49th recipient of livelihood bicycle : ‘I rather you ride a bicycle and earn your own livelihood, however difficult or dangerous it may seem to you now that I too have had an accident. I do not want my children to be someone who have to salute their superior/s and are dependent on them for their livelihood and income. I want you to be a master of your own fate; and not a servant or slaves to anyone!’
Name: Shabbir Ahmed. (22)
Profession: Egg seller.
Shabbir’s father was an egg seller too. Shabir is in this profession since 3 years.
Three years ago, one day it was raining and an autorickshaw banged into his father’s bicycle and his father injured his knee and cannot ride thereafter.
So Shabbir had to give up his education midway, 9th Std., and migrate from his village in UP and come to Mumbai to take over his father’s egg selling profession to earn a livelihood for his family.
Shabbir sounded very sad when he mentioned he had to leave his education midway because of his father’s misfortune. And since his father is immobile, he runs a tiny grocery (Kirana) store at home that earns them a little money. They live in Khar Danda.
Shabbir has a family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Two sisters are married. He and his father together managed to bear the expenses of their marriages, both his brothers are younger to him. His sister and his brothers are studying, and Shabbir has a dream to educate his younger brothers to any level they wish.
(Another young man who has a great sense of duty and responsibility towards his family, I thought to myself hearing him talk the impact of his father’s accident on his own desire for higher education and family.)
I asked Shabbir, considering they are a close knit family, and he respects his father immensely, what has been the best advice his father ever gave him?
Shabbir told me, he was not keen to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an egg seller, especially because he felt it is risky to ride a bicycle on our streets and he told his father he wants to apply for a government job, a secure job.
His father replied, advised him strictly, ‘I rather you ride a bicycle and earn your own livelihood, however difficult or dangerous it may seem to you especially because I have suffered an accident. I do not want you, my children to be someone who have to salute some superior/s or are dependent on anyone for their livelihood and income! I want you children to be the masters of your own fate; not servants or slaves to anyone!’
(Wow! I was blown by his father’s pride in self employment! Kudos to him!!!)
Shabbir carries 1200 eggs on his bicycle! 50 to 60 Kgs! Every day!
Two months ago he suffered two accidents and lost a lot of eggs, nearly 600 to 800, in both accidents, luckily he was not injured. Shabir mentioned very often that when he rides, he feels insecure that he too will have an accident!
I realized his father’s bicycle accident has left a deep negative impact on him. I advised him to get rid of this reoccurring and persistent fear in him, because unless he stops thinking of the negatives, the possibility of another accident he may never ever be free of them!
He agreed to be less fearful and more confident hereafter, especially now that he has a new bicycle to ride, he added. I was glad he was receiving a new one in exchange of his old.
(Sometimes, something new can give is the self confidence we lack otherwise, I realized.)
He mentioned no one has ever given him a deal like this ever before, where he will receive a new bicycle in exchange of his old, and his old bicycle will be donated to a needy person who needs one to better his livelihood! He was mighty impressed! It’s thanks to the donors, I assured him. He was very thankful to the donor of his bicycle, Surabhi Shah.
I asked him what has been his happiest moment so far?, He replied, ‘When I earned a lot of money selling eggs, when I had recently taken over my father’s profession, I felt very happy earning that money for my family. He said “I was happy seeing my parents happy that I had earned that money for our family! That made me very happy, their happiness!’ He gave me a wide grin.
(A son, a child, whose greatest happiness lays in that of his parents, he/she deserves a hug from us, I thought looking at him grin at me in delight.)
Thank you to Surabhi Shah for donating a new cycle to Shabbir; Shabbir’s old cycle we will be donating to a needy person.
And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles for the good discount and service.