Hear it in English
A journey of needful to needy is a story of 11 years old boy who is begging for survival but what made him beggar? Was he beggar since childhood or does he become because of any circumstances? These questions were going in my mind when I first saw him at one Tea shop. His leg was broken, and not having any finger in his right hand. Due to curiosity I started talking to him. I don’t know what made him to open his heart in front of me. Usually these children do not talk to people much.
So here is his story in his words:
My name is Chhotu Langda, this is not my real name. My real name was Aaryan, this was the name given by my parents. I don’t remember that how did I get separated from my parents. I was very small, might be 5-6 years old. I don’t remember that how many nights I was without food in dark. But I have not forgotten my real name. I remember that one day, I was enforced to go on signal for begging with one girl. I used to call her “Didi” (Sister). But she said that in signal call her “Amma” (Mother). She was 12-13 years old at that time.
That was the day when I become beggar. I tried very hard to beg but I was not getting anything from anyone. Few kind people gave me biscuits/breads to eat. But our master evaluates our begging skills based on pennies. No Money, no food. But I was happy because I was getting food on the signal to feed myself. This was going on for seven days. After seventh day, our master decided that I was not able to get money because I did not have pity look. So, he broke my one leg. That’s how I became “Chhotu Langda”.
His trick worked, or I was afraid, whenever anyone is giving me food, I simply deny and ask for money. This game was going on for few years. Every day I went along with “Didi”, who was so called my “Amma” in front of rich people.
One day, I came to know that my “Didi” would not come with me. I was sad. I came to know from other people that our boss sold her to some filthy rich person. At that time, I realized that I should run from this place. I tried 2-3 times, when I caught, I have been beaten very badly. I was not able to sleep for 2-3 days because of pain but I couldn’t say no for work (beg).
One final day, I ran from that hell. I went to railway station and took one train. I did not know the destination, but I did not have any destination to go. I was first time in the train so sit near door and feeling air on my face. I did not know that where I was going but I was feeling very good. I was into different world, but suddenly one loud voice broke my imaginary world. That was voice of Ticket Collector with some policemen. They asked for ticket, I did not know by that time that I should buy ticket to travel in train. I nodded in silence. They took me out from train in next station, that station was Solapur (Maharashtra).
They took me to police station and inquired about me. I told about myself. They asked me that from where I boarded, I told that. They asked for my id cards, I was not having any, but I had one identity card of beggars (which my boss made for me). Police Inspector had pity on me and he send me to “Bal Sudhar Grih” (Child Care Home). Now new story started.
I have been taken to one big hostel where so many kids were there. I have been told that now I would get chance to study, play and eat. I asked where I should beg to get all this. They told that I did not need to beg. For few days, I was very happy. I used to study, play and eat. I was feeling that I am in heaven.
But after few days, one fat guy came to the hostel. He picked few boys/girls and took us in a factory, where we needed to work very hard and for small mistakes, we were not getting food. We must sleep in small bunker where no light, no air. I was smallest and handicapped so was not able to work that much. I was hungry for 3 days, I was not able to sleep. I steal food to feed myself but caught by one security guard. They cut my one finger for the punishment. In this way, I lost my all fingers.
I ran away from that place and boarded one bus. I spent most of my nights on roadside and dependent on people who waste food and throw in dustbin. I picked that to feed myself.
Back to Present
I asked him that how is he surviving, he asked that he is doing whatever he knows. “Begging”. He is cleaning cars on signals and begging. Sleeping on the roadside. I asked about his parents, but he does not remember. I was trying to help him but after hearing his story, I was not able to do anything. Only thing I did, I took him to restaurant and feed him with full meal. That was the only thing which I could do.
I don’t know where is he now, but if he can get help in any means will be very helpful. Unfortunately I do not have any picture of him.