The single maid becomes a broker for a living, earns thousands of dollars

MUMBAI: The resident of Nalasopara has reached the winners in many events in recent years, but it is her personal value story that most inspires fellow runners.

Verma, a 38 year old single mother who survived an abusive marriage, worked as a domestic help before one of the “memsahibs” help ed her take up running professionally.

Today, Verma — mother of a 19-year-old boy — makes a living only out of running. While she refuses to reveal how much she earns, she said, “When I finish in the podium, I get something like Rs 20,000. Collectively, these earnings help me survive.” Considering that Verma finished on the podium in 14 of the races she ran through 2019, it would be safe to assume she made over Rs 2 lakh – considerably more than a domestic help would make in a year.

She is not yet an elite marathoner, a title that requires women to complete the 42km race in approximately 3:05 hours, but finished on the podium of the one held in January with a time of 3:52:58 hours.

Verma was married at when she was 17-years-old to an alcoholic who deserted her and their son within four years of their wedding. Forced to fend for herself and her toddler, Seema took up odd jobs, including being a house help . One of her employers, who knew about Verma’s love for sports, exhorted her to take up running to supplement her income. Now, eight years after starting her journey as a runner, she only depends on running to survive.