“They say that hardwork is the key to success, but most people born in the streets often witness their demise too in the same streets regardless of slogging their whole lifetime. And in my belief, the main factor that shapes this is a lack of parental guidance on how to lead life. Every step is an individual decision taken through trial and error that ends with bruises more than victories.
I come from Washermenpet where I work as a rickshaw puller even at 72. Six plus decades have flown by, but retirement still seems to be a far fetched luxury that’s completely out of my hands. My life too, started on a similar note in Pondicherry where things weren’t easy at all. Having lost one parent after another all before the age of ten, I got a glimpse of some tough realities even before I could even realize the intensity of them all.
Even in my parents case, the lack of money to afford any kind of treatment took away their lives really early on. But I was atleast fortunate enough to not be completely abandoned in the streets and had a grandmother to support me. She survived doing household chores in a few places and raised me. But having been exposed to such an environment, I had to grow up way ahead of my time. The harsh truths of life such as class differentiation and status as a child made me realize how unfair life is! While I was doing odd jobs as a teenager, striving to get my family to survive, I came across many other kids of the same age, coming back from backgrounds that have ample support and love.
But it made me decide one thing- if I ever planned to have children I will raise them with so much love and be there for them in every which way possible. And I’m glad I did for the right reasons and the sheer happiness of seeing my son thrive today is reason enough for me to keep going on. He works in a big company in IT and I talk about him proudly to every customer I meet. In the end, all that matters to me is his smile.”
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