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.
Shaleem Shah (52) RO purifier technician
Chennai: I belong to a small village in Tirunelveli. I decided to come to Chennai so that my children can attend good schools in the city. So in 2004, I moved to Chennai along with my two children and my wife, who is a homemaker. Now, my elder son goes to a private engineering college, while my younger son is in school. I work as a technician for reverse osmosis purifiers. On average, I earn around Rs 500 every day. Though the can survive with the money I earn, there are some financial constraints that we are facing and hence must compromise on our needs to make ends meet. The main reason for our problems is the living cost in the city, which is quite high when compared to that in my native village. There are other issues in the city, including the severe water crisis we experienced recently, lack of cleanliness, congestion at residential spaces and pollution. Though I have adapted to the city life in the more than 15 years that I have been living here, my plan is to eventually return to my native village once my children are settled. But my children are fond of city life and they visit our native for only festivals, occasions and family gatherings. They would not like to stay in a village. It is their wish, while I would like to return to my village to enjoy the old age.