M Vellaimmal (46 ), Vegetable seller
I am a native of Sivaganga district but came to Chennai decades ago and started to work here. I have been selling fruits and vegetables for more than 8 years now. Since my husband was a driver, he was able to run the household expenses. But due to his addiction to alcohol, he could not save much and I had to start working. Last year, he passed away due to sudden illness and now I am the only breadwinner of the family. I have two daughters and a son. While my elder daughter got married three years ago, my second daughter is studying in school. My son is differently-abled. I could not provide treatment for my son due to the financial condition of the family. I earn around Rs 300 per day but I have to pay the rent for the cart and there is hardly any money left for us. I have been asking my daughter to start working as soon as she finishes her education. I go to Koyambedu market early in the morning to buy the vegetables and sell them during the day. Life has been more difficult after my husband’s death. I wish to work till my last living day because I want to provide a good life for my children. Currently, my son is being treated with the help of a non-governmental organisation that focuses on children with mental disabilities. All I want is for my daughter to be married and my son can live without depending on anyone.