KHAMMAM: “I sell doormats at a cost of `30 per piece and paper bags for `10. It is enough for me to lead a life not depending on others,” says Shesharatnam. Over 100 years old, age is no reason for Shesharatnam to stop living a life of integrity and hard work.
Shesharatnam had happily settled with her husband K Rammurthy in the village of Nelakondapalli, until he passed away ten years into the marriage. Despite the trauma, she managed to hold on and started to make a living by trying her hand at various small businesses.
By the time Shesharatnam turned 75, her brother had started to look after her. But not for long. When her brother died, his children cheated her out of her property in Khammam, forcing her onto the streets.
Even this turn of events, however, failed to break her spirit. Having found a home at the Jeevana Sandhya Old Age Home in Khammam about four years ago, she is back to living an independent life once again. Combine the money she makes from her sales with her old-age pension, and she has a handsome amount of savings at the moment. She even pays `1,000 per month to the managers of the old age home for letting her stay there.
With a high sense of self-respect, the centenarian even refuses to take an extra penny offered for her products.
“I am happy that I need not depend on anybody now. A few days ago, members of a Khammam youth association had visited and purchased 3 of my doormats. They tried to persuade me into taking `100 for them, but I refused. I gave the `10 back. I understand the sympathy, but I will only take money that I think I deserve,” says Shesharatnam.