Desraj Jyot Singh made an auto his home to give his family a 'real home'. He has been riding an auto for the last 35 years and has been “comfortably” living in it for 24 years. Why? Because if he rents a small room in Mumbai, it would cost him 2,000-3,000 rupees a month and he believes he can use that money to fund his grandkids’ education.
Desraj had four kids, three sons and a daughter. His oldest son passed away in 2016 and two years later, he lost his other son too, who died by suicide at Khar station. He didn’t have the time to mourn, he had four families to feed. So, he got back on the road the very next day and made sure that whatever he earns is equally divided between all families. His youngest son worked as a security guard but lost his job during the lockdown.
“My heart breaks when I think about that time. They both were young and fit. Every time I think about them, my heart just breaks. But even when this happened, I didn’t stop working, I made whatever little money but made sure the family doesn’t suffer and nobody feels like they’ve been abandoned. I still worked. I didn’t sit idle.”Desraj Jyot Singh
Desraj thinks he can’t afford to take a single day’s break because of his family’s financial conditions. Whatever money he makes, he keeps a part of it for his bare minimum personal expenses and sends the rest to his family.
“My granddaughter is in 10th standard and she wants to study further. I want her to pursue B.Ed. Once she completes her B.Ed, she’ll become a teacher and will be independent. That’s all I want, that’s my only wish. I’d never want my grandkids to live the kind of life I’ve lived. Whatever I do, is for them and I will continue to work till for as long as I can walk and function, only because I want to give them the best life, nothing else matters to me.”Desraj Jyot Singh
Camera: Sanjoy Deb
Video Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan
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