“I have been selling things on my bicycle since 1970, until today no one ever offered to exchange my old bike for a new one.”
Name: Rajendra Prasad Gupta.
Occupation: Cigarette Vendor.
Rajendra is around 60-61, he arrived from UP to Bombay in 1970 in the search of a livelihood. He has been riding a livelihood bicycle ever since 1971! Selling cigarettes since then in Bandra East area. He also drove an autorickshaw for a few years, then reverted to being a vendor of cigarettes on a bicycle.
He has a son who is around 25, but he seemed disinterested in this profession, but is helping his father lately because now he is 60 plus and falls ill often and its about time to took over the route his father has been riding since over 3 decades.
Now, since 5 to 6 years, it is his son who rides on and off and he walks behind him to teach him the ropes of dealing with the retailers. His son is educated till the 8th Std. His profession earns him around Rs 200 to 300 a day.
His wife suffers from some mental issues, and also has some problems with her legs and she is nearly bedridden since many years and can barely drag herself to move around. He had three daughters and he has educated them, and now all of them are married.
I asked him when has he faced any kind of overwhelming problems, and he said, ‘I have faced problems every five to six years. Lately, my goods were stolen and I had to pay the supplier for the same. Diabetes is another problem I have been facing lately. and the ill health of my wife.’
I generally asked him, has he ever received monetary help to buy a bicycle for his profession by the companies he sells cigarettes for, or ever borrowed money to buy one?…. He replied, ‘I have been selling things on my bicycle since 1970, I purchased bicycles two or three times over the years and always from my own money; until today no one ever offered to exchange my old bike for a new one. Aapke dost log jinhon ne isska paisa bhara, pehle log hain. (Your donor friends who brought me this bicycle are the very first!) And with God’s grace.’
Rajendra is amongst those many recipients who spent his money on his old bicycle before he gave it to us to donate further. In fact, almost every recipient willingly spent their money in making their old bikes a bit better before giving it to us for further donation.
Thank you to Satya H and Shashi C Sai Seva, for jointly buying him a new bicycle. His used old bicycle we will donate to some needy person.
Thank you Kohinoor Cycles Siddharth Vora for the good discount.