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He Begs on Chennai Buses so He Can Buy Books for Street Children

Selvaraj is a 73-year-old polio afflicted man who is seen begging inside buses in Chennai. An Economics graduate by qualification, he started begging when he could not continue working due to his physical condition. Whatever money he earns, he spends on buying books and stationery for some underprivileged kids from the nearby locality. 

When we see beggars, we assume that they are seeking money either to buy some food or to support their homeless families in some way. But here is one man who took up the profession of begging so that he could change the lives of some underprivileged kids.

Meet R Selvaraj, a 73-year-old polio afflicted man, who can be found begging inside buses in Chennai. He begs so that he can support the education of about 26 underprivileged kids from the nearby locality.


Photo for representation purpose only. Source: Phill Warren/Flickr

Yes, you heard it right! Selvaraj, a resident of Karunanidhi Nagar in Chennai, has been begging in buses plying between Madurai and Tirupattur since 2006. He spends whatever money he earns in buying stationery and books for some children who cannot afford them. He also teaches students from grade one to ten.

Selvaraj started helping underprivileged kids in 1968 after he witnessed the poor condition of many families who struggle to afford their kids’ education. An Economics graduate by qualification, Selvaraj was working as a cycle mechanic at that time. But his poor health did not allow him to continue the job. After this, he was forced to beg in order to earn a living and also to continue supporting the kids. He started begging in 2006.

As he boards the buses with great difficulty due to his physical condition, many people do not believe that he is begging to support kids. Selvaraj goes to each passenger and those who do understand his intentions donate as much as they can.

On an average, he earns Rs. 400 a day and receives some money through donations. Thus his monthly income is about Rs. 14,000. Out of this, he spares some money to pay for his rent and food and the rest of it is entirely used for the education of these children.

Selvaraj’s kind gesture also inspired one person from Chennai who sends him Rs. 500 every month to support his cause. People like Selvaraj bring dignity in everything they do, even if it is begging.

Inputs: New Indian Express

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