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Helping hands save Nagesh’s footwear stall

It has been nearly two years since the Chennai floods, but the public goodwill generated in its aftermath and continuing since, is helping a 47-year old man with 90% disability regain his livelihood.

Published: 10th October 2017 10:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2017 06:57 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It has been nearly two years since the Chennai floods, but the public goodwill generated in its aftermath and continuing since, is helping a 47-year old man with 90% disability regain his livelihood.
A resident of Mettupalayam near Perambur, G Nagesh had been running a footwear stall in his neighbourhood. The stall was all he had to support himself and his aged mother. The footwear stall was not just a means of ensuring sustenance as Nagesh was skilled at it. Overcoming difficulties posed by dwarfism, he underwent training and obtained a certificate from the Central Footwear Training Institute, a few years ago.

G Nagesh in front of his shop
 Martin Louis

But, earning a decent living had become considerably harder when the floods damaged his stall. Refusing to be bogged down, he carried on his business by using the pavement. It was then that Nagesh had a chance to encounter with K Krishna Kumar, who runs an automobile business in the city. Krishna, part of a team that was engaged in post-flood relief efforts, saw Nagesh on the pavement. “We were returning from Vysarpadi after helping the locals. We had around

H5,400 of the relief money left and with that money, we purchased around 45 pairs of footwear from him,” recalled Kumar. The foot wears was given to people in need, but it was a new beginning for Nagesh.
“He was very reluctant to tell us about his requirements, but we were gradually able to figure that out,” Kumar told City Express. Along with his friend, Ramya Sriram, they were able to collect around H20,000 for a new stall. It also helped in financing the treatment  of Nagesh’s mother who had suffered a hip fracture a few months ago.

With the stall ready, Nagesh sought clearance from the Chennai Corporation to set it up on College Road in Nungambakkam. “I had to take a legal recourse after several representations to the corporation went unheard. The High Court in July this year ordered the officials to consider my application,” he smiled. Reserving high praise for Ramya and Krishna for all their help, Nagesh said, “Ramya visited corporation officials last week and was told they will soon process the application.” Talking about their efforts in rebuilding Nagesh’s livelihood, Krishna said “Don’t see this as charity. We will be content if we are able to help at least one person in need.”



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