This dates back to March 8th this year, when I saw this little kid again in my street. He had earlier helped me find way to my pg when I was new to this city and since then, he nods at me with a smile every morning when I walk to office. Bangalore is lush with people who stay and sleep on roads. He was one among the many and used to sell corn in the streets to meet his needs.
What attracted me the most to him was his face which resembled that of my youngest brother who lived abroad and had not been to India for 7 years. He possessed the same charm and innocence!
After a few days, I felt like talking to him and so I stopped to buy a cup of corn and initiate a conversation. I asked him which class he studied in and he told me he studied till 7th after which his brother called him to help him with work in the city. I was curious if he wanted to study again, to which, coy faced he replied “Didi my brother won’t let me even think of it. Its a long story. You enjoy the corn and tell me, did I make it good?” He kept a smile intact all this time.
It broke my heart! A child of age similar to my baby brother has been creeping in streets and losing his most wonderful days by selling corn instead of being in school-learning and enjoying.
With a heavy heart, I headed back to my room. I wanted to do something for him, as most of us want to and yet, I did not. Or is it that I did not want to? Because we all want to make a change in this society and everyday we meet such people who seek this change and yet we don’t do a thing.
I have always wanted misery for the poor to end. And I always dreamt of making it true someday. Yet whenever I pass these people, all I have in my heart is sympathy and not action. I feel Society does not demand sympathy. It asks for somebody to get up and take a stand for the change. Just a big heart is all that is needed!
That day I could have told his brother that I was willing to contribute some amount every month if he let him study along work, or spared an hour everyday to teach him, or I could have searched for a government scheme that provides education to kids like these.
But that day, I just thought that I probably didn’t have the time and strength for all of this.
But again as I said, society doesn’t need masqueraders like us, just someone with a big heart and a small wish to stand up and make the world a better place.
Contributed by Simran Mittu
Image from i-India