Society

I am…R. Chitra, Vegetable seller

R. Chitra, Vegetable seller. Photo: T. Saravanan   | Photo Credit: mamp19iamphotooo

I am new to this occupation. Earlier, I was a domestic help. But I find this work more respectable and also profitable.

I never knew life could be this tough. I had a happy childhood with my loving father and caring mother, who were daily wage labourers. I was the third child in the family. I have two brothers and one sister. I discontinued studies after ninth standard as my family did not have the wherewithal to support my education.

When I got married at the age of 18, I had to manage on my own. My husband Rajaram is a painter. His earnings were meagre and I was compelled to go out for work. I have a son and a daughter. Till about two years ago life was manageable. But after my husband was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in his neck, life turned upside down. I struggled hard to mobilise funds for his treatment. He had to stay indoors as he was not able to do any physical work. I found it difficult to make both ends meet and became a vegetable vendor.

My day starts as early as 3 a.m. when I go for vegetable purchase and return by 6 a.m. Gone are the days when women carried basket full of vegetables on their heads and went around streets. Now, I carry them on a mobile cart and go around places in and around Tiruppalai and Iyer Bungalow. I make it a point to visit those who are known to me. In two months time I have developed a good customer base. I wind up my work by 4 p.m. and go back home to take care of domestic chores.

What I earn now is enough for me to run the family. Now I am the sole breadwinner of my family and waiting for my son, who is in B.Com. first year, to complete his studies and take over the mantle from me.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 6:34:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/i-amr-chitra-vegetable-seller/article6908999.ece

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