I wont change..!! But I will make sure to be a part of the change..!!
Once while traveling in a train, I encountered a strange beggar. Painted in blue all over the body, red on the lips, golden haired, and a tail attached to his back, he portrayed Lord Hanuman. Acting as one of the strongest GODs of India, very proud he was. Trying to impress the passengers with his talent and to get something from their pockets he sang and danced visiting everyone in the train. He had an additional advantage of being a small kid, hardly able to speak, apart from portraying a god,that would make 70% of Indians to pour their money. It was Astounding to see a 3 year old boy, smart enough to capitalize on the advantage he had.
Some showed sympathy, some were happy to see him; some gave money for the fear of god and he was an amusement for the rest. He danced, making rhythmic sound of the ghungroos tied to his legs, impressing almost everyone, but little did he think about his future. He had a fixed routine, and so were his trains. Once every 2 months, I traveled in the same train, and saw him grow for 3 years. With the young blood running in my body, desperately trying to be one of those people who are trying to solve the poverty problem in India, one fine day, I decided to interact with him and give him some gyan.
“Come here” I said, “Why don’t you go to school? Ask your parents to send you to school. You will say it, will you?”
“My parents won’t send me to school” he replied, his voice was tremulous, “We don’t have money to eat, so I have to beg every day and only then, I and my mother can have food”
“But, you get food to eat in schools too, you get cloths, you get cycle for free. You just have to go to school, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I know” he smilingly responded, “I go to school when cloths and food are distributed. I do what my mother says. I go, take cloths and come back”
I paused in perplexity. After a break, “Do you want to study?” I asked.
“Yes, I want to” he replied.
I usually don’t give anything for small kids asking for money, as I feel I would be one of the reasons for spoiling their habit and also their future, but I couldn’t control myself that day. I bought him as much food as I could, though I knew that it was just a temporary solution “Go home, request and cry in front of your mother. Say her that you want to study and be stubborn for studies” I said him.
On my next trip, I was curious to know if I had been a part of any change. I stared at the doors of the train, expecting not to see him. The train left the station from which he used to get in, but he didn’t come. The thought that maybe I could have changed one’s life for a good, gave a proud feeling, but not for long. There he was again, another small kid painted as Lord Rama, entering from other bogie, asking me for money. It was a dreadful feeling, but I won’t give up..!!
Shiv Kumar Thakur