66th recipient of livelihood bicycle.
Dhobi (Laundry services)
Rakesh Kumar was given a new bicycle by Anuraadha Tiwari in January 2014. He was the 26th recipient of our help.
However, his bicycle was stolen at night last week. :
He called me up early in the morning the next day, and began to cry on the loss of his new cycle. He wondered how he will go about doing his work as it’s dependant on a bicycle, and he cannot afford to buy one. I knpw a second hand bike in very good condition will cost about Rs 2500; So after I heard him out, I told him I have a second hand bike, and asked him if he would be willing to pay a donation of Rs 1000 for the same?
Rakesh agreed, as a second hand bike would anyways cost him anywhere between Rs 600 to 2500, depending on its condition.
So we gave him the bicycle that was given to us by the Bread seller Naimuddin, in exchange of the new bicycle donated to him by Meghna Rodrigues. Thank you Meghna.
This sum of Rs 1000 has been added to the kitty of funds we have received from various past recipients who willingly gave us a humble donation for the used bikes they have received from us. We will buy a new bicycle from the same for donation purpose someday soon, when the kitty amounts to a sum of Rs 4000 at least.
If you curious to read about Rakesh Kumar, when we donated him a bicycle in January, here is the link to Anuraadha’s donation of January 2014:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152092084218213&set=oa.357090647765413&type=3&theater
26th Recipient of livelihood bicycle – ‘… The saddest period was when my wife lost her baby….. later, when I had to pay for the client’s clothes that got stolen…’
Name: Rakesh Kumar.
Trade: Dhobi. (Washing/Ironing)
Rakesh is from Lucknow, UP. He has been in Bombay, Mumbai, since he was a teenager. He studied until 8th standard as he could not study anymore due to lack of interest in formal education.
Since his father was a dhobi in Bombay, he came to Bombay and became a dhobi too. (Incidentally, he knows the place where my maternal grandparents lived in Lucknow, when I mentioned that fact to him that after the partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, my maternal grandparents migrated from Rawalpindi to Lucknow!)
Rakesh is married, but his first child to-be-born died during pregnancy when his wife got scared when she was in the toilet and someone …… ! She miscarried from the trauma and fear of that event. She could not bear a child thereafter. They have been to many doctors but are still unable to bear a child. He says that is the saddest thing about his life as its not God’s will maybe, he guesses.
Another most challenging time he ever faced was when someone stole his bicycle and the clothes too that were tied to the carrier, when he went upstairs to a building apartment to deliver/take clothes. His clients, whose clotes were stolen, made him pay up for the loss of those clothes and subsequently over few weeks he paid off all his clients who demanded monetary compensation for the loss of their clothes they had entrusted him with, – the amount was almost Rs 25,000. That was the most difficult time he’s ever faced financially.
As for daily challenges, it’s the autorickshaw fellows who drive very badly he says, he gets harassed by their indiscipline, he replied when I asked him if he’s ever suffered a road accident.
Thanks to Anuraadha Tiwari for the donation of this new bicycle to ‘Rakesh Dhobi’, well, that’s how he’s addressed he says. Rakesh has given us in exchange of this new cycle, his old cycle; his old bike is in good condition, and it will further be donated to a tea seller I casually happened to come across selling tea near Candies, on the corner of Bandra Catholic Gymkhana road.
Thank you Siddharth Vora/Kohinoor Cycles for the good discount. Thank you Gazi Ali for the good service.