61st recipient of livelihood bicycle: ‘If my father had not died, I would never have come here; I would have preferred to live and work in my village.’
Mohamed Moiuddin. (58)
Bread and Farsan seller.
Moiuddin is from Madras (Chennai). He has been selling bread since 30 years. He arrived in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1978.
Back in his village in his childhood, they were a family of three brothers, and his mother. His father died when he was a child.
After their father died, their Mamu, maternal uncle, brought them up. God Bless his Mamu, I thought, because he helped an entire family walk on their own feet someday.
When they became adults, naturally they had fend for themselves, and poverty became the reason for his leaving his village and traveling to Bombay to earn a living. Bombay was a milestone he had to reach so he can leave that of poverty far behind.
Thanks to Bicycle Angels, I, and our donors, must have experienced this often. Some of our earlier recipients of these bicycle had to leave their village and travel to Mumbai when their father expired; it was mostly because their widow Mother was unemployed and uneducated too.
So, this morning, I was happy to read in the news that PM Modi has raised the Ministry of Women and Child Development (http://wcd.nic.in/) from being just a regular ministry to becoming a CABINET Ministry. It will now be in a position to take more proactive decisions….,; The development of women and children will help the entire family, especially in times of crisis when one parent dies a sudden and premature death. More power to our new government!
Moiuddin has two children, one boy and one girl; both are educated. Moiuddin himself is educated till the 11th Std. His daughter is married. He had to take a loan for his daughter’s marriage, but he managed to pay it back. and his son is seeking a job at the moment.
The bread he sells daily takes up at least 7 to 8 hours of his day. Post that, he sells Farsan, snacks, until evening. He does that so he can make two ends meet in a city like Mumbai. A metropolis like Mumbai!
But the bicycle he rides to sell bread belongs to the bread agency, so he has to return the bicycle after he delivers their goods. And sells his Farsan later in the day by walking to the various shops or sometimes in an autorickshaw.
Giving him a bicycle would not only help him save time and money in selling his Farsan, but give him the independence to work for any other bread agency he wants to in future. I thought that after 38 years of selling bread he should no longer be dependent on any employer for not having his own bicycle to ply their goods of trade. More power to his independence! 🙂
Moiuddin said to me, ‘If my father had not died, I would never have come here, I would have preferred to live and work in my village.’ He was three years old when his father died, so he has no memory of him nor how he looks. They don’t even have a photo of him, because those years they did not have access to a photographer, etc.
And this is when Moiuddin got a bit emotional, and I had to pause. He is 58, and yet, he got emotional while speaking of a parent he does not have a memory of because he lost him when he was just 3
The loss of a parent is a wound that never heals, I too realize.
The most difficult period he’s ever faced was when he had malaria and could not work for two months and that drained his savings. He does not earn the day he does not ride. Only when their legs and bicycle wheels move does the money trickle in, however less it be its earned in a very very hard way!!
Moiuddin was very easy to talk with, he did not ask me as many questions as some others ask, he trusted me very easily, and was soft spoken, I really liked the guy and wanted to do something for him. He also agreed to paying nearly one third of the cost of the new bicycle if we give him one. Now I really did not need any more convincing, I promptly agreed.
Thank you to Surabhi Shah for donating this new bicycle to Moiuddin.
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. Thanks to Gazi Ali for sending me his pic.