Active Woman- Anjaliamma

A common sight outside Maharani College on Palace Road is that of a frail 63 year old woman sitting under the sun selling snacks. Her name is Anjali amma- a hawker who has been selling snacks in the area for the last 38 years. An independent and self sufficient lady, her only source of income is her business and a meager pension of Rs. 500 every month. She is a regular at that spot. Her fares include snacks that we all have grown up loving such as chaklis, nippad, rasagullas, chocolates, batani, kadlebija, chips and biscuits. The unique thing about her food is that they only cost one or two rupees at the most. This leaves her with very little profit. But even that doesn’t stop Anjali amma from feeding the squirrels that come down every day to eat her snacks. She thinks of Maharani College as a deity as it has been a source of income for her all these years. Her regular customers are the students of the college. She sets up at ten in the morning and stays there till four in the evening when the college students return home. A major problem is when the college shuts down for vacation every year. At that time, she has to resort to borrowing money from others to run her household. She is solely responsible for her three grandchildren who live with her. At night they find shelter at a local government school in Seshadripuram. Their daily meals include a portion of plain rice with tomato and onion. The scarcity of food at home is because she doesn’t have a ration card. Few years back she had applied for one but due to a mistake by her inebriated son-in-law, the officials refused to issue her the ration card. Once every six months she brings home non vegetarian food, which the children always look forward to. She has a very strong bond with her grand children. They cannot bear the thought of leaving their beloved grandmother as they want to take care of her in her old age. Having worked continuously for so many years, her health has taken a turn for the worse. Her eyesight has deteriorated so much that she has lost sight in one eye.Despite her hard life, she always has a smile on her face and words of advice for her customers. She is a friend to the girls of Maharani College. IMG_4363 Even though she finds it difficult to make ends meet, she never pressures anyone to pay her money immediately. She doesn’t object when customers buy the food and pay her the next day. Even though she carries the weight of responsibility on her shoulders, she doesn’t mind working. She is not amongst those who blame others for their bad -luck; instead, she chooses to live her life on her own terms! A True Inspiration! Tune in to Radio Active on 8th October 2014 at 5.10pm and listen to her story! – Padma Priya and Vijaya ( Transcribed by Indrani Bharadwaj)

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