Every person has a story to share. This column puts the spotlight on the people of Chennai, faces we see but rarely interact with — giving a glimpse into their struggle.
S Akilandeshwari (55), Fruit vendor
Chennai: I am from a village near Perambalur. My husband is from Chennai and I moved with him to the city when after our first son was born. I lost my father at an early age and lived with my mother. Due to her poor financial situation, I could not continue education beyond Class 3. My husband, Selvaraj, runs a pushcart banana shop near Egmore railway station and I help him. He comes to the shop every morning and I would bring him lunch by afternoon and stay with him till night. We procure bananas from Koyambedu market. I have two sons and a daughter. All of them are married now. My elder son completed Class 12 and he also sells fruits. Younger has studied only till Class 7 and works in a food company. Even though they wanted to continue education, they dropped out of school as I could not meet the educational expenses. My husband had a house just outside the city. But we had to sell it to pay off debts. He used to buy provisional items from a nearby shop owner. Credit at the shop swelled into Rs 14,000 and we could not repay it. We had to give our house the shop owner to clear the debt.