A Polio affected person, Ravi is a shining example of how he chooses to beat the odds, as he braves his health condition by selling knick-knacks by the road.
‘I have been setting up my shop near this crossing since the past four months. I lost my legs to Polio when I was very young. Today I am 23 years old and I live with my parents, grandmother and two other siblings. My father works at a cinema theatre and my mother is a housewife.
I don’t want to be a burden on my family. And so, despite my parents insisting that I join a hostel in Bhimili to pursue studies, I decided to come here to earn money. I got the idea from a friend of mine who also has Polio and is in tenth grade now. We get products from Poorna market and then sell them for a little profit. My mother helps me to set up the shop, but at times I do it myself. I bring combs, key chains, pouches, clothesline clips and other small knick-knacks.
People of all age groups, including many students come and buy. I make around Rs. 200/- every day. I’m here in the morning by 10AM and take an auto home by 8PM. While I don’t face any problems with operating my shop here, I find it difficult to sell at the Beach Road. There are other sellers there and they don’t like my coming. I like to be as independent as possible and often travel by myself. Whenever I feel like selling by the shore, I take a bus ride or an auto to the Beach Road. I even went to Kailasagiri once, all by myself!
I take an off on Sundays and go to the Church. People are very helpful there and help me in whatever way they can. I want to do more in life, and would like to have a small shop of my own. I would also like to expand on the line of products I offer and improve this small business that I have started.’