KHAMMAM: The COVID-induced lockdown has pushed a 33-year-old lecturer and his family into poverty. Pagidipalli Ramesh, who used to earn Rs 30,000 before the lockdown, is now forced to sell maize cobs on the roadside to support his family.
Ramesh hails from Madhira town in Khammam, and has an MA and B.Ed in English literature. He had been working at Sri Chaitanya Junior College in Vijayawada up until March. After the imposition of the lockdown, the college fired 20 lecturers, including him. He returned to Madhira with his wife Nagamani and five-yearold child with little savings.
Subsequently, his wife Nagamani also lost her job. Ramesh’s father Vasantha Rao is a daily-wage labourer. The family did not own any property. Ramesh and Nagamani, therefore, contributed most to the family's income.
After he lost his job, Ramesh tried to conduct tuition classes for kids. However, nobody showed up due to the lockdown. The lecturer had EMIs and loans to pay. During his time in Vijayawada, he had purchased a bike, washing machine and a refrigerator on EMI.
With no income, he hasn’t been able to pay for them. Recently, the bike financiers seized the vehicle from him. Depressed and hapless, Ramesh decided to sell maize cobs on the roadside. He is out on the road from 9 am to 6 pm and earns Rs 200 to Rs 400 per day.
Speaking to Express, Ramesh said, "I have been a lecturer for 14 years. I’ve always had a happy life. But the lockdown shattered all my hopes and dreams. It even pushed me into depression. I am now leading a new life and I hope my business picks up." He further urged the government to offer him employment.