The poor man with a valuable currency collection


The Hindu

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 Despite his meagre earnings as a cleaner, P. Lakshmaiah has spent ₹4 lakh so far on his hobby

P. Lakshmaiah has never had a lot of money. But whenever he had a bit of cash to spare, he bought currency notes and coins. He has a collection of 180 currency notes and coins from various countries, all of them bought at hefty prices.

He has spent has spent ₹4 lakh so far on his collection.

Rich collection: P. Lakshmaiah wants to collect all the currency notes of all the countries.  

At around eight years of age, Mr. Lakshmaiah left his village, Veerannapet in Mahabubnagar district. He was sent away by his father to the city to work as cleaner in a hotel at Noorkhan Bazar.

“I subsequently worked in many major restaurants of the city,” he says. But the jobs never lasted long. “I would be removed every three months from service, so that the restaurateurs could avoid paying provident fund. Later, the duration was reduced to 45 days. To earn my living between jobs, I worked as construction labourer too.”

Fed up of the scorn and abusive treatment, he decided he would achieve something that would make him stand out among the rest. In 1989, he began collecting currency from around the world, which he would get from a vendor in the Charminar area. spending whatever little he could spare from his earnings.

In 1999, he moved back Mahabubnagar, where he has worked as a ‘tea-master’ and supplier. After meeting the needs of his family, he would continue to invest in his hobby, visiting Hyderabad to get more coins and notes.

Incidentally, he has another hobby. He has a large collection of books and magazines related to film actors and singers. He has spent about ₹8 lakh on these to date, he says.

Mr. Lakshmaiah is now retired (he is over 60, but uncertain of his age), and lives on a ₹1,000 pension from the Telangana government. But he still wants to earn more money so he can fulfil his ambition. “I wish to continue this hobby till I collect all the currency notes of all the countries. For this, I want to start working again.”

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