For millions living in India who still grapple with extreme poverty, education could be the only ticket out of their circumstances. And they are willing to do anything to secure a good education for themselves.
That is also the story of a young and inspiring boy featured in a collaborative post by Humans of India and Humans of Chandigarh. He is a shoe-shiner who works by the evening to support his family and makes sure he doesn’t miss school either, so he can dream of a better life.
In the heart-breaking post, he notes that he has to resort to child labour in order to give himself a chance at a better life, “If I study, I will do something better than boot polishing. If I don’t, I will remain the same. That is why I’m really interested in studying.”
In fact, he is so dedicated to his cause that in the evenings, when he is roaming around to get any work, he spends time reading billboards in the city streets to improve his language.
According to statistics, in India, one in every 11 children in India is working and is forced into child labour.
Hundreds have taken to social media to hail this young man’s commitment to education but have also expressed their distress that children in the country still have to work for a living when they should be solely focused on their studies.
Many of those in the comments section recognised this boy from having met him in Chandigarh (Sector 17) and shared stories of their interaction with him. In some of the anecdotes, even when the person tried to offer him money for his studies, the boy had reportedly refused to take it. One of them wrote that the boy had told her, “Bheekh ni maang raha, didi. Shoes saaf karva lo fir dedena paise (I am not begging here sister. You can pay me after I have shined your shoes).”
Many have even taken to the comments section expressing willingness to sponsor him, so he no longer has to resort to doing labour in his free time.
“If I study, I will do something better than boot polishing. If I don’t, I will remain the same. That is why I’m really…
Read the full post here:
“If I study, I will do something better than boot polishing. If I don’t, I will remain the same. That is why I’m really interested in studying. In morning, I go to school. Later, I come here and polish boots. While roaming around here, I try to read the words written on the showroom boards. I pointed at two showrooms, he took his time but read them correctly.”
Magic Bus is an NGO working towards empowering children born into poverty. You can sponsor a child by clicking here