Shopkeepers and Messworkers


Sanjay Srivastava: Shopkeeper at Lipton

I am Sanjay Srivastava. My home district is Darbangha, in Bihar. I came to Delhi in 1998, to study hotel management. Unfortunately, a short time later, my father contracted blood cancer, and I had to quit in order to provide for my family. I started with a data entry job, and saved enough to get my father some treatment in the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute. The treatment could not cure him completely, and he passed away some time later. To take care of my family, I went back to Bihar in 2001, and ensured that my sisters got settled. I came back to Delhi in 2005, in search of a job. Life was tough, as I shuttled between jobs for the next four years. In 2007, got married, and now have a 6 year old daughter. We don’t get a lot of holidays, but the stable pay ensures that I can look after my family. We don’t get to visit Bihar a lot, but that’s fine, as my siblings are all settled and happy. It gets boring sitting here all day, in the heat, even during the holidays of students. Sometimes, students forget to pay, but I have noticed that they make an effort to come back and clear their dues, which is very appreciable. Other times, I am not so lucky, and customers end up saying really rude things. I love listening to old songs, especially those of Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.  Please don’t make this accessible outside IIT, as I don’t wish to burden my family with my problems.


Satendra Udaigiri Night mess worker

Hello, I am Satendra, currently working as a lab attendant in IIT. I also serve milk and snacks in Udaigiri night mess during the night. I have been working here in IIT Delhi from last 8 years. Earlier, I worked on a project in Centre for Rural Development. Before coming to IIT, I used to work as a tailor near my home in Delhi. In 2007 my uncle got me introduced to a professor here. From then on, though I began work in IIT, I still continued to work as a tailor at night to sustain my daily needs. Quite soon after that, I found place in Udaigiri hostel to run a small stall, where I serve students with hot milk, shakes, and some snacks. I like working continuously, without break. My regular day starts from 9 am, when I go to the lab. After that in the evening at around 6, I go to the market to buy supplies for my stall. I serve here till 4 AM, and then cycle back to my home, 14 kms away, reaching there by 5. I sleep for 4 hours, sometimes a little less but never more that. I like working here, even though my salary is very low but I never shied off from hard work. I just like to keep on working, sleep does not limit me. Moreover students in IIT are very honest, they pick up biscuits and always pay me back, very educated people, this environment is what captivates me.

Rewat Singh and Jitendra Mess workers in Girnar

I work as a daily wage worker here while Rewat Singh Ji has been here since 1986 and is a permanent worker. I come from Aligarh in UP. Here in Delhi, I live all by myself in Katwaria Sarai. I am a 10th pass and am pursuing my 12th through open medium. Education is very important because the educated can become the supervisors, incharges etc. As a daily wage worker it is very difficult for us to manage our expenses through a meagre pay of Rs. 348 per day because we have to send money to our parents also apart from the other responsibilities. Therefore, I am planning to do a parttime job also. Talking about the job Rewat Singh Ji says, “The job is easy now as compared to before because of the gas and electric equipments” while Jitendra goes on to say “I see the job here at IIT as much better than other places where I have to work as a daily wage employee only because my conveyance is saved and there isn’t much tension is here with regards to the work. While everybody wants to become a permanent worker, it’s not that easy. I wish that the government would increase the pay and generate more jobs.”



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