R. Saravanan has been working at GK Salon at R. K. Mutt Road, Mylapore for about three decades now. He says prior to the lockdown, atleast 25 people would drop in every day. Now, with the shop closed, he says he has lost his livelihood and his only source of income.
He says, “I came to Chennai from my native place at Thanjavur when I was 13 years old. Since then, this has been my life. With the salon shut down now, I have been making do with the rice and provisions provided by our local association. I have a daughter who has just completed her class XII exams. I am not sure how I am going to pay her college fees”.
He says he hasn’t received salary for two months and asking his owner for salary at this time doesn’t feel right. “My owner has the additional burden of paying rent and interest on loans. He too is dependent on others for rice and provisions”.
He appeals to the government for some kind of relief. He says, “We used to open at 6.30 a.m. before the lockdown. Instead of staying open the whole day, we can atleast keep the salon open for half a day. We will follow social distancing norms. We will disinfect the premises and equipment more often. We will use masks, gloves and will do pretty much anything the government wants us to do. We only hope they allow us to open”.
He says that salon workers were supposed to receive Rs. 2000 for the month of April and May from the government (Welfare Board) but he still hasn’t received anything. He can be contacted at 9840148415.