Empty Bottles Mean Cash For Reddy

He delivers them to recycling factories on his bicycle
14 Nov 2020 10:42
Empty Bottles Mean Cash For Reddy
Sham Shivne Reddy with his sack ready to collect bottles for the day on November 11,2020. Photo: Laisa Lui

Sham Shivne Reddy believes in earning an honest living as he looks forward to welcome Diwali – the festival of lights.

If you’re in Labasa Town, you will find the 28-year-old collecting empty bottles, destined for the recycling facility.

“This Diwali, we’re waiting for my father’s pension so that we can do some shopping and make sweets,” Mr Reddy said.

From a tender age, Mr Reddy went through hard times. It all started with an accident when he was still wearing diapers. He also fell off the bed, causing limited mobility on one arm.

While he attended a normal school from Year 1 to Year Four, but was later transferred to a special school.

To make matters worse, Mr Reddy suffered the loss of his older sister to suicide, while his brother left for Suva, leaving him to care for his younger twin siblings and parents. This forced him to leave school early and he started collecting empty plastic bottles to earn a living.

Through his earnings, he bought himself a bicycle and attached a trailer to it to help cart his bags of empty bottles to the recycling facility.

His thirst for business grew stronger, so he bought a brush cutter as well, allowing him to increase his daily income by going to homes to mow the lawn.

“I am not embarrassed in doing my work because it is way better than stealing and no one has ever called me names for doing what I love,” Mr Reddy said.

“I come by bicycle in the morning and start picking bottles from Naseakula and going to all the restaurants.

“The only challenge that I face is that there are others doing the same thing, collecting plastic bottles, and they would steal the empty bottles that I have collected already.”

Mr Reddy hopes Diwali will bring him better luck, get married and have a family.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj

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