“My days in summer begin by going to the market, sourcing fresh fruits, bringing them to the pushcart where I sell juice and waiting for the customers to come in. However, this year has been a terrible one. With no way to get to work for more than a hundred days now, we had to mortgage my daughter’s jewelry even to buy provisions. Besides that, an NGO approached me based on the information I’d given with the corporation to register as a vendor. They transferred around 7k, which was enough to feed my family for a month. It was nice to know that people are standing up for each other at a time like now. As long as humanity isn’t dead, we will get past this.
In non-summer months, I sell vegetables from door-to-door, and my wife helps me out too. However, she had a heart stroke a year ago, which made things worse. All my savings were spent out in my daughter’s marriage and my wife’s treatment. This feels like the days of struggle I had when I’d first stepped into Chennai from my native place, Aathur. I had come in an attempt to find a living, and with years of effort, I was able to provide a decent living space for my family. But Corona has come into our life like a huge wave of tsunami and has washed everything we’ve had and cherished.
It’s sad to see how people are venturing out even now and spreading the virus. People like me who need to go out to make ends meet are also staying at home, while those who have bikes and cars are taking pleasure rides even now, just because they can. They do not realize how their one simple act might claim thousands of lives. None of us in my family have stepped out of our home unless it is to buy groceries. We avoid that too and live with whatever we can by staying indoors. This is the time to be there with and for those who matter the most to us – our family! And the livelihood of people like me will bounce back in shape if, even after the pandemic, people continue to be compassionate towards the less fortunate.”
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