47th recipient of livelihood bicycle: ….. ‘The happiest moment of my life was when my two daughters were born… and, when they….’
Name: Murugan. (40)
Profession; Milk man (by morning, and rest of the day works as a Peon with a Cable TV network Franchise in Vikhroli)
Murugan is from Tamil Nadu, and the first time he came to Mumbai was in 1992. He is in the milk profession since 20 years. Earlier, he was working as a Peon, but the income from that one job was not sufficient for his family, so he began delivering milk early morning. He begins his day around 4 am, and finishes delivering milk to various households in Chembur by 8 am. He was recommended to me by one of the donors of his new cycle, Murali Krishnan, my rider pal.
He arrived in Bombay because there was no rain in the village he lived in, and they could no longer farm; his parents and he being uneducated, (he has studied in Tamil up to the 3rd Std.) he had no options but to leave his village and look for work in Mumbai. He comes from a family of 6 brothers. His family would grow vegetables but the wholesalers would not give them a fair price and exploit their poverty, so he decided to leave farming and his village for good.
His most challenging times were the years he spent in his village, they hardly had food to eat, sometimes just once or twice a day. His father even sent him away to Udipi to work in a restaurant. He has been working every single day of his life ever since he was 11 or 12 years young; he has hardly seen any other good life, other than that of work, he said.
Murugan has two daughters and he says proudly they are very good in their studies. His wife is uneducated so she is a homemaker, he said. Because he was uneducated, he was very keen both his daughters study, so he put them in an English medium school when one of his customers volunteered to give him a friendly loan for their school fees. He purchased his own house lately, his wife helped by selling her gold jewelry. He is very proud that he finally owns his own house!
One of his customers in Chedda Nagar, Chembur, gave him a loan of one and a half lac rupees, to help him buy his own house. Murugan told me, ‘Every day, before I would go home with the little money I had earned from delivering milk, I would first go to my customer’s house and give him back some of the money from my daily little earnings, however small they were; That way, I paid him Rs 5000 every month, and I paid him every day little by little until I had paid him all the money he had so kindly lent me.’
Hearing that he has received help quite often from some of his customers, I realized many people living in Mumbai are most willing to help the needy, especially someone they know. Furthermore, hearing him tell me that he paid off his loan on a daily basis, made me realize Murugan is not only an honorable man, but also super intelligent! Because, before it becomes a burden for him to return the large amount of money loaned to him, Murugan had realized its best to pay off the big loan bit by bit daily, that way he will not feel any burden of paying back his huge debt.
(‘Someone else’s money laying with you is a very sticky thing – just like super glue, the longer it sticks with you the harder it is becomes for you to part with it.’ @Muhamad Yunus, Founder of The Grameen Bank, a micro finance bank. Furthermore, borrowers like Murugan are dream clients for Micro Finance banks; banks that lend money without collateral! A sure shot re-payer!)
I asked Murugan, what is the advantage of getting a new bicycle?, he replied, ‘When we service our bicycles, some shop keepers do not use good spares and then we face problems of our bike breaking down en route; we lose working hours then. Every year in the rains our bicycle gets nearly ruined with rust, and that is why every year we have to buy many new spares, and some shopkeepers cheat us by putting duplicate spares on our bicycles. A new bicycle gives me the confidence all original parts have been used, and I can ride without any insecurity of it breaking down en route.’
I asked him what he thinks about the milk he sells?, he replied, ‘Milk is a good thing; it’s also something children drink and go to school. It is something that gives us good health, so I like my job of being a milkman’
I asked him which has been his happiest moments in life?, he replied, ‘When my two daughters were born. (he smiled); and now when they get good marks in school, I am very happy. (now his whole face lit up with his widest smile possible!) I tell both my daughters that after your daily bath, and before your studies, you must pray to God. God is everything. That is even what my mother and father taught me.
I asked him what was the best thing his mother taught him?, he replied,’ The best thing my mother taught me is - Never rob or steal or eat someone else’s money; earn your own money, eat from your own money. And never trouble others with your problems. This is what I will pass on to my daughters too.’
Our highest salute, to Murugan and his Mother! And his two daughters for doing well in their studies, making their father proud.
The following donors contributed towards buying a new bicycle for Murugan: surabhi shah, murali Krishnan, rakesh bakshi, dr. niraj vora, javed mahadik, and farzana suri; Thank you dear all.
(Murugan’s old bicycle we will donate to some needy person who needs a bicycle for his livelihood. Murugan spent around Rs 600 I think, on his old bicycle to make it worthy enough for donation, before handing it to us in exchange of his new bicycle.)
Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles for the good discount and service.