“The year was 2011 and I was giving my final exams for Class 9. I distinctly remember it was a Math exam that day and I was getting ready to go to school. Suddenly, I heard a scream from my mother as my father collapsed on the floor. It was a heart failure as he suffered from acute tuberculosis earlier and when we rushed him to the hospital, he was declared dead by the time we reached.
I didn’t understand what was happening initially but I slowly realised the fact that I have to lead my life all my own from now on. I was pretty close to my dad indeed. He provided me and my sister the best of the facilities despite being a small-town farmer in Uttar Pradesh. He encouraged us to pursue a high school education and that’s the reason my sister was able to study until class 12.
However, things changed dramatically after his death, and I had to discontinue my education in the midway. I have done several odd jobs for survival — from tailoring to the salesperson across different cities in India to take care of my family. I also took the responsibility for my elder sister’s marriage and today she’s happily married to her soulmate who’s a tailor from our hometown. I am glad that she’s doing well in life and she currently works as a saleswoman in a gifts and toys shop.
I have been to different cities like Punjab, Delhi, Mumbai Agra in the past but I find Hyderabad better because of the affordable cost of living. I can have three meals a day here within 90 rupees. I earn around 600 – 700 Rs. every day on average as a commission from my boss by selling the accessories. Of course, it has its own challenges right from dealing with different types of people to weather and even police officials but I am glad that I can handle the situations.
I like travelling a lot and I wish to start my own clothing business in the future along with my mother. I am working hard for 14 hours a day just to focus on my savings and by the time I turn 25 in a couple of years, I want to be my own boss. Let’s see what the future holds for me.”