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.
My native is Tanjavur. I came to Chennai in 1990 to earn a living. I have studied only up to Class 8 and due to this, I could only manage to find a job as an assistant in a drug company. After a few years, I decided to become an autorickshaw driver and rented a vehicle. I liked the occupation. I have a younger brother and sister, and the responsibility of getting them educated and married fell on me as my family was not financially sound. I have a son and a daughter, who are studying in school. Due to family responsibility, I could not buy a house for us. Now, I have been living in a rented house in Choolaimedu for several years. As the house owner is a family friend, the rent is nominal, and I can manage. With the present price range, it is impossible to buy a house in Chennai. I own my autorickshaw. I do not want to pressurise my children for anything. I want them to choose their career. For the past few years, passengers have been shifting to Ola and Uber. This has reduced our income. Even though the income is steady with Ola, Uber and others, it demands more of time. I, too, have plans to join them without losing my regular customers, who are school children.