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.
R Sekar (60), Sugarcane juice seller
Chennai: I was born and brought up in Chennai. My father was a barber. Due to family situation, I could not attend school regularly and eventually dropped out after Class 4. I usually open my sugarcane juice shop on the platform at 10.30 am. During summer, the sales would be high, and I was easily making more than Rs 1,000 a day. I had also employed two women to help me as the sales was very high. After the city witnessed some rain, the sales declined forcing me to terminate them. For the past few weeks, I could make only Rs 350 a day. Before starting this sugarcane juice shop, I worked as a security guard. I quit that job as they used to delay the salary. I also didn’t like that job and started the juice shop four years ago. During the summer season in 2018, I didn’t set up a shop following the eviction drive by Corporation officials. I have two daughters, who are married, and a son. My son helps me to run the shop. My wife died more than seven years ago. Next few months will be difficult for me, but I am not worried about low income. I have lived for sixty years and at least I am able to earn my living. There are several people, who die early and in destitute condition. If I earn more money, I will eat good food with non-vegetarian items that day. Otherwise, I am okay with simple sambar rice.”