TIRUVANNAMALAI: Manikandan* has big shoes to fill. With his father Raja’s* death due to Covid-19, the responsibility to continue the family business he had nurtured for 25 years falls on him.
“We are at a loss. The man who dedicated his entire life to his family died just a week after testing," said Manikandan.
Manikandan described his father as a man who had worked tirelessly from the age of 16 till his death at 70. “He ventured into business (textile and grocery) with his brothers. He had only finished Class 9 when he started working,” Manikandan said.
Nothing but hard work and discipline brought him success and stability. Eventually, he was able to start his own grocery store. "From early in the morning till late into the night, I have seen him working or engaged in some business activity," Manikandan said.
“He was a calm person and told us to work hard. One day we would reap the benefits, he would say.”
A teetotaller and non-smoker, Raja did not have any other illnesses. He had planned to expand the family business, currently in Tiruvannamalai town, but then tested positive on June 10.
“He had developed a fever. It remains unknown to us how he had contracted the virus. On June 18, we were told that he had died at the Tiruvannamalai Government Medical College Hospital,” Manikandan said.
With the responsibility of the business now his, Manikandan hopes to emulate his father’s discipline and work ethic to ensure the family’s stability and success.