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.
G Balaji (40), Sugarcane juice shop owner
Chennai: I have been running a shop on Choolaimedu High Road for four years. Before that, I was running a bar attached to a Tasmac outlet for more than 15 years. When I had the bar, I had more than enough income and I could help my employees. However, I had to close the bar as my only daughter has been sick for several years. She was diagnosed with a serious illness when she was 18 months old and she is nine years old now. She could not walk and was bedridden all these years. I spent all my money on her treatment in vain. I had to forego my bar as I could not manage between hospitals and business. With no money left, my daughter is being treated in a government hospital now. We receive government’s aid of Rs 1,500 and the little money is not sufficient. I have studied up to Class 10 and discontinued due to my family’s financial situation. Once, I had a wish to do well in my life. Even though the doctors say that my daughter cannot be cured, all I wish for is that she is cured of her disease. Children are everyone’s happiness and I do not have that happiness. Let life take me where it wants. My former employees still call me over the phone and talk. It gives contentment as somebody is doing well in life because of me.