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COVID-19: Wheels of life start moving after 40-day lockdown for this Tamil Nadu mechanic

After so many days with zero income, it was an opportunity to earn money and put food on the table. As the clock struck 9, many mechanics like Ramesh, had cleaned, prayed and opened their shops.
 

Published: 05th May 2020 12:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2020 12:58 PM   |  A+A-

Customers heaved a sigh of relief after shops were opened.

Customers heaved a sigh of relief after shops were opened.

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: As  dawn broke on Monday, Ramesh woke up much earlier than usual. He was up at 4 am
and got ready. He was excited to open his auto repair shop after 40 days.

After so many days with zero income, it was an opportunity to earn money and put food on the table. As the clock struck 9, many mechanics like Ramesh, had cleaned, prayed and opened their shops.

“We struggled a lot during these 40 days. I had to borrow money to provide good food to my children,” said Ramesh, who runs a shop in Thennur. For Mohammad Ali, who runs an auto repair shop near Chathiram bus stand, Monday wasthe day he smiled after a long time.

The father of two was distraught after he had to dip into the money he had saved for his children’s school fees. The mechanics say that they used to earn anywhere from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per day. There
are usually two to three persons working in each shop.

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Mohammad and Ramesh say they made sure they paid their employees during the lockdown. “We are
already suffering but  do not want our employees to suffer. I paid both the boys working with me. They, too, have families to support. I had to take some loans to manage. Business would take some time to
pick up, but we would work doubly hard now,” said Mohammad.

Customers heaved a sigh of relief after shops were opened. “I was unable to use my two-wheeler as there was a problem with the brake. My husband had to drop me to work daily. I am glad that I could get my scooter repaired today,” said a nurse in Woraiyur.

Mechanics say that they kept getting calls from customers during the lockdown. “Many people working in essential services had flat tyres, a problem with their brakes etc. If police officers or doctors called us, we went to their houses and helped them out,” said Kumar, who runs a shop in Thillai Nagar.

More from Tamil Nadu.

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