In a humanitarian move, help has been pouring in for an auto rickshaw driver from Mumbai after his gut-wrenching story went viral on social media. The story of the rickshaw driver was shared by the verified handle of ‘Humans of Bombay’.
In his interview with Humans of Bombay, Mr. Desraj opened up that after losing both his sons, it was his responsibility to provide for his grandchildren and daughters-in-law. This gave him the strength to keep going in his life.
Mr. Desraj plies his auto near Khar in Mumbai, speaking about the disappearance of his oldest son, he said, "Six years ago, my oldest son disappeared from home; he left for work as usual but never returned,”
Furthermore, he revealed that his son has passed away and his body was found a week later. Mr. Desraj’s oldest son passed away at the age of 40 but he never got the time to mourn for him. He said that a part inside of him had become numb, but being burdened with responsibilities, he didn’t mourn. The very next day he was back on the streets of Mumbai driving his auto for his ends meet.
Two years later, his other son passed away after taking his own life. However, even that didn’t stop the spirit of this elderly person. He said, "It was the responsibility of my daughter-in-law and their four children that kept me going.”
Mr. Desraj added that his granddaughter who was then in class 9 was asked to quit school, he assured her that she would be able to study as much as she wants.
He started to earn longer hours to fetch earning for his family. The courageous auto-rickshaw driver from Mumbai left his home at 6 AM and drove his auto till midnight. It earned him around Rs 10, 000 per month.
Out of the Rs 10,000 that he earned, Rs 6000 went into paying for the education of his grandchildren, while the remaining Rs 4000 went into feeding his family of seven.
Sadly, on somedays, Mr. Desraj and his family would barely have anything to eat. However, all of it felt worth it when his granddaughter scored 80 percent in her 12th class. That day he gave free rides to celebrate her achievement.
But when his granddaughter asked him that she wanted to travel to Delhi for a B.Ed course, Mr. Desraj knew he couldn’t afford it. But to not rob his granddaughter’s dream, he sold his house and paid for her fees.
He then sent his wife, daughters-in-law, and other grandchildren to his relative’s place in their village. While Mr. Desraj still continues to drive his auto on the streets of Mumbai.
Sharing his experience, he said, "It's been a year now, and honestly, life's not bad-I eat and sleep in my auto, and during the day, I ferry my passenger.”
Being a proud grandfather, all of his struggles seem nothing when the granddaughter calls to tell him that she has stood first in her class. Mr. Desraj added that his granddaughter is going to be the first graduate in their family.
The story of Mr. Desraj has moved many people to tears and they have offered to help him in any way possible.