Jammu’s 44-year-old Reetu Siathia has found a very unique and non-traditional way of earning money — by playing video games.

The homemaker, officially known as ‘Blackbird’, live streams her gameplay on Rooter, a streaming platform, and earns more than Rs 1.2 lakh a year.

She is fondly called ‘Mama Blackbird’ and has amassed over 3.5 lakh followers on the streaming platform.

“While the money might seem less, the amount of confidence and courage it has given me is unmatchable. I love to interact with people from different places in the game lobby. It is empowering,” says Reetu.

Married at the age of 20, she has always been a devoted wife and a mother to her son. It was in 2019, that her son introduced her to the world of gaming.

A year later, Reetu with the help of her son started to live-stream her game. Soon, hundreds of kids of her son’s age started to follow her.

While she loved playing and live streaming it, people in her neighbourhood would laugh at her. “They would say that all of this is for children and not older women,” she says.

While society doubted her, it was her son and husband who encouraged her and helped her out with household chores too.

Today, even those sceptics have become her followers. She informs that many women have even started to learn ‘Free Fire’, the game which Reetu plays.

Reetu starts her day early and gets done with all her chores by 8 am to dedicate more hours to her gameplay. She hopes to inspire more women to take up this alternative career.