Name: Ramesh Kamble.
Profession: Milk man; (Dhoodhwala, on Turner road.)
(From the very start of this initiative, I was keen we donate a bicycle to a milkman someday. Maybe because from my earliest memory of people ferrying goods on bicycles, the bread man (Pau wala), and the milkman, (Dhodh wala), figure most prominently.; the knife sharpener (Chaaku Dhaar wala) figures too, but that’s only because his revolving back-wheel, while he sharpened our knife, and the whizzing sound of the steel blade against the revolving stone, fascinated me!)
Ramesh is born and brought up in Mumbai. He had to leave his studies in the 8th standard when his father died due to illness. His mother worked as a patient’s attendant at Hospitals and Homes. He had to start earning a living before he became an adult. He attended night school to learn English. He’s washed cars for many years, even worked at a footwear shop, and delivered milk to help his Mother and family. He’s been selling milk around Hill Road and Turner road at Bandra west over 20 years.
His two daughters are married, and his SSC pass son works with one of his clients whom he has been supplying milk to since two decades. All his 3 children are educated, the eldest daughter is 15th Standard pass, he said. (I think he meant, she’s a college graduate. 🙂 )
I asked him to tell me about a client who has been very kind to him; He told me, two of his nicest customers are those who helped him when he faced big problems. Once he suffered a paralytic attack and lost the use of his left hand and leg. A doctor, Ms Kulkarni, one of his clients, got him admitted to Bhabha Hospital and kept a daily check on his improvement, would visit him daily to meet the Municipal doctors attending to him. Then she made him go to a Parsi doctor at Mazagon who cured his paralysis in a month! Another good client, Mr Puri, who lives in actor Salman Khan’s building he says, often offers him tea early morning when he goes to deliver milk, and sometimes buys him medicines when he is ill.
Another client of his has given his son a job! Ramesh says ‘many of my clients have helped me voluntarily with my emergency expenses when I have faced financial problems.’ Hearing him, I said to myself, ‘Hey, Mumbai has a BIG heart!’
Thank you to Satya H, Priyanka S C and Advait, and Shashi C (Sai Seva), for jointly buying a new bike for Ramesh; Ramesh gave us in exchange his old bike, which we propose to give to someone who needs one to better his livelihood.
Thank you Kohinoor Cycles Siddharth Vora for the good discount and service.