Two postgraduates with B.Ed. degree support themselves by selling lottery
Impaired vision has not taken away the zing from A.O. Rosily’s determination to lead a normal life nor has she let the fever that triggered her vision loss dictate terms to her. Even a fall at her residence in Ayampuzha four years ago that left her bed-ridden for long has not sapped her strength though her pleas for medical help and a government job fell on deaf ears, forcing the post-graduate in history with a B.Ed. degree to take up sale of lottery tickets for a living.
With the help and support of well-wishers like K.C. Velayudhan, who is also a post-graduate with a B.Ed degree and sells lottery tickets at the KSRTC stand, Rosily is limping back to normal life. But the huge medical expense for an immediate hip replacement surgery has cast shadows on the life of this 44-year-old.
“I need at least Rs. three lakh for the surgery. But I have no idea from where it will come. I earn a meagre Rs. 230 a day if I am able to sell 50 lottery tickets worth Rs. 20 each daily,” said Rosily as she handed over a Dhanasree lottery ticket to one of her customers.
Rosily’s journey from home to Angamaly begins at 9 a.m. “I take a 45-minute bus ride from Ayampuzha to reach Aluva each morning. It’s becoming difficult as the hip joint pain is really miserable. My mother, Kutty, 68, takes care of all my needs at home,” she said while moving her fingers to pick a Karunya lottery for a bus passenger.
The visually impaired, who completed her M.A. History from Maharajas College and took B. Ed from Govt. Training College at Thrissur, had worked as an assistant on a temporary basis at Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit and a telephone operator at the Blind School in Aluva before taking up sale of lottery tickets.
“I tried to meet Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at his mass contact programme but could not meet him due to the huge rush at the programme held at Kakkanad in November last year. I sought help for my treatment but received only Rs. 2,000 assistance from the authorities. I started selling lottery using this money,” she said.
Velayudhan, who takes care of Rosily and participates with her in the activities of the Kerala Federation of the Blind, feels there is little support for the disabled in society. “We are rejected everywhere. Even though the authorities claim they are giving opportunities to the blind, there are only a very few seats in the government sector for us. They do not even provide a lift or a ramp for easy movement of the disabled in government offices,” he said.
For Velayudhan, sale of lottery tickets has lit up his otherwise difficult life with his mother and two brothers and sisters. A resident of Paduvapuram near Karukutty, this 35-year-old did his M.A in Politics from Kerala Varma College in Thrissur and completed his B.Ed. from Ottapalam NSS. Training College.
“I have searched for many jobs but failed; the system is against the disabled. We are worried about our future. We do not have any savings, and the earnings from lottery sale helps us meet our daily needs. We hope that the authorities will pay heed to our requests,” he said.