Bangalore, Nov.19 : A roadside cobbler in Bangalore city has nurtured a big dream to earn name and fame for himself. He is determined to one day realize it by raising a collection of miniature shoes and sandals.
Fifty-year-old K. R. Shivshankar maintains a 6 by 3shop, where he spends his day mending and polishing shoes and sandals of the passers by.
Everyday during his spare time, Shivshankar prepares mini shoes and sandals of an average size of about one inch (1 to 5 cm). The prepared shoes or sandals vary for ladies and gents. It's been six months since he made up his mind to have a big collection of miniature shoes and sandals. He tells that it was some radio programme, which inspired him for this unusual work.
What started as a fun, soon became a center of attraction at his small shop for all customers and even passing by foreign tourists. He sold a few of them but still has managed to save about 50 pairs.
"I keep listening to radio programmes. Once I heard that someone made a Guinness record by making Taj Mahal inside a bottle. And I also heard other such unique achievements. I then decided to do something unique in my profession. Then I started making miniature shoes starting from 1 inch. I am keeping all these pairs of miniature shoes in the hope that I would also make a record some day," said Shivshankar.
Having so much experience in shoemaking or mending, it takes Shivshankar about one hour to prepare a pair of mini shoes.
His varieties of miniature shoes and sandals include pencil heels, floaters, and even gumboots.
Shivshankar aims to prepare at least 100 miniature pairs, all of different designs and varieties and make a world record.
"I want to make 100 pairs, all of different designs and in all varieties. Nobody should be able to say that any particular variety is not available. I have made gents and ladies shoes, gents and ladies Kohlapuris and ladies sandals with pencil heels as well," he said.
He has been able to utilize much of the waste generated out of the making of normal footwear in preparing miniature shoes.
Shivshankar judiciously follows his passion but is yet to find any financial support.
With his daily earnings of rupees 150 - 200 and sometimes even less with three children going through higher studies, he is continuously haunted by financial problems.
Shivshankar doesn't want his children to get into his shoes or follow his profession. He wants them to study and have a career for themselves. By Sughosh Nigale