“अभी कमाई थोड़ी कम है पर जो संतुष्टि की भावना है वोह अनमोल है और इसका पूरा श्रेय बदलाव को जाता है.”- Ram Dayal
59 year old Ram Dayal, working as a drapery seamstress today in Lucknow at one of the reputed shops for manufacturing drapes and furniture, has at one point in his life lived as a beggar and wandered on streets homeless and hungry in search of work, money and food. This phase of his life as he describes was the darkest phase of his life and pulling himself out of it at one point seemed impossible. But he credits Badlav for this and shares that had it not been Badlav, he would have never taken the decision of quitting begging and start taking his responsibility. He came to a shelter home managed by Badlav in 2020 from Hanuman Setu, a temple in Lucknow which is also a hub of beggars. He ended up begging due to a series of unfortunate events which unfolded in his life, as a result of which his survival was at stake and seeing no other option or way to ensure his survival he decided to beg. Sharing his past he says he used to work as a drapery seamstress in Kanpur when he got married. His marriage became the root cause of all turmoil as his wife and his in-laws consumed alcohol on a daily basis. He would foot their bills of alcohol from his money and would also endure their erratic behavior in an intoxicated state. She along with her parents would drink in front of her kids (2 sons) and this was a miserable sight to witness for a child. Ram Dayal could not see his children’s future getting wasted at his wife’s hands and warned her of her behavior, this enraged his wife and she in fury decided to end her marriage, leaving his house along with her two sons. He could not bear all of this and added to the misery was his parents’ death, after which he left Kanpur to work in Lucknow at a drapes manufacturing company. In September 2019 he fell from the terrace of the shop and fractured his leg. He was admitted in the hospital immediately and after discharge he decided to stay at his sister’s place for recovery. He received the worst treatment from his sister as he was demeaned, disrespected and not cared for by his sister when he was unable to even walk. His time spent there made him feel shameful of himself and invalidated by his loved ones as he puts it with moist eyes and quivery throat “शर्मिंदगी और बेईज्ज़ती के अलावा कुछ नहीं मिला. कोई हमें नहीं समझता था वहाँ पे ” In March, 2020 he decided to leave his sister’s home and went back to his previous boss in hope of some work ,but was denied work due to no vacancy. While he was searching for work in hope to end his misery, a nationwide lockdown was imposed due to Covid-19 and he was left homeless, without any source of earning money and no place to eat, putting his survival at stake. This was beyond his imagination as everything came to a standstill and not knowing what to do or from whom to seek help he started staying on footpath near Hanuman Setu temple, to ensure his survival by begging or receiving food being distributed by various humanitarian organizations due to lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted he could not find any suitable work and gave up hopes of earning a living with dignity and got into beggary.
Here one day he happened to meet a community mobilizer of Badlav and came to know about the work of Badlav. He immediately made up his mind to leave begging but having no clue about what he wants to do in his life and feeling unmotivated to take up some work due to fear of failure he took some time and counseling sessions to get clarity. His work experience and based on that, his livelihood skills were also mapped and accordingly along with his agreement, Badlav provided him a sewing machine and other sewing materials to run a makeshift tailoring shop repairing old clothes. He started working outside the shelter home and was able to make 250-300/- per day by doing cloth repair work. He says that even though the money I earn is less, the satisfaction I have in my heart is priceless and I thank Badlav for their support. “अभी कमाई थोड़ी कम है पर जो संतुष्टि की भावना है वोह अनमोल है और इसका पूरा श्रेय बदलाव को जाता है.” He decided to reunite with his family in October, 2021 and with the help of Badlav he went to Kanpur where he met his brothers and his nephews and nieces. His family was constantly worrying about him and was searching for him in Kanpur. They all took a sigh of relief and their happiness knew no bounds when they met him after 1 year. He now works as a drapery seamstress in Lucknow and earns enough to afford living independently and rent a room for him.