Meet Gudla Krishnamurthy who works late night every day, all around the year, to earn a living for his family – offering people some chai, coffee and a puff. His determination and willpower are all he has to give a good future to his beloved daughters and loving wife.
“Born in Vizag, I grew up in the outskirts of the city. Fifteen years ago, I travelled to Goa to try my luck in business, but couldn’t stop thinking of my birthplace. Hence, after two years, I returned to Vizag and started a mobile stall on my bicycle. Since then, for thirteen years now, I have been selling chai, coffee and smokes. I do not have enough money to rent a shop so my cycle comes to my rescue. I set out at 6 PM and roam the streets till 2 AM; all the money I earn is used for household purposes.
People like ice creams more than tea and coffee which does generally affect my business, though winter brings more sales. The recent currency change crisis has however lowered the number of my customers and currently I am finding it difficult to run my house properly. On an average, I usually earn up to Rs. 300-400 in a day and around Rs. 10,000 in a month but since the new currency came in the market, I am hardly making Rs. 100-150. There is a lot of pressure from city cops as they don’t allow sales after midnight and that’s the time I earn as other shops are closed and I am the only source of cigarettes and tea. Though I generally sell my wares on the RK Beach road, on days that there are fewer customers, I go and stand outside random function halls and hope for a good sale.
I work hard so that my children can have a bright future but somehow that doesn’t seem to be enough. My daughters study in a Government school near Appu Ghar as our house is nearby. My wife supports me in managing expenses by working in a private clinic. I sometimes regret that I didn’t go back to Goa as I would have earned a lot more compared to what I earn now, but this is my birth place and I love this city. There will be ups and downs in my life but all I can do is struggle till I see my daughters in a good financial position”.
Yo! Vizag salutes Krishnamurthy’s determination, willpower and efforts to secure a better living.