167th beneficiary – “… many people have just about a dream or two they feel they will somehow manage to achieve.”

167 Newspaper Kishore donor Archana

167th beneficiary of help (Livelihood bicycle)

 

“… many people have just enough food to eat, just enough clothes to wear, just good enough roof over their heads and just about a dream or two they feel they will somehow manage to achieve.”

 

Kishore Bhosle (50)

 

Newspaper delivery and office Peon.

 

Kishore is from Khed, and resides at Mahim. He delivers newspapers in the morning, and works as a Peon by day. He has two children, a boy and girl, both are in school.

 

One of the outstanding things about him that stayed with me, long after Kishore had left with his bicycle, was his love for his parents. They are no more.

 

And his happiness, when his children get good marks in school. His happiest moment will be when his children get more than 90 percent marks in their tenth class. He told me. Not only because of what that means for any parent, pride and security I guess, but also because it becomes easier for the child to gain admission in a college of repute. People of their status know no one they can make phone calls to for securing admission.

Securing great marks would mean his children will have many more options for a career in future which Kishore himself could not lay claim to, because he could not educate himself beyond higher secondary.

 

I asked Kishore, how come he chose to deliver newspapers, right from his school days, when there must have been other options to earn the same amount of money.

He said, “… My uncle was in this trade, and I observed it closely for a week, before I got into it, to earn some money. I felt then that this is an activity for which one has to wake by 5 am and embark on short journeys on a bicycle. I liked waking up early and being active physically. I had felt even then that this job will keep me physically able, strong. So I chose it over other options then. Not that there were many options available to a school going child. But thanks to more than three decades of riding every day, I am physically very fit for my age.” (Smiles)

 

A devoted son who looked after both his parents until their last sunset, I was glad Kishore was the beneficiary of a bicycle donated by an as deserving donor-daughter, Ms Archana Bhatnagar. Archana had messaged me a few days ago, “…. It will be my Mum’s 74th birthday on July 31st , … what good can a child do than to help a person on her behalf during her lifetime.”

 

Kishore’s best client is a lady who inquiries about his health and well-being each and every time he has not turned up to deliver their newspaper.

 

It made me ponder, many people have just enough food to eat, just enough clothes to wear, just good enough roof over their heads and just about a dream or two they feel they will somehow manage to achieve. But what they do not get enough is affection and respect from those they perceive well to do.

 

What we really really need is sincere affection and respect. Our monetary tips may not be what they will remember when their head rests at night on cold floors. It’s our kindness that becomes their soft pillow when their tired bodies meet hard floors. It’s the glass of water and Re one sugar candy that you keep out to hand to them that will taste yummier to then than all the waters of the Nile.

 

Thank you Archana and Uma Bhatnagar ji for purchasing this bicycle for Kishore. He contributed nearly half its cost. Happy Birthday to Ms Uma Bhatnagar.

 

Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.

 

#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

 

#BeautifulBicyclesBeautifulPeople

 

 

 

 

166th beneficiary – those who dare to etch their dreams in the sky, are really showing the courage and faith that their dream will come true.

166 Newspaper Electrician Rakesh Donor Laxmikant

 

166th beneficiary of help (Livelihood bicycle)

 

“… those who dare to etch their dreams in the sky, share them with others, even a stranger like me, are really showing the courage and faith that their dream will come true.”

 

Rakesh Gawde (27)

 

Newspaper delivery and Electrician

 

Rakesh lives at Khar East, Mumbai. They have a joint- family house at Malwani, Sindhudurgh. He delivers newspaper early mornings, and works as an Electrician in the day with his uncle who has employed him.

 

Rakesh’s father, once a security guard, watchman, suffered paralysis (because of acute diabetes) three years ago. He can no longer do any job and is home-bound.

 

Rakesh is educated till higher secondary, HSC, twelfth standard. His mother works as a house help. His father can move around, but is unable to work productively.

 

Rakesh has two brothers. His elder brother is an accountant, and his younger an ‘office-boy’, peon. I thought, he seemed a bit embarrassed, speaking about his younger brother’s profession of being ‘just an office-boy’. All four members are working to support their family, a matter of pride I thought, in a nation where those below the poverty line amount to as many stars as we can count in the sky on a crystal clear cloudless summer night.

 

Rakesh has done an electrician’s diploma course, and has been working with his uncle. His uncle is not giving him a raise. I advised him to leave his uncle asap, and become independent. This new cycle being donated to him will help him commute for work without expense, and make him independent of his uncle too. He agreed.

 

We can only hope, that by giving him a bicycle, for which he voluntarily contributed nearly half the cost, it will hereafter share his livelihood burden. Because working with his uncle, and delivering newspapers, will not help stretch his hands towards his dream.

His dream – to help his father recover from the paralysis completely, and his mother should no longer have to work at someone’s home.

 

Dreams.

Dreams are about the yearnings that are held deep inside us. Some of these desires are so secret that we dare not share them even with our closest friends. Or with a stranger like me.

And those who dare to etch their dreams in the sky, share them with others, even a stranger like me, are really showing the courage and faith that their dream will come true.

 

Thank you Laxmikant Kshirsagar for purchasing this bicycle for Rakesh. Rakesh contributed nearly half its cost.

 

Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.

 

#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

 

#BeautifulBicyclesBeautifulPeople

 

 

 

 

 

165th beneficiary – Izzat. Respect. What it can mean to a common man.

165th beneficiary of help (Livelihood bicycle)

 

What ‘izzat’ (respect) means to him.

 

Abdul Shaikh (40s)

 

 

Tea seller (Chai-Kaafi wala)

 

 

In January 2014, my writer friend Anuraadha Tiwari had donated a bicycle to Abdul. He was our 27th beneficiary of help.

However, after a few weeks, his bicycle was stolen, near Almeida Park, Bandra west.

 

 

I found this out when I saw him a couple of times walking around Bandra with his tea kettle. We had donated a used bicycle to him, in excellent working condition, yet it got stolen. Abdul felt bad that our donor’s money spent on the bicycle got wasted. I assured him it’s not his fault and nothing gets wasted in nature.

 

 

I offered to buy Abdul a new bicycle then. But he refused. He said, ‘a new one will get stolen even faster.’ I offered to buy him a used one. He refused. He said, ‘… if this next one gets stolen I will feel bad. I rather walk.’

 

 

Two years went by. Yesterday I happened to come across him in Bandra. Abdul was still walking around with his tea kettle. He had not bought a bicycle after that.

I asked Abdul, it happens to be Eid tomorrow, would he like to receive a bicycle as a gift for Eid? From one of our donors. We have one for him. He can have it within ten minutes if he would like that.

He agreed immediately. He admitted he had been thinking of buying a used one (second hand) just a few days ago.

 

I made Abdul this offer because he had valued our donor’s money in the past. But, there was another reason I never forgot this humble tea seller. He had a philosophy (and emotion) about what ‘izzat’, respect, could mean to a ‘common’ man like him.

I have often narrated his philosophy at lectures at schools, colleges and within my small social circle. Read about it here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152092086453213&set=oa.357090647765413&type=3&theater

 

 

Thank you to Vaania Vishal Chhabra for donating this bicycle to Abdul Shaikh. Happy Eid to all of us.

 

Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.

 

#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

 

#BeautifulBicyclesBeautifulPeople

The 27th beneficiary post:

27th beneficiary of help. (Livelihood bicycle)

What respect means to this ‘common’ man.

The best thing about my tea profession is, RESPECT…! (Iss chai ke dhande mein bahut IZZAT hai!’ – Abdul Bhai.

Name: Abdul Shaikh.

Tea seller. (Chai-Coffee wala)

Abdul is from Lucknow, UP, and has been living in Mumbai since childhood, (his father was a tea seller and never owned a bicycle and always sold tea walking on foot and Abdul would walk alongside holding a glass-holder made of aluminum with 6 glasses and a can of water to clean the glasses.)

He is married and has two kids, one goes to school.
His most difficult time in life was when a builder in Bandra west made his father sign a document promising them a compensation of Rs 10 to 12 lacs for their hut space at Rajan Sherley Village, Bandra west; and after the signing the builder got a dozen goons and forced them off their land by paying them only Rs 12000 instead of the promised 12 lacs. Post that, he has never been able to own a house.

Though he accepted this bicycle, he was very worried that it may get stolen as the place he lives at in juhu Bandh road is not a secure environment, so he was reluctant to ride it away.
I assured him its okay if it gets stolen, as long as he has secured it very well with a strong chain and locks, he cannot do more than that so he cannot he held responsible beyond the precaution he takes to secure it! Only then he agreed to take it!

I asked him what is the best thing about his profession. His reply stunned me!!!

He replied: ‘I may be just a ‘tea’ seller for many people, but for some people I am a man they respect immensely, and that is what I like, that I have the their respect. They tell me they respect me a lot because I am a man who chooses to walk all day long selling tea, rests under trees and sits in the shade of tall buildings to escape the sun and rain, cold, therefore, for them I am a man who chooses to work hard and not beg nor steal for my meals!!
Their respect for me, even though I do not make much money in this profession, is a matter of great pride for me that some people still look up to me with so much respect, and they appreciate me in their lives even though I sell just’ tea’ on streets.
Yes, there is not much money in this field Saab, lekin aise din bhar chal chal ke, ya phir cycle chala chala ke, chai bechane mein izzat bahut hai.

He made me realize – ki paisa zaroori hai zindagi ke liye, lekin izzat bhi bahut zaroori hai jeene ke liye. (Money is important to lead a life, and respect is most important to live a life.)

Thank you to Anuraadha Tiwari for donating a new bicycle to Dhobi Rakesh Kumar, because Rakesh gave us in exchange this old cycle which we donated to Abdul Shaikh.

I must mention here, from my little and humble experience so far, quite a few vendors refused to accept a new bicycle in exchange of their old one for this reason – …. ‘Our old and used cycle is good for us, because a new one will get stolen even faster than an old one. So please give the new bike to someone who lives in a more secure environment, BECAUSE, I cannot afford losing even ONE day of work if my bike gets stolen. Most of us don’t have places to park them, as we live in places where even for a human being to enter we have to squeeze through an alley or corridor or climb a ladder to enter our home built on top of someone’s roof.’

Thank you to Siddharth Vora of Kohinoor cycles for the good service.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/ — with Anuraadh165 tea Abdul S