“Reading newspapers is our favourite pass time, ” said Akash sitting with his friends at Chennai Corporation’s shelter at Karaneeswarar Pagoda Street.
Akash is a contract worker who works for marriage catering services. Says Akash ” My job is to cut veggies and serve food to people attending marriages.”
But now as all marriages at big halls are being cancelled in view to prevent Coronavirus spread, workers like Akash are left jobless.
Says Akash, “We are all homeless. We used to earn around Rs.4000 for a marriage catering service. With that money, we used to eat at small tiffin kadais and sleep at the pavements near the lighthouse. But following lockdown, we were left jobless and had to live in hunger as the tiffin shops closed.”
A few days ago, Chennai Corporation rescued Akash and many others like him. They have now been sheltered and given food at the Corporation’s community hall behind Citi Centre.
“Though we are in lockdown, we are happy that we get food and shelter here. We are thankful to the Corporation for providing this facility, ” Akash says.
Now, reading newspapers is keeping this group engaged. Said Akash, “Each one of us buys a different newspaper daily. After reading, we exchange the paper with our friends to get a variety of information.”