160th beneficiary. (Livelihood bicycle)
“Corrupt politicians, corrupt administrators, corrupt humans. They make even the other good ten percent look so bad.” 😉
Harilal Yadav (35-40)
Newspaper and Vegetables vendor.
Harilal is from UP. He delivers newspapers in the morning at Bandra west. His father sells vegetables at Chimbai, and he helps him out at their make shift stall on a non-existent pavement.
Harilal has been a newspaper vendor since 20 years. He has two sons and two daughters, all four go to school; that is great, I thought.
I interviewed Harilal in Dec 2014. He said he will revert to me soon, and was even willing to contribute half the cost of a new bicycle. But he never turned up.
Last month, Harilal came to meet me. He said he did not come earlier, only because he could not save enough to contribute half the cost of a new bicycle. (2500)
But, a few months ago his old bicycle got stolen and he had to borrow a friend’s old bicycle for a few weeks. But now he has to return the borrowed bicycle, this week, and needs our assistance in purchasing a new one. Naturally, we agreed to lend him our little hands.
Bicycle theft, very common in Mumbai, I realised this after meeting nearly 140 such vendors.
When their bicycles get stolen, few of them call me for help. I also realised, they call me not to seek help, but just to share with me the bad news. I have always felt they are shy to ask for help. Especially because the bike was donated to them. It is we then who have to volunteer to help them. Can’t blame them for their loss. Shit happens! And their bicycle is to them what Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari means to him. After all, both earn their livelihood with the help of a vehicle.
Anyone who wants to experience how it feels losing a vehicle of livelihood, may see the 1948 Italian classic, The Bicycle Thief. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040522/
Let me share with you more about the impact of their bicycles getting stolen.
The day they do not ride, they do not earn. They are, after all, daily wages workers. Even though most of them are their own master. And until they buy a new bicycle, they borrow one from a neighbour or friend who has an extra bicycle, for a few days, a few hours, until they can buy an old one or a new one.
Many of them, when their bicycle gets stolen, do not go to the cops. Because, they do not have the bill of purchase of their bicycle. And even if they did, they are not always treated with respect at Police Stations. The rules that apply to us, the privileged, do not apply to them, as they are treated mostly badly by those in extreme power.
I think, when some people in power perceive you to have no ‘backing’, they feel they can get away with bullying you. That is why it becomes important for the privileged to stand up for those weak.
Some of them do not want to buy a new bike, even if they can afford it. Many of them have refused to accept a new bicycle from us. Yes, Even those who we knew are too poor to contribute anything and we were willing to pay the entire cost of the bike for them. Because, new bicycles get stolen very often. Mostly by drug addicts, they say. So they rather suffer riding old bikes, they admit.
Some of them do not want to use new bicycles because of the nature of their profession. If they are tea sellers or coconut vendors, it is illegal to sell tea or coconuts on a bicycle. So the cops and the authorities ‘penalise’ them. If they are riding old used cycles, the penalty demanded is nominal or sometimes forgiven.
If they are riding a new bicycle, the person of authority believes the vendor must be making tons of money, and demands a high ‘penalty’ amount. The receipts issued for penalties paid are, ‘invisible’.
Now many of us know what I really mean by ‘penalise’. It often simply translates to, Ghoos. Chai Paani, Kharcha Paani. However, in defence of the law, I must say, if it is illegal to sell tea and coconuts on a bicycle, as they may pose danger to traffic or pedestrians, then yes the vendors must be fined. Officially of course, by producing a visible receipt, not ‘verbal’, for the fine collected. But, do they?
“Corrupt politicians, corrupt administrators, corrupt humans. They make even the other good ten percent look so bad.”
― Henry Kissinger
😉 However, all is not that bad, I assure you, in this world. 🙂 We still have angels amongst us. This bicycle was jointly donated to Harilal by Yogesh Shetty and Shraddha Desai Shah. Thank you. (Harilal Yadav contributed nearly half its cost.)
We want to leave you in a happy frame of mind reading this post, because its Earth Day on April 22. Do something good for our Mother Earth on April 22. Maybe, be a #PlantAngel. Plant a Tulsi. It gives us oxygen 24 hours. Give back to our Earth some of the oxygen we will have consumed in our lifetime: https://www.facebook.com/PlantAngels 🙂
Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.
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