Name: Durgaram

Occupation: Tailor

You will find many like me here whose feet work furiously on the pedal of their sewing machines as they fix oversized shirts and misfit pants. We sit in a narrow alley sandwiched between two buildings. There is no shade to protect us from sunlight or rain. During the rainy season it gets difficult for us. We are forced to close down business till the rains stop.

My day begins at nine in the morning and ends at six in the evening. I also tailor smaller articles of clothing such as blouses. Alteration costs Rs.25 and tailoring costs around Rs.40.

Many of our customers are not from the cities, but from far off villages. The shop sellers from nearby garment shops also come to get their garments altered . Except for the months of rain, we work continuously through out the year. In January, we go on a padayathra to Palani. It is a self declared holiday. I am a strong believer of Perumal and Murugan.

We walk to Palani without wearing chappals. This trip is very important for all of us. This is one time we forget about work and take a break. After we return, we take one day for rest as we are exhausted by the end of the journey. I live at L.G Thottam, a few blocks away from where I work. I have been here for the past 35 years. Our family has been here for the past three or four generations.

I have a son and a daughter. My son is an electrician and daughter is working at a shop. The daughter is married. Both of them were educated in government schools so we did not have to worry about high fees. We could afford their education.

The income from this job is just enough to meet the daily expenses. But, I love my job. With the money from this job I have taken care of my family and raised two children. I am healthy and alive. This is the only job I know. My job is my life and god.

(Durgaram works out of Uppukinar lane)