MasterCard’s The Connectors Project – Interview


I had never hoped that I will prosper to this extent.
I’ll have so many artisans working under me. I had never hoped. It all happened gradually,
really gradually and I just kept in pace with it. I was just happy that they are working for me and
getting their salary from me. When I used to work, someone else was paying me. Now I pay all these people. I am happy with that. I always tell these people, these new artisans when they start to work for me, I tell them how hard I worked. When you come here to work, just remember,
when I had come, no toilets were available,
had to go out for bath. We still worked hard, so you also should work hard. I see that young men today, they just run
after mobile phones, not money. I see it every time, a new artisan will come, and first he buys a mobile costing eight thousand, ten thousand.
It doesn’t matter to them
whether they send money back home or no. It’s like their dream is to buy a good mobile phone, wear good clothes, not save the money, not send it back home but just spend it on themselves. I see this happening most of the time. What I feel about this is, that there are so many people coming to Mumbai from all over,
most of them go to the wrong places. I am talking about artisans.
So sometimes they get a lot of money,
sometimes they don’t. I’ve seen so many people crying their eyes out because they don’t have enough money even to go home. But the artisans who work for me,
they are loyal and sincere,
they work and earn the money with sincerity. And this is the reason why artisans keep coming to me.
If one of them goes to village
he comes back bringing another artisan. The nation’s growth? Well I contribute to it by
paying all my taxes with a clear conscience. That’s the profit for government because
whatever tax I pay, it goes to the government.
This is all that I can do in good conscience. I am the employer of 36 people here;
there are big people with their big businesses
who can’t afford to employ 36 people. They do their business with two or three people.
Give salary to two or three people.
I am responsible for way more families than that. They get salary from me,
they work for me and go take care of their families,
look after their children, and run their household. The eldest members in our family that I know of,
my great grandfather,
the father of my father’s father, all were extremely poor. The poverty was like a stain upon us.
The neighborhood around us back in the village,
people like us, all used to stay together in four houses. That stain of poverty, I wiped it off.
I just removed that symbol of poverty from my family
and that is what my prosperity has done. I did much better than my father actually.
I did, what he couldn’t do. No, I mean, I am happy. I have seen what poverty is.
I used to crave for one meal and food was never there. I am somebody now and
this is thousand times better than those times.

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