10-Year-Old Sell Toys Inside Delhi Metro To Feed Himself
India is full of paradoxes, rich makes living out of conning people but daily-wage people working hard, immediately raises eyebrows no matter how harmless it is. Similarly, it is okay for kids begging for money near traffic signal but if the same kid tries to sell stuff to earn a living that again is considered breaking the laws. The story below is about one such kid, who wishes to live a respectful life with his hard earned money but the laws wouldn't allow him.
About this young entrepreneur
Meet Sandeep Kumar, a 10-year-old boy, who lives all alone in a small room in Delhi's Raghubir Nagar. His father works as a laborer in Bengaluru and his mother and brother are living in his native village. To earn a living this young boy could have resorted to begging or illegal activities instead this young entrepreneur has been selling toys and goodies inside the Delhi Metro for over a year.
Boys this young an age have difficulty in buying things from local stores, this boy is smart enough to buy the toys from Sadar Bazar at a lower price and sell them at Rs. 20 or Rs. 30. With such entrepreneurial skills he earns around Rs 200 and sometimes even more.
Whenever he is short of money, Sandeep packs his plastic fidget spinners and spinning tops inside a black polythene bag, boards a Metro train either blue line or pink line at Rajouri Garden station and conducts his business usually during peak hours. At times Sandeep would even travel without tokens, "When I have sufficient money to buy a token, I buy one. Otherwise, I enter the station without one," he said while talking to India Times.
Women's coach, Delhi metro
To most of us, we might feel that it is just a harmless act but as per the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) such acts are punishable under law. "Such acts are punishable under the Delhi Metro Operations and Maintenance Act. Stringent action is taken as per the clauses in place if any such incident is reported," a Delhi Metro spokesperson said in a statement.
Sandeep, though very young to be living alone and working, is aware that hawking and trade inside Delhi metro trains and stations is strictly prohibited without appropriate documents and permission. But he is left with no other choice, he has to work for survival, "In the market, no one is willing to buy these things from me and, anyway, I earn more in the Metro Unlike everyone, I am working hard to earn money, everyone is just begging on the roads," he said to ANI.
To avoid getting caught, Sandeep is always extra careful and keeps changing trains. He has no fixed time or day to conduct his business but when he does, he usually opts for peak office hours mostly evenings, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and this street smart boy prefers to do his business in the women's coach. Because it is most convenient for him as the passengers are less and he says "women, especially those who carry children with them, usually buy toys from me".
While Sandeep gets enough as women usually buy out of sympathy but many feels that such things should not happen inside metro trains. “Metro is one of the best things which happened to Delhi and it should remain that way. I have seen him once going from one seat to another, trying to sell some fidget spinners. While I empathize with the kid, I feel that the Metro authorities should be more careful," Aishwarya Bal, a 27-year-old Human Resource specialist, said while talking to Times Now.
But this story raises a lot of questions, why is a 10 year old left alone to fend for himself, in spite of having parents and a sibling? If not this (selling toys in metro), then what?
If at all we should be calling this young boy a prodigy, why should the term only be associated for the kids excelling in academic field and not for kids excelling in life? Think about it and do comment in the comment section below.
Picture source: Oorja.com; Mensxp; TimesNow
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