‘Reduce prices of essential commodities’

Name: Susila Sathyanarayanan

Family members: 3

Monthly income: ₹20,000

Ours is a small family of three, and includes my daughter-in-law and grandson. I am 79 years old, and we live on my pension and the stipend my grandson has been getting following my son’s death three years ago. Though I receive a pension and interest from fixed deposits in banks, I find it difficult to enjoy a peaceful life.

Costs have skyrocketed in the past three years. The prices of essentials have risen rather steeply. The interest from FDs is rather low. It has been falling over the years. But since the pension amount has been increasing, I can manage. A few years ago, the interest from FD was quite good, at 8%. But it has steadily fallen since then.

Vegetables and fruits are more expensive now. Fuel prices, be it cooking gas, diesel or petrol, have gone up.

The gas cylinder delivery man has been demanding more money ever since we shifted to T. Nagar. Earlier, we used to pay him an additional ₹30, and we did not complain as he had to climb three flights of stairs. The apartment had a rule that cylinder delivery persons should not use the lift. Now, every time I book a cylinder, I dread the delivery man’s visit. He demands ₹50 now, even though we live on the ground floor.

He argues that the cost of living is high, and he also needs to make a living.

I have to take an autorickshaw to visit a doctor. Diesel and petrol prices have gone up, and so has the price per trip. I hesitate to visit the doctor now.

We buy some provisions like tur dal from PDS shops. It would help if the government brings down the prices of food items.

I am not a taxpayer, but I would like the government to make my life more comfortable.

(As told to R. Sujatha)

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