The Shopkeeper

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Shopkeeper


Byline: Shekhar Bhatia

A MAN whose shop was robbed and wrecked by looters during a night of rioting in Hackney is just 48 hours from re-opening.

Shiva Kandiah, whose tears moved his customers, said the support from locals and well-wishers from around the country had been so great that he felt like crying all over again.

The hard-working convenience store owner, who lost about [pounds sterling]60,000 in goods and damage and was left with just 25p in his pocket, has been backed to the tune of [pounds sterling]16,000 by supporters who set up a website to raise funds.

Mr Kandiah, who describes himself as a "servant to the community", has partially begun trading again by selling newspapers from the pavement outside his shop as repairs and cleaning continue inside.

He said: "I do not like my customers missing anything and the newspapers are easy to sell from a small table outside. I am happy that I may be able to open my shop again this week if the work is completed and the shop had begun to look like it should be.

"I will not be able to afford all the goods yet and to pay for all the repairs right now, but the nice people who have been coming to see me and help makes me want to cry again. When this terrible thing happened, I thought my life was over. I worked 80 hours a week here and did not know what to do or where to go.

"When I look at the good people working to repair the shop and donate money, my heart starts smiling and my life is filled with sunshine. …

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