“I am 63 years old. I have been working every day for the last 42 years without taking a sick leave and I am proud of it. I used to help my family from a young age doing part-time jobs in the evening while going to school in the morning. I studied till class 10 and later had to move to Kothagudem during my teenage years as I got an opportunity to work with Singareni collieries. I did all kinds of jobs there from helper to badili pillar.
Back then, my salary used to be 15 rupees a month. Day in and day out, we used to work underground working in extreme conditions for 8-12 hour shifts. I have seen many unfortunate accidents happen inside the mines during my service of 31 years as a miner and nowadays, with the advancement in mining technology and machinery, there are very few mining accidents.
Post my retirement, I started work in the Hotel industry as a serviceman to get myself occupied. The pandemic has impacted the hotel industry the most, however, our owner is kind enough to provide us with employment despite the losses. I have the opportunity to work flexible hours here and also get to spend with my family and friends in the evening.
One thing I am proud of in life is my children’s success. I have managed to educate both my children till post-graduation and now they are happily settled with their families in Hyderabad. I visit Hyderabad once every six months and my children often persuade me to stop working. But for me, work is everything and I believe no work is small or big as long as one enjoys the work.”