Dyal Singh



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I am around 74 years old. I am working as a cobbler from 25-26 years. Prior to this, I used to be a farm labourer with the Jatt landlords and then I used to be a daily wage labourer. When I stopped doing the labour work. I learnt shoemaking from the village Balberha. There was this shoemaker of Jafarpur. After that I worked in my village, mending and making the shoes.

I got some support from the government to start this work. I bought the wood from that money and I had to put in some from my savings. I got the wood sawed from the saw-mill and got this cabin made. There is an issue with where to place it at times. It had to be moved. Here and there.

I made shoes for 12-13 years. I do not make them anymore. Another cobbler makes it and I give the finishing touches. Earlier I used to do at all. I have sold pairs in all nearby villages. Sometimes I sell pairs as far as Patiala. I am into mending the shoes more and less into selling of the new shoes. You make 20-30 rupees if you sell a pair of shoes, you can make the same amount with other gigs; by mending or by polishing.

Any cobbling work is there. I have learnt them all. There is overwhelming work sometimes and it is less at times. Sometimes you make 200 rupees and at times it is just 50 rupees. I can do all the counting work even though I have not been to school.

My one son is a barber. The second one died. He was married for one and a half years. He and his wife died. They were survived by a three-month-old daughter.

I follow all faiths of the land. It is not that I stop myself from going to a different place of worship. I go to the Gurdwara too and to the Gugga’s shrine as well.

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