“When the lockdown was announced, I had to shut my factory immediately. That meant a loss of a few lakhs or more. But I understood the seriousness of the situation and abided by the rules. I have more than 20 families and 70 migrant workers living as tenants in my buildings. All of them were worried – they couldn’t go back to their hometown and were scared that they might lose their jobs. Their neighbours were asked to leave. But that’s not the kind of person I am. I called and assured them that they could continue to stay there and didn’t have to pay the rent for 3 months. For me, it was a loss of more than three lakh rupees. But is that what matters in a time like this?
I faced a lot of difficulties during my childhood. I did odd jobs – worked in rice mills, factories and also sold ice creams. I would go to college during the day and work in a bar cleaning utensils in the evenings. I discontinued college after intermediate first year because we didn’t have the money. During the summer holidays of 1996, I came to Hyderabad along with my friend and worked as a helper in different mechanical workshops for nine years. Even during those days, I never lost faith. I knew that one day, when I grew older and earned a decent amount of money, I would make sure to help the needy. With a lot of hardwork, I managed to open my own mechanical workshop in 2005 in Balanagar and since then, I have never looked back. Gradually, I tasted success and now, I provide employment to 10 workers in my workshop. I have even donated funds to schools and temples in my village in Karimnagar district.
When the lockdown was extended, I sent money to a few families back at home so they could survive this. We should fight this together. This is the time we need to stand up for each other and help those who are less fortunate than us.”
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