Gomathy Lakshmanan, weary of face and scrawny of body, opens her conversation with a startling admission. “I have seven children,” she says, as boys and girls of varying ages run around her. One young boy, not more than 10 years old, sits silently beside her.
“How old are you?” asks this reporter.
“I am 37 years old,” comes the reply.
Gomathy is a construction labourer in Vinobaji Nagar, an urban slum near Uraiyur in Trichy district. At 37, she is already wasted, unwell she says, from an unknown but plaguing ailment. She is the sole breadwinner of the family.