“I have been selling Matka Chai for the last one year. This is my bread and butter. I manage to support my family because of my business and I never take it for granted.
I came to Hyderabad from my hometown, Ghaziabad with big plans. My parents were happy when I completed class 11 from my village but subsequently, we suffered huge losses in my father’s business. I had decided it was time for me to take up the responsibility to support my family. Every day was a struggle. I worked at small restaurants, doing odd jobs. I even stayed at the railway station for a few days, and finally ended up settling in Hyderabad in the Mallapur area. One of the Chaiwallahs in the vicinity was from Uttar Pradesh. I assisted him and he helped me set up a small tea stall outside the Jhill Mill Dhaba. I have been here for the last 14 months now.
When I was new to the city, I could spot only the occasional bus or autorickshaw that operated during the day times in this area. That is not the case anymore. More factories have been set up in this area and that helps me get more business on weekdays.
I walk from the hostel to the stall every day. I prefer not to take an auto-rickshaw/ bus as I save money and also like walking in the mornings. It keeps me fit and healthy. Once I reach the stall at 6:30 a.m., I boil the milk and keep it ready for the customers. The crowd starts to pick up from about 7:30 a.m and there is a steady flow till 8:30 p.m. I manage to make enough to eke out a living. I have two younger sisters and I want them to study in good English medium schools. I work hard all the days and send Rs. 6,000 every month to my family.
I like Hyderabad very much. The people here are very helpful and they are always ready to pitch in during times of need. I don’t think I would have enjoyed working in any other city and even during the toughest of times, Hyderabad has become a second home for me!”
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