Living under the Elphinstone Bridge in Mumbai, 14-year-old Shubham’s life has never been easy. The teenager had never been to a school and the everyday life struggle had taught him to work hard. He along with his mother migrated to Mumbai a few years back from their native place in Gujarat. With no other earning member in the family, the mother-son duo thought of Mumbai as the perfects place to search for good livelihood options. Initially, both of them sold garlands at the traffic signals but the money they earned was very less for survival.
In search of better work and more income, Shubham’s started spending most of his time at the Mumbai Central railway station. There he did all form of random odd jobs. He faced issues in looking out for work in a formal set up as he was always asked for some form of identity which he did not possess so he ended up doing random work just to earn some money and help his mother.
Despite the efforts of both the mother and son, the family had no proper place to live and could not manage two proper meals in a day. Shubham randomly traveled from one place to another and going to a school became a far-fetched dream.
His life changed for good when one day while selling food items at the railway station, he came in contact with the counselor of Hamara Foundation. The counselor and Shubham interacted and he told him about the issues he faced on an everyday basis and expressed his desire to have some form of identification document so that he could work for the railways – a formal and better way of working. With support from Hamara Foundation and Bal Raksha Bharat, he was made to realise the importance of education. Efforts were made for his identity documentation process and with the help of the same, he was enrolled in school.
Shubham is now a regular at school, Bal Raksha Bharat helped in his capacity building and also educated him about his rights as a child. Shubham wants to be the driver and wants to own a car of his own one day – a small and a simple dream that all of us at Bal Raksha Bharat wish that he is able to fulfill soon.