156A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle. “Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”

 

 

156A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.

 

 

“Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”

 

 

Nanjappa Iyer (35)

 

 

Idli seller.

 

 

Nanjappa is from Karnataka. His family owns some quantity of land and they cultivate it only before the monsoons. He could not school post the fourth class because he had to earn a livelihood. He attended to cows and goats until he grew older and had to migrate to Mumbai to increase his livelihood prospects. Agriculture was never able to sustain his family. They are a family of 5 brothers and one sister. His parents continue to cultivate their land when the rains are kind.

 

 

Nanjappa migrated to Mumbai about 15 years ago, and being uneducated he landed a job as a domestic help to a leading film actress then. He continued to work at a few homes over the years, and had some very good employers, one of whom was a media personality Karuna S, and he said she was a very good employer and helped him when he needed some help.

 

 

Rarely have we assisted someone who has been in a profession for less than a day or two. Nanjappa is one of them. There are no rules in life. Neither to success nor failure nor kindness. So we broke ours. He came across to us as someone sincerely desiring to be independent, a man owning his own business, however humble in nature. An idli wala.

 

Idli wals, they serve the people who serve us – The taxi driver, the autorickshaw driver, street vendors, security guards of societies who guard us, gardeners, shop keepers who do not carry lunch from home on some days and are stuck behind their shop counters longer than day light hours….. scores of people invisible to most of us.

 

I thought, maybe I can empathise with Nanjappa’s need to do what he loves, at any cost. Leave a secure home job to peddle his skills on unknown streets. My own father left a secure job with the Indian army after 6 years because he wanted to be independent and write lyrics and sing songs. Though he attributed his superb sense of discipline and his habit to be able to live happily without much fuss about material things to his Army days, and he even wrote some of the most amazing film songs on our beloved armed forces, he left his Army job to be on his own, answerable only to his calling of wanting to write songs. A few angels helped my father when he left the Army and was penniless in Bombay for nearly a decade. Girish Thakker became Nanjappa’s angel, by buying him a new bicycle on the second or third day of his own first attempt at his own business. We felt we must help him.

Why did Nanjappa decide to sell idlis, because he loves to cook. Just as my father loved to write and took a leap of faith in himself and his talent to live that love daily. It served him well. Very well.

 

 

I believe, we must strive to get rid of dependency with the passage of time, pick up skills that will help us branch out become our very own tree. Dr B R Ambedkar said, “Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”

 

Thank you Girish Thakar for donating this bicycle to Nanjappa Iyer. Nanjappa contributed nearly half its cost.

 

 

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 he provides us.

 

 

#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16

 

 

#BicycleAngels:

FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/

WordPress https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

 

 

Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

 

 

#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #SpiritualizeIdli nanjappa

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155A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle. Sweet dreams, like pleasant streams. Sing along happy silent moony beams.

155A

155A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.

 

 

Sweet dreams, like pleasant streams.
Sing along happy silent moony beams.

 

 

Vilas Mohite (54)

 

 

Milk man.

 

 

I met Vilas more than a year ago, while riding at Hill road one early morning, on my way to a long ride.

His bicycle was in a very bad condition. As I rode alongside him I made him an offer… if he is willing to contribute half the cost of a new bicycle, we can help him get a new one.

 

 

In response, Vikas looked at me strangely, and with only a negative nod of his head he rode away. No ‘No thank you’, no explanation. Kind of ignored our offer.

I increased my speed and disappeared from his path, and life. Until…

 

 

A few weeks ago, Vilas went to buy a new bicycle from Kohinoor Stores, at Hill road. The store from where we have so far purchased nearly a hundred bicycles for the purpose of donation. He was unable to afford a new bicycle. He happened to mention that long ago he had once met some stranger on a bicycle, early morning while he was delivering milk, who had offered to help him buy a new bicycle. But he had refused him because he did not believe him. He has feared it was some scam or I was playing a joke on him.

 

 

Vilas confessed to me only now, after more than a year of having first encountered him, that he had refused me then because he could not believe someone can make anyone such an offer. Such things do not happen, he believed then.

I guess our donors proved him wrong! 🙂

 

 

Vilas is born and brought up in Bandra west, Mumbai. His mother was a masala maker by profession, and would walk the streets of Bandra with stone tools to make fresh masalas at peoples’ doorsteps. She was a favorite amongst the Kolis settled in Bandra’s’ Gauthans, ancient villages, Chimbai, Danda, etc. Vilas stated with pride. So many families must have enjoyed their meals due to his mother’s skills, I thought looking at him smile. She has long retired from that profession because she can no longer walk without aid.

 

 

Vilas is educated till the 8th. Due to the family’s financial situation he could study any further. He has been delivering milk to homes ever since he was a teen.

 

 

Vilas has three children. His younger son and daughter are studying well. His eldest son has decided to study beyond M.Com. so that can get better job opportunities.

 

 

The margins in delivering are so minimal, to deliver milk at Khar he takes the BEST bus to Khar and then walks it back home.

 

 

Though we were willing to buy a new bicycle for Vilas, after I finished interviewing him, he told me… “actually, honestly, I am uncomfortable that you are going to spend so much money on a new bicycle for me. (paused) Even if you can buy me some new spares and get my bicycle serviced I will be content with my old bicycle.” I agreed.

 

 

Well, however, Vilas’s humility and tenderness said what it had to. And we did what our instinct said – “Vilas deserves a new bicycle and seek a lesser contribution from him than what he has agreed to pay.”

So, we bought him a brand new bicycle. And we accepted only a token contribution from him towards its purchase.

 

 

There was something very tender and honest in his simple nature. A most deserving candidate. These were my thoughts about him seeing him ride away on his brand new bicycle.

Later that night, he even called me. To thank me in front of his family. He said, my children cannot believe this can happen. I told him, I will pass on his immense thanks to our four donors, who made an entire family happy. From my bedroom window I could see the moon. She was smiling too. Soon I dozed off with that smile.

 

 

Sweet dreams, like pleasant streams.
Sing along happy silent moony beams.

 

 

 

This bicycle was donated to Vilas by Yogesh Shetty, Murali Krishnan, Wali Kashvi and Surabhi Shah. Thank you.  Vilas contributed a bit towards its cost.

 

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 he provides us.

 

#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16

 

#BicycleAngels:

FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/

WordPress https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

 

Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

 

#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #Spiritualize

 

 

154A) recipient – If God were in my fingers, I would fold them in prayer for you.

154A

154A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.

 

 

If God were in my fingers, I would fold them in prayer for you.

 

Mahadev Kanojia (40)

 

 

Dhobi (Laundry service)

 

 

Mahadev was recommended to us by one of our past beneficiaries. Manoj is from UP. Nearly every Dhobi I met was from UP. He resides at Khar Danda in Mumbai. His earlier two generations were dhobis too. His father could not afford to educate him beyond the 5th or 6th Class, so he arrived in Bombay in 1988, when he was 11-12 years young, to help his father.

Being the eldest son, so it was first his responsibility to hold the reins of the family’s livelihood along with his father. Even his mother worked alongside, ironing.

 

 

Mahadev has three children, all sons. The youngest is in school and the eldest will soon be graduating from college. His family, his brothers and he, continue to own a small piece of land back in the village, but none of them want to seed it. The rains being unpredictable, they find the occupation, agriculture, uncertain to pursue as a lifelong occupation. That is one problem we will be faced with in coming decades. Dwindling numbers occupied in agriculture.

 

 

It is feared that in the coming years, agriculture land will be rare and very expensive to own, considering large amounts of agri land is being converted to commercial and residential. Corporations will run agriculture and employ qualified people to farm and they will sell produce at astronomical rates. Characters like farmers, the kisaan, will belong only in ancient period films. Museums will display attires worn by farmers one upon a time. 😉

 

 

I asked Mahadev, does he believe in God and his miracles, and has be witnessed even one?

He replied, laughing ‘at me’, “Yes, of course, I do believe in God. (Naturally making me feel I asked him a ridiculously low-life question.) Everything I have is because of Bajrang Bali. Every Saturday, I offer him oil at his temple near my house. He fulfils my heart’s wishes.”

 

 

For the Mahadevs’ of our world, their heart’s wishes are not owning a ‘rock’, but: an education for his children, enough meals through the day so that hunger does not become a clock reminding him he has not eaten as yet, his family live in peace with each other, his livelihood be secure, his health remain good so that his hands and feet can help him keep a roof over their head and keep their kitchen warm.

 

I asked him, would he believe in his Bajrang Bali, God, if his heart’s wishes had not been fulfilled?

 

Now Mahadev laughed the loudest, and said to me in a tone as though he was seated under the banyan tree and we mortals were at his feet looking up at him, “Sab icchayein thodi na puri hoti hain, Saab.” (You don’t get it. All prayers are not answered.)

He smiled then. He was at peace. I smiled back. He left. And he left me in peace too.

 

 

Anyways. I hope most of our prayers come true. And I decided to share a prayer I had once written:

 

 

If God were in my fingers, I would fold them in prayer for you.

If God were in my home, I would light it up like Diwali for you.

If God were on the roads, I would ride my bike for you.

If God were in my words, I would write a story for you.

If God were in nature, I would paint a landscape for you.

If God were in notes, I would compose a melody for you.

If God were in medicine, I would heal a heart for you.

If God were in sea waves, I would surf the Oceans for you.

If God were in mighty mountains, I would summit them for you.

But God is in you too, so stay close to me.

Thank you for your friendship, respect, and love.

For my loved ones I prayer.

 

 

This bicycle was donated by Vaibhav Jhalani. Thank you Vaibhav. And Mahadev contributed half the cost of this bicycle.

 

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 he provides us.

 

#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16

 

 

#BicycleAngels:

FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/

WordPress https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

 

 

Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

 

 

#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #Spiritualize

 

153A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle. I think, Destiny is that super privileged entity whose importance and significance in our lives, I believe, is overrated by her believers and followers who are simply being humble about their own right and wrong choices, their hard work and their astuteness.

153A Pali Farmer Ramdas Sawant Radhika R

153A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.

I think, Destiny is that super privileged entity whose importance and significance in our lives, I believe, is overrated by her believers and followers who are simply being humble about their own right and wrong choices, their hard work and their astuteness.

Ramdas Sawant (40)

Farmer.

Ramdas resides at a village 8 kms from Pali, Ratnagiri. His father was a mill worker, at a spinning and weaving mill in Bombay. But he had to return to his village and farming, when almost all the mills in Bombay shut down, as a result of the agitation led by union leader Datta Samant.
That agitation destroyed thousands of dreams and aspirations.

The uphill road did not end there. Ramdas’s parents passed away when he was a child. He could not study beyond the tenth class. Thereafter, he was brought up by his maternal uncle.
A fine job his uncle did, taking complete responsibility of his orphaned close relatives. Salute.

Farming was the choice Ramdas made, as a young adult, and has been at it over 20 years. Or, maybe he was guided by his uncle, I do not know. But he stuck to it. From it, he made a life from it for himself and his family. Providing them a roof with an education far beyond his own.
Ramdas has two children, one girl, 12, and a boy 8. Both are studying in a school at Pali, where Mukul Madhav Foundation’s free medical camp was held.

Ramdas will use bicycle to commute to Pali from his village, which is about 5 kms away. Most importantly, he will save Rs 12 a day, he said, by using a bicycle for his daily commute. He will ride to the markets around Pali village to sell his fresh produce.

Once again, I came across a farmer who believed education can lift them high above the crops they nurture and depend on so heavily for their livelihood. However much he loves his profession, the insecurity a farmer suffers and bears is something most of them do not want their children to live.

Like the film industry, I thought. My father, a lyricists, discouraged me from being here. Dad wold say… so, respect for an unsuccessful person here is as elusive as Hailey’s Comet if you are lucky, and for most its non-existent like the ‘fountain of eternal youth.’ Yet, I persisted. 🙂

Ramdas believes he made the right choice by being a farmer. The math worked. It has so far at least, he believes. I believe it too. That our today leads to our tomorrows, and we need to live just one day at a time to its fullest and then maybe someday in the future we can credit it all, good and bad, to destiny.

I think, Destiny is that super privileged entity whose importance and significance in our lives, I believe, is overrated by her believers and followers who are simply being humble about their own right and wrong choices, their hard work and their astuteness.

I had read somewhere …. “Life is the sum of experiences that we encounter as we go through life. Day to day struggles and triumphs are experienced by all of the world’s creatures. Every decision that we make has significance. How a person faces each challenge that comes their way however, says much about their character, who they are on the inside. Some people draw strength and inspiration from the experiences of others.”

Often their stories of success get told. Many successful people from both the past and present have inspired people to face and overcome life’s many challenges through their stories. Such stories help people to see they are not alone in their struggles and that it is possible to overcome their problems, eventually.
That is why sharing stories is important.

This bicycle was donated to Ramdas by Radhika Radia. Thank you Radhika.

We handed the bicycle to him at Pali, en route our Pune to Ratnagiri Cyclothon in Dec 2015, which included a free medical health camp for nearly 3000 Zilla Parishand school children sponsored by #MukulMadhavFoundation, (MMF), the NGO based in Pune. MMF’s team helped us locate this beneficiary through their rural resources.

#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16

#BicycleAngels:
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WordPress https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #Spiritualize #BicycleAngels