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The money he earned from begging made him pay the tremendous liability in the form of addiction; “हराम की कमाई, हराम में गंवाई” - Ramu - Badlav

The money he earned from begging made him pay the tremendous liability in the form of addiction; “हराम की कमाई, हराम में गंवाई” – Ramu

Born in Siddharth Nagar, Uttar Pardesh, 34-year-old male Ramu’s life took a tragic turn in Mumbai when his wife betrayed him by giving away all his hard-earned money to her brothers. He earned this money by working at a jeans-making factory in Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra. With rage in his voice, clenched jaws and tightened fists he says his trust was broken into pieces when he came to know that all his savings are no more and in anger he decided to leave his wife and two daughters in Mumbai forever; to return to his native place and start afresh. But in an attempt to make things better, things got worse when he was unable to cope with the emotional overwhelm he was going through and as a result became extremely stressed and began acting out erratically. With a lump in his throat and moist eyes he shares that people neither in his neighborhood nor in his family spare him mercy and he became the laughingstock of the neighborhood due to his behavior of acting out. Unable to endure the ridiculing, he in a fit of ill-temper left his house forever and reached Charbagh railway station in Lucknow. Not knowing where to go and what to do he spent some days at the station and came to know about Hanuman Setu, a temple in Lucknow where homeless and beggars sit outside the temple to receive money, food or clothing in the form of charity from many devotees visiting the temple. Ramu soon joined the likes of these and started begging for alms outside the temple to ensure survival and also began consuming substances such as alcohol, tobacco, nicotine daily along with fellow beggars. Such was the misfortune that a person who never even touched these substances was now addicted to all of these. He describes that the only time of day he would not drink was when he would be begging outside temples. Once 500-600 rupees were collected from begging he would spend the entire amount on alcohol and would wander on streets under its influence, as a result of which he was once run over by bike when he passed out on road in an intoxicated state, resulting in an accident which made him permanently immobile from below the waist. His addiction’s intensity increased and he frequently got into drunken brawls with fellow beggars and said he saw life at its worst. The catastrophe he endured was persistent but he ensured that this was not going to be permanent when came to know about Badlav and the rehabilitation services offered here.  

He decided to join Badlav and earn a living with dignity so as to sustain a living as he says the money he earned from begging made him pay tremendous liability in the form of addiction; “हराम की कमाई, हराम में गंवाई” . With the help of the Badlav team he worked on himself and reduced his alcohol consumption gradually.  Receiving the support and care he needed, his initial behavior of getting into fights with everyone started subsiding and he began helping other beneficiaries at the shelter home. Today, he has his own tricycle provided by Badlav on which he has small business setup of selling chips, munching snacks, cold drink, water bottles from which he earns 500-600 per day, accompanied by feeling a sense of empowerment which was lacking for 9 years when he begged and earned the same amount. He is content with his earnings and makes a conscious effort to save as much money as possible. In November 2021 he decided to reunite with his family and with the help of Badlav he reached his village where his family was shocked seeing him, as they had convinced themselves that he is not alive anymore. He was accepted by his family with open arms and now he continues his business in his own village and stays with his family. His micro business was financed by Badlav and through various workshops he attended on finance literacy and simulation workshop of micro businesses he now buys his own goods for sale and earns a living for himself.

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