Dimapur, Aug. 12(EMN): Dignity of labour emanates from within and Toyi Swuro — a 24 year old graduate — is taking the lead in showing the Naga contemporaries what it takes to be a professional. Of all the jobs, Swuro took up the profession as a cobbler, his choice of job earned him the respect — especially in the social media — and today his venture has inspired his here of his school dropout friends – Thuputayi Chizo, Mutsikhoyi and Kudengoyi Lohe – who have been helping him for the past two months.
“Let us not mince words in articulating that manual labour is not received well in the state although the state is facing severe shortage of Naga workers while we employ non-Nagas for manual works giving them an employment opportunity,” said the Toyi Swuro to Eastern Mirror.
“Nagas’ expect too much in government sector and not through self employment. Since my early days I have noticed that ‘dignity of labour’ was missing in our culture and instead of remaining self reliant by trying our hands in manual and domestic works, we employ non-Nagas killing our trade”, accentuated the young man to Eastern Mirror.
Toyi Swuro might not be known to many, but he was recently trending in social media when a photo of him surrounded with shoe repair materials in his room started circulating on social media platforms. The comments, admiration encouraging words from different social media users also caught the attention of Eastern Mirror.
During an interaction with the enterprising youth, Swuro disclosed that he has a graduate degree from Phek Government College. Besides, he has a diploma in computer application from IIHT Dimapur, a diploma in hotel management. He has also worked as a receptionist at the Seb tower Hotel in Dimapur.
Highly educated, but one among the thousands of educated unemployed Nagas, Swuro took the road which most would not take – – mending shoes in the small confines of his room to support himself.
“We do not realise that there is income in such trade as well. Domestic work can also be dignified and I chose to try my hands mending shoes in Phek to bring dignity to labour,” says Swuro.
When queried on how he was inspired to take up the profession, Swuro said that he came across some school children in tattered shoes, children of parents who could not afford new pair of shoes; he likened his own childhood with those children and decided to take up mending shoes as his profession.
He found the joy in mending shoes, the profits, and the dignity of labour that entails and entered the profession.
With the help of his friends, news of him mending shoes was spread out and the supportive community flocked at his home with shoes for repair.
Swuro disclosed that he does not have any fixed rate for repairing the shoes; for those who are not financially well-off, Swuro said that he is happy to mend their shoes free of cost.
Four months since he took to repairing shoes, Swuro has moved from the four corners of his room to a INR 500 per month rented shop in Phek town recognised as ‘Fine Cobbler’. He has three of his friends-Thuputayi Chizo, Mutsikhoyi and Kudengoyi Lohe all of them school dropouts helping him for the past two months.
He procures the materials from Dimapur or Kohima and charges minimum rates from his customers while making sure that their rates are affordable. The four of them share the amount earned just to suffice them and are contented instead of depending on their parents.
Swuro gave all parise to his father, a havildar in the police department, for this advices that “earning through one’s labour is more respectable no matter the line of work than stealing and living a luxurious life”. He said that his father’s words encouraged him to focus and reach out to people. He also credits his Phek town community for encouraging him, reaching out to him and supporting him.
Swuro expressed his deep belief that entrepreneurship is accommodating and giving leaving room for job opportunities. Saying that his greatest achievement would be, if he could motivate at least one person, Swuro storngly expressed that the Naga youths should not to shy away from picking up a manual or domestic work and bring dignity to such profession.