“Poor financial situation of my family compelled me to start working at the age of eight. My father was a painter while my mother worked as a maid at various houses. For four to five years, I worked at a hardware shop in Mochi Bazaar. Later, I became a salesman at a garments shop and has been in this profession for the last 15 years.
We are five siblings — three brothers and two sisters. I have a sister younger than me. The rest are older, married and live separately. My younger sister lives with me. She is divorced and works at a canteen in a school. My mother, who became a widow 10 years ago, also lives with me. I am married and have three children. My four-year-old son goes to a school.
You can call me an illiterate. I have just studied till class 2 after which I dropped out and started working.
I get Rs17,000 salary from the shop I work in. I also supplying shopping bags to different shops. This fetches me an extra Rs300-Rs400 per day. My sister also chips in with Rs7,000. If it had not been for my sister, things would had been difficult for me. I have rented a house for Rs15,000.
I have been in this trade for so long that I am confident that if I open my own business, I would do a good job at it. However that requires investment which I do not have. But I am hopeful that one day I might get lucky and have my own shop.”
Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019