Begging is never a choice: Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar hails from Barganwa village of Pisawan block, 35 km from
the Sitapur district. He was orphaned at the tender age of seven.
Manoj, 32,is the youngest of five siblings.
With a saddened face, Manoj narrates his experiences. “Nobody is ever
fond of begging; hunger forces one to beg.”
Manoj, since the age of 10, has been spending his life on the
pavements and footpaths of Uttar Pradesh. He has been leading a very
uncertain life, sometimes working as a labourer or pulling a rickshaw.
Due to the lifelong struggle, poverty and uncertainty, Manoj too got
addicted to very harmful intoxicants. Due to his dire poverty, he
found no friends to stand by him in these times.
“In 2016, I got very sick. I had no one to support me, neither did I
have money to avail treatment. I was not in a condition to work and
earn. Left with no alternative, I was forced to beg people outside
temples. After all, I had to fill my stomach.” Manoj says.
“It was during the same time when I met Sharad bhaiya. I had become
very, very weak. He took me to the hospital where I came to know I had
been suffering from TB. He feels indebted to Sharad for standing by
him and assisting him during the illness.
Manoj Kumar goes on to add that he had almost given up on life, during
his days of begging and illness. But now he is in a much better
position; he has set up his own chaat stall and manages decent