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Shankar Bhungabhai Meriya

Interview Summary

Shankar has been doing ajrakh printing for seven or eight years. Previously, he had his own chemical dyeing workshop which was damaged during the 2001 earthquake. The chemical dyeing enterprise was started by his father who now runs a manually-operated rickshaw known as chakdo. He has two brothers and three sisters and his mother in her spare time does embroidery work. He left his studies and started work to be a breadwinner for his family.

Before joining Abdul Jabbar Khatri around a year ago Shankar lived and worked in Ajrakhpur. Now, each day, he works from 8 am to around 4.30 p.m. When he started printing and was still learning the craft, he felt the pain and found it uncomfortable, but now he has become accustomed to it. In a day, he manages to print around eighty or ninety metres. He earns around 200 to 250 rupees, but this also depends on the speed he works. Shankar and the other workers are not given any time off during the week, but they can take leave whenever they need to. With his colleagues he listens to music, mostly from Hindi films, while they print. He is generally happy with his work.