SOMWARPET: Having turned blind, he could have become helpless and dependent on others. But on the contrary, H A Rudrachari (53), a native of Hanagallu Shettalli near here, has been earning his livelihood for two decades, defying all odds.
Rudrachari, a tailor, gradually began losing his vision and turned completely blind by 1984. The family was in distress. His mother Gangamma (99) says they were forced to sell land for treatment at various hospitals in the state and in Andhra Pradesh to try and restore Rudrachari’s vision. But it was all in vain.
The breadwinner of a family of five, including two children, his wife and mother, he quickly adapted to the situation. With the help of a specially designed measuring tape, which has metal rivets for every centimetre marking, he measures the cloth. He threads the sewing machine needle with the help of a threader. He only needs help for cutting cloth as he cannot identify the markings, thread or the colour of the cloth. But he stitches clothes like any other tailor. Rudrachari told Express that he used to stitch petticoats, blouses, bed covers and mattresses and sell them. But with a hike in cloth prices, he stopped selling clothes.
He earns around `1,500 a month from tailoring and says considerate villagers keep him busy with orders.
Rudrachari says he needs `20,000 to buy cloth but banks refuse to lend him money saying he cannot repay the loan. The only government aid he gets is the `1,000 disabled monthly pension. He is grateful to social worker Vanitha Shetty of Mangalore, who supported him by providing the special tape and financial help.
Though the family is in financial trouble, they have not given up hope.