Andhra Pradesh

70-year-old does three jobs to support his family

Shamala Maraiah weaving a mat using silver datepalm tree leaves near Lakshmipuram village ofRamannapet mandal in Nalgonda district on Saturday.PHOTO: SINGAM VENKATARAMANA  

In today’s time, when even well-qualified youths in their twenties find it difficult to get suitable jobs, a 70-year-old man has been working three jobs to support his two granddaughters.

The septuagenarian, Shamala Maraiah, belongs to Pitchakuntla caste and is a native of Lakshmipuram village of Ramannapet mandal. Twelve years ago, one of his four sons, Yadagiri, died due to a snakebite when he was just 25-years-old, leaving both his daughters in Maraiah’s lap.

Since then, Mr. Maraiah and his wife, Pitchamma, have been supporting their granddaughters and daughter-in-law, Shankaramma. The old man rears some 20 goats besides taking 20 other goats belonging to various farmers for grazing.

Mr. Maraiah is paid Rs. 100 per month by farmers towards Kapu Kooli (labour charges for guarding the goats). Besides, Mr. Maraiah skilfully weaves sleeping mats with silver date palm leaves, which fetches him some more money every month. He is generally seen grazing goats and weaving sleeping mats during the daytime near Moosi River, 5 km away from his village.

Mr. Maraiah weaves at least 10 mats in a month. He sells each mat for Rs. 200. The total income from Kapu Kooli and from weaving mats comes to Rs. 4,000 per month and he also earns some more by selling a few of his mature goats.

Mr. Maraiah wakes up early in the morning and goes along the Moosi River to collect silver date palm tree leaves, which he keeps in a bag to weave into a mat.

Besides, he also cultivates paddy in a one-acre field to save money for his granddaughters’ marriage.

Meanwhile, his wife and daughter-in-law work as labourers to support the family. The old man said his granddaughters Sirisha and Vani study in class 10 and 8 respectively in a local government school. “I will support their studies until they get jobs, otherwise I will try to find a groom who has a government a job,” he explains.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 5:08:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/70yearold-from-lakshmipuram-village-of-ramannapet-mandal-does-three-jobs-to-support-his-family/article6324637.ece

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