, I work from 7 am to 12 noon and then from 5 pm to 7 pm on all days. Nowadays, many people don’t come to us as there are many footwear showrooms. I charge only 10 rupees for fixing a slipper whereas a bigger shop charges anywhere between Rs 150 and 200.
The government used to provide us small steel bunk shops in taluk office till a few years ago. It would be helpful to avoid the sun and the rain. However, they stopped it and we are suffering on the roadside.
People should support those like me as it will also help them save money. I will work hard to ensure my children are able to achieve their dreams.