The metro is seen as a symbol of a modernizing city and development, but it is more than just a marketplace for local vendors; these metro bridges show you a completely different side of life. Many lives depend on their survival and a good night's sleep. These 'under metro spaces' have been converted into slum clusters and are homes for rag-pickers in some areas. I woke up around 7:00 am in the morning. I went for a walk near the park in the city. While coming back home I saw this little girl crying loudly under a metro pillar on her mother's lap. I went near them and observed the surroundings. I saw lots of other people's shelter, innocent faces, untidy clothes, and a need for revolution. I sat near the girl and took her in my arms and asked her what's her name and why is she crying? She said "I am Riya and I am crying because I see other little girls of my age going to school everyday with neatly-worn uniforms and nicely combed hair, but why am I not allowed to access education?" The answer shook me for a moment when she stated this and made me think more about what we can do as a community to help more children like Riya who are being raised in a social set up where they are finding it difficult to meet the basic needs and acquiring social needs is a question for them. Whereas, then I realized that Education should also be considered as one of the most important basic needs that an individual should acquire in his life because it is an instrument which molds him or her and gives an identity. Hence, I helped Riya as much as I could and contacted several NGOs and organizations. So that this change of bridging them together with access to education doesn't stop with Riya but goes on till each and every child of this community starts to learn, take notebooks and pencil on their hands and keep growing. Soon as I started to spread this with community and known contacts. I saw lots of people coming in and helping these kids grow more. Which actually made me set up my own home there. To look up to these activities and stay curious about what was happening around. I brought my laptop and other resources and started to write emails and messages to other major bodies running actively in the city. I also noticed a variety of vendors, small shops, small-scale businesses, and so on. However, these local businesses beneath the bridges are not as simple as they appear. Vendors must frequently compete with other vendors in the same business; however, unique taste or popularity among customers may help some to survive. Furthermore, we can see customers approaching vendors, anchoring and adjustment for a reasonable rate. We can also see a child crying for his favorite toy and wonder what other things he enjoys.
Image Credits: The Hindustan Times