Rajamanikam (70), fruit seller.
I am from Manalurpettai village in Tiruvannamalai. I lost my parents at an early age and came to Chennai in 1955. I started a snacks shop in Ayanavaram and was running it initially. My wife’s name is Kanagammal and we have six daughters. I worked very hard to provide a comfortable life for my children. After a few years, sales dropped at the snacks stall and I came to Perungalathur 10 years ago. I started a fruit stall near the railway station. Now, all my daughters are married and settled in different parts of the city. I live with my wife in Perungalathur. I open the fruit stall at 6.30 am and shut it at 9.30 pm. My shop will be open on all days of the week. I occasionally close it if I want to attend some family function. I go to Koyambedu market three days a week early in the morning to buy fruits and I pick only the best quality available. At present, I am happy with this job and enjoying my life with my wife. At times, I feel weak physically and think of closing the shop permanently. But, something is stopping me from doing it and I think I will continue it till the end.”