Mariappan irons around 100 shirts and trousers everyday, taking home approximately Rs500 daily.
It is no mean task, considering that he uses the old-fashioned coal-powered iron that weighs seven kilogrammes.
The 43 year old has been providing the ironing service for 27 years and operates from a cart, going around different areas of Dindigul.
“I push the cart along different streets in the morning, collecting the shirts and trousers for ironing. Then I find a cool corner, park the cart and begin my work. By late afternoon I am done, so on the way back I return the ironed clothes and get my money. This is what I have done all my life and this has served me well. Helping me bring up two sons, both of whom are engineers now,” said Mariappan.
The iron man of Dindigul explains that he got married at a very early age, following local customs and became father at the age of 15.
“I began working as a domestic help at the age of 12 and by 14 I was married. When I became a father at the age of 15 I realised the need of a better job, so I bought a cart and began this business. My business grew steadily and we have had a happy, fulfilling life. I am proud that I could educate my two sons and fulfill all my responsibilities as a father, husband and a son. The happiest moment in my life was when my eldest son got married last year. I am looking forward to becoming a grandfather soon.”
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