Chhotu - The Boy Who Grew Up Too Soon
Article and Image by Nishant Niraj
Today I met a “Man” who is holding a dream of his family on his little shoulder. You might be thinking that why I am using the word “Man” for a 10 years old child..!! Because, he is among the earning members of his family. A year back he came from Patna, Bihar to Delhi with his elder brother to became a support for his family.
Delhi is a dream City for many of us. In India an average family size is about 4.8 members, still I am calling that he belongs from a small family of just 8 members, father , mother, one elder brother & sister and 3 younger sisters. He and his elder brother is only earning member of their family. In Delhi he lived with his elder brother near Akshardham Metro station and travels daily to Lajpat Nagar Metro station to earn few pennies by selling novel/fiction books at a minimum margin of , earns daily Rs 200-250 .When I asked him about his primary studies/schooling or knows how to study , he replied “baap ne kaha school chor aur 2-4 paise kama”. This is the actual truth of very poor families in India.
Later, I asked him after few earnings, when he had a visit to his family and what did he took for them ..? Then with an innocent smile on his face he replied-“pichla holi gaya tha or sab Ke liya mithaai le gya , maa ko saree di or choti behno Ko frock diya”. His devotion for his family and innocence touched my heart because I am also earning from last 5 months and when I visited to my home, my hands were empty. He taught me the importance and values in life towards family and others at such a small age.
Today in our country children are still struggling for their livelihood. A child instead of going to school, working for his family livelihood..!! Who is actually responsible parents ??Government??Situation?? or ‘us’… ?? These questions remained unanswered from several decades…
Lastly,A book which we buy from him might help him to bring 4 chapatti in his home.