38th recipients of livelihood bicycle: …. crisis, I felt as he spoke to me, established him financially! Crisis most often make us!….’
Shrawan (26) and Rahul (20) Gupta.
Fruit Sellers (Both brothers sell fruits from a Hand-pushed four wheels cart, and his brother does home delivery on their common bicycle.)
Village – Pratapgadh, UP.
Shrawan arrived in Mumbai around 20 years ago. He studied till 7th Std only, in a school in Mumbai, as his father expired while he was working in Mumbai, so Shrawan had to leave school and financially support his family. He began assisting his uncle (chacha) who sells fruits in Mumbai, to earn a living. His uncle and he helped get his 3 sisters married. He is married and his child goes to school.
He has one younger brother, Rahul. Rahul delivers fruits for other vendors on carter road from 7 am to 10 pm daily, with a break in the afternoon, no work on Sundays. He is educated up to the 8th std, because he had to start working too and assist his elder brother. Both bothers survive off one hand cart as their vehicle of livelihood, and one bicycle to transport themselves and the fruits for home delivery, their bike is around 10 years old. He is in Mumbai since 5 years. Rahul rides up to Santacruz west to deliver fruits ordered. They ride on the bicycle to work on carter road, and stand around perry cross road and rajan sherley road too. I too have been buying fruits from him since a year now.
I asked him random questions, his replies – ‘….I have many good customers, but the best are those who respect me well, ask me about how I am doing and enquire about how my work is doing. The only problem I face in this profession is the harassment from some police persons and some BMC persons. I never throw fruits that I am unable to sell and get dated, but not spoilt, I give them to the poor. I never throw them away as waste. I personally like Papaya most, from the many fruits I sell. Its tasty and good for digestion. A new cycle in exchange of my old one will help me do deliveries, it will ride smoother, so easier for us to do more rounds of deliveries.’
He had also told me earlier when I had approached him for this exchange that the fact that his bike will be donated to someone makes him feel happier receiving a new one in exchange. Shrawan spent around Rs 600 on the repairs of his old bike before handing it to me.
I asked Shrawan what was the most difficult times he has ever faced until now …?; He replied. It was when he had got married, he needed money to support his wife, so he left his uncle’s fruit business amicably, and purchased his own four wheel hand cart so that he can be financially independent, and he did become.
Those crisis, I felt as he spoke to me, established him financially! Crisis most often make us, I felt once again on hearing yet another recipient speak of their crisis-moments.
Thank you to Farzana Suri, for donating a new bicycle to Shrawan and Rahul; their old bike we will donate to a worthy recipient. They spent some money on their old bike to make it more worthy for donation to another.
And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good discount and service.