I am the eldest of my 7 siblings. We were from a poor family so responsibilities came onto my shoulders very early in life. I had to forsake my studies and come to Delhi to earn for my family. My first job was in the photography sector. It was a small factory that manufactured local camera accessories like hood, cover, caps, etc. Whatever little amount I earned, I used to send it to my family. However, due to some conflicts, I had to leave the job. I wandered in the street jobless and hungry for 3 days. Luckily, I met an old friend who took me to chai and got me something to eat. I will never forget that moment when I ate some food after 3 days. I gave him my background and asked him to help me with a job. He suggested that I make a few accessory items that he could sell in his shop. I didn’t give it much thought and took the opportunity. I borrowed Rs. 50/- for buying raw material, a sewing machine, and scissors from a havaldar, I knew. He also offered me some space to work. I sat and stitched 27 items throughout the entire night and gave it to him in the morning. He paid me around 110 rupees for those items.
I immediately went and bought double the raw material and started stitching again. This way I managed to earn enough to eat one meal a day. I kept increasing the quantity and I learned to make new items and soon I had enough money that I could send back home.
This went on for a period of 2 years. During that time, I used to eat only a single meal in the day and manage. If I ever felt hungry during the day, I used to have a little sugar with water and survive till the next meal. However, hard work paid off and our financial conditions improved.
The shop I have right now was previously occupied by an erstwhile client of mine. I used to supply accessories to him.
On one of my visits, he informed me that his helper has fraudulently caused him losses in the business and he was about to wind up.
He said that his shop was quite a lucky one and that I should rent it out when he vacated. I thought it could be a good opportunity. He had already put in a good word about me to the owner. Without any haggling, I took the shop at the rent of 30k. The owner didn’t even sign a rental agreement as he trusted me. I started making goods but no one bought the products for a few days. I couldn’t even earn the rent amount. It started eating out my savings and this irked me. A few weeks later, I had an idea. I took a few products of mine, labeled the price, and went to neighboring shops. I gave it to them as samples and asked them to pay only if they sold the products. The products started selling and I kept getting orders from all the neighboring shops. Since then, people started noticing my products and started purchasing them from me regularly. Now I have clients from all over the country and have also purchased the factory that I had started my initial job.
A few years ago, I lost my wife and was not keeping good health. My daughter was away as she had a great bank job. As soon as she heard that I was not well, she quit and came back to take care of me. After a few days, she was quite bored at home. So she started selling my products online.
Initially, we didn’t receive any orders, but she kept working on it. Then we received our first order of a hard disk cover. Even though it was a small order, it was a big win for us.
Soon, we started getting more and more orders. My staff use to complete the online order processing in the mornings and then report to duty at the shop.
During this pandemic, a friend of mine came to me stating that he is under financial stress and would be compelled to close down his store. I remembered the good soul who supported me to set up my shop. I immediately offered to pay the rent and in return he allowed me to sell my products there. He is doing well now and it’s just a matter of time that he should be out of the financial stress
I am extremely happy and most satisfied. God has been very kind and has always blessed my hard work with positive results. Although I am uneducated, I managed to get both my brothers graduated in law and become successful lawyers. I also got all my sisters happily married and sustained my family in the toughest of times. Now, all those days are behind us and we are living happily in our lives.
I am working on some new products now and in a few months, I plan to register my company and establish a brand.
I always believe that ‘Kisi ka Kabhi galat mat karo aur kisi par aankh band karke bharosa mat karo’ if you make this your life mantra, you will never be disappointed no matter what you are doing in life.
- Jai Ram Yadav
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Written by: Harshita Sharma