Friday, July 8, 2016

53-year-old cycle turns lifeline

A cycle gifted by his father 53 years ago, when he was just 16, has still remained to this day the sole source of livelihood for this septuagenarian Lakshman Raj, who continues to push his cycle to earn a living.
His cycle has been converted into a mini petty shop with dozens of plastic water bottles and carry bags being hung over cycle frame, which he sells along with other household items like Agarbathis, soaps, comb, hairpins and some odd stationery items.

Daily he walks around 40-45 kilometers pushing his cycle around. The day starts for him at 5am. He leaves home with his bicycle only retun late midnight night.

With a small change of Rs 10 in his pocket he leaves home everyday, but earns on an average Rs 400 to Rs 600 per day. In the money he earns, he keeps aside Rs 5 for the maintenance of cycle.
Hailing from a poor family, he has worked his way in life bringing up his children apart from earning his livelihood. Without aspiring for  the benefits offered by the government for old age people he wants to earn money on his own by selling house hold items.

Going down the memory lane he said: 'In the beginning I was distributing newspapers. Later, I decided to become self reliant. With no money to set up a petty shop, I decided to use my cycle instead. All these five decades I have been pushing the cycle that was purchased by my father paying Rs 110.'

Replying to a question as to why won't peddle his cycle to sell his products, he replies with a laugh: 'I have used up all the space in the bicycle to keep materials with no place left for me to sit. As I walk for several kilometers everyday, I am very fit inspite of being 70. I do something for my family in what I earn. I love this cycle very much, it has helped me to lead a dignified life.'

The couple have not enrolled for any old age pension. He says he did not want to waste time on it wandering from post to pillar for the  department. There is a sense of satisfaction in living in what I earn, than getting the money in a easy way.  

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