Never “Tyre”- ing


The first and only colour that greets you when you step here is black. With tyres, tubes and grease all around him, Srinivas battles for his day to day bread and butter, as he conquers his disability of polio, with the only work he knows best: repairing punctures of bikes and cars.

‘As a child I hated school. In fact I went there only for a year, and that was in the First Grade. On the way back, I’d stop by Adi Narayana’s puncture repair shop. The tyres, tubes and puncture works he did fascinated me. He was a ready teacher, and soon I was learning small things out of sheer interest. In the same year, polio paralysed me waist-down. My father took me to the doctor and they diagnosed that nothing could be done. They said that prosthetics wouldn’t help me as paralysis began at the waist. Adinarayana became my guru, and from that moment onwards, a favourite pastime started shaping up as a lifelong career. Bedridden, I stopped school, but soon learnt this work. And today, thanks to it I can earn a living.

After working under him for few years, Adinarayana inspired me to open a shop right across his. My family comprises of my old mother, wife and two small daughters aged 7 and 6 years. They both go to school. Every morning an auto brings me to the shop by 8AM. This makeshift plastic tent supported by two sticks is my life, my work. This is my world. This disability doesn’t allow me to travel much, and then I need to earn and support my family as well. The only break I take is on Sunday afternoons, spending time at home with my family.

The number of customers vary per day, and the money is erratic. But then, this is all that I know and this has to sustain my family. I don’t have the financial resources to expand my work, so it has to go on like this. But if by God’s grace I get the money, I would buy new tyres and hopefully some machines too. Till then, this must go on.’