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.
SJ Lawrence (58), Watchman
Chennai: I came to Chennai 25 years ago and spent most of my life in the city. I hail from Madurai and studied till Class 10 there. After that, I started looking for some government jobs and applied to be a bus conductor. However, I could not get through and I came to my relative’s house in Chennai after a few years. Then, I took training to be a security guard in the city. I have travelled to all the southern States for work. I had to shift houses to various localities in the city every time I get a transfer. I started with a salary of Rs 350 and now, I earn Rs 12,000. I have to work for 12 hours every day without even a single day leave to get my full salary. I have a son and daughter and I am happy that both of them are earning more than me. I worked hard to ensure that my children get good education. I enjoy my work and I am not dependent on anyone. It is sometimes difficult due to harsh weather and also mosquitoes cause trouble during night shifts. I have to stay alert no matter which shift I am posted on, I am answerable if there is any problem in the premises.”