https://www.kirrt.org/story/amrik-singh-adampur-cotton-mill-operator Amrik singh | Adampur | Cotton mill operator 2019-01-11 14:18:35 My grandfather was from Toba Tek Singh. When the plague spread in 1908, he was two and a half years old. His elder siblings died during the plague, his uncle took the surviving children along and came to Haripur. I was born on the 15th of July, 1944. I'm 75 now. My childhood wasn't like a normal childhood. I didn't have the option to go play anytime I wanted to. I have been working from the age of eleven Gurdeep Singh Blog post Story

 

 

KIRRT STORIES

Amrik Singh

adampur
Cotton mill

Amrik Singh
Adampur
Cotton mill

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2018-11-18_Amrik-Singh_Cotton-gin-operater_Adampur1

My grandfather was from Toba Tek Singh. When the plague spread in 1908, he was two and a half years old. His elder siblings died during the plague, his uncle took the surviving children along and came to Haripur. I was born on the 15th of July, 1944. I’m 75 now. My childhood wasn’t like a normal childhood. I didn’t have the option to go play anytime I wanted to. I have been working from the age of eleven. In the sixth grade, I used to mould eight cotton gin rollers every day. The wage used to be 5 rupees per roller. I earned 40 rupees a day. Our parents would get us straight to work after serving us with lunch when we returned from the school. Sometimes the work went on till midnight.

For nearly twenty years our shop was on the premises of Haripur Gurudwara. In 1948 we moved to Jalandhar, near the ‘Lovely Sweets’ shop, my grandfather installed a cotton gin next to them. After one and a half year, we shifted to the area around Jalandhar’s bus terminal, I was 6 or 7 then. We were there for 11 years. Our neighbours were into making the Persian wheels, my brother learnt the craft from them and started making those. My brother was a brilliant artisan, he was trained by three master artisans. Just imagine how capable would he be. Our business took a smooth flight.

My grandfather was from Toba Tek Singh. When the plague spread in 1908, he was two and a half years old. His elder siblings died during the plague, his uncle took the surviving children along and came to Haripur. I was born on the 15th of July, 1944. I’m 75 now. My childhood wasn’t like a normal childhood. I didn’t have the option to go play anytime I wanted to. I have been working from the age of eleven. In the sixth grade, I used to mould eight cotton gin rollers every day. The wage used to be 5 rupees per roller. I earned 40 rupees a day. Our parents would get us straight to work after serving us with lunch when we returned from the school. Sometimes the work went on till midnight.

For nearly twenty years our shop was on the premises of Haripur Gurudwara. In 1948 we moved to Jalandhar, near the ‘Lovely Sweets’ shop, my grandfather installed a cotton gin next to them. After one and a half year, we shifted to the area around Jalandhar’s bus terminal, I was 6 or 7 then. We were there for 11 years. Our neighbours were into making the Persian wheels, my brother learnt the craft from them and started making those. My brother was a brilliant artisan, he was trained by three master artisans. Just imagine how capable would he be. Our business took a smooth flight.

In 1956-57, our business collapsed when our neighbours decided to sell the wheels at a lower price. We couldn’t do that because we got our wheels moulded from Jalandhar, It cost us more to make one. We got in a debt of 10,000 rupees. We had to shut it down. My brothers went to work in flour mills for 150 rupees a month. In 1960 I completed my metrics. Our family moved to Adampur and installed a cotton gin in the place I’m sitting in today. After 3 years we got into a land dispute with grocery store owners here. the dispute went on for 54 years. It has ended recently. My father passed away in 1982 and mother in 1997. They stayed with me all their life. I was the only one who took care of them.

I didn’t receive any help from my siblings in clearing the debt of 10,000, I did it all myself and during ’57-’62 we didn’t even have our own house. We sold our ancestral house to survive the hard times. Elder brothers left me, younger one was still in school. I married off my sister in 1965. Then I got married and had two sons and a daughter. My daughter’s in England now and one of my sons is in Norway. The other one works with me here. He tried his hand at a hardware store but people keep buying on credit and they never pay. So, he had to shut that down at a loss. He also wants to move abroad now but I’m happy with my life, life isn’t so easy after all, there’s a hurdle at every turn.

At present, demonetisation and the unplanned imposition of G.S.T have affected our business. The government should have made it more supportive for small businesses. Every new leader we get turns out to be a fraud. The labourers do not get any respite.

In 1956-57, our business collapsed when our neighbours decided to sell the wheels at a lower price. We couldn’t do that because we got our wheels moulded from Jalandhar, It cost us more to make one. We got in a debt of 10,000 rupees. We had to shut it down. My brothers went to work in flour mills for 150 rupees a month. In 1960 I completed my metrics. Our family moved to Adampur and installed a cotton gin in the place I’m sitting in today. After 3 years we got into a land dispute with grocery store owners here. the dispute went on for 54 years. It has ended recently. My father passed away in 1982 and mother in 1997. They stayed with me all their life. I was the only one who took care of them.

I didn’t receive any help from my siblings in clearing the debt of 10,000, I did it all myself and during ’57-’62 we didn’t even have our own house. We sold our ancestral house to survive the hard times. Elder brothers left me, younger one was still in school. I married off my sister in 1965. Then I got married and had two sons and a daughter. My daughter’s in England now and one of my sons is in Norway. The other one works with me here. He tried his hand at a hardware store but people keep buying on credit and they never pay. So, he had to shut that down at a loss. He also wants to move abroad now but I’m happy with my life, life isn’t so easy after all, there’s a hurdle at every turn.

At present, demonetisation and the unplanned imposition of G.S.T have affected our business. The government should have made it more supportive for small businesses. Every new leader we get turns out to be a fraud. The labourers do not get any respite.

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