Akshara Stories: AmitEntrepreneurship | August 16, 2013
I am Amit from Asade village at the foothill of...
Abdul Kuddush is the eldest son in a family of six who lived in Siliguri, West Bengal. He had just begun college when hard times befell his agrarian family. Forced to drop out of college, he moved to Delhi with a mere 1500 rupees in his pocket and began a desperate hunt for employment. His only desire, was that his siblings must complete their education.
Abdul recalls his early days in Delhi as the hardest he has ever lived. He had no money, no friends or acquaintances in this big, brash city. Were it not for a good samaritan who helped him rent a rickshaw and find a room, those early days would have been disastrous. Though all his money was spent in renting the rickshaw and the room never lost hope, surviving on the kindness of strangers who sometimes offered him food.
For the next three months, Abdul’s days were gruelling. He would wake up at dawn and pull the rickshaw all day under the harsh Delhi sun. One-day fate brought him right outside a SMART centre where a ‘centre mobilizer’ hitched a ride with the resilient Abdul. What passed between the two boys is not known, but it reignited in Abdul the desire to learn.
Soon, Abdul’s days changed for good. He would still pull his rickshaw from the early morning until the afternoon. But every day at 1pm, he would make his way SMART centre where he attended sessions until 3 pm in the evening. After class, he would resume plying his rickshaw until late in the evening. Not satisfied with this, Abdul continued to find time to study for his under-graduate programme with an Indira Gandhi Open University, Delhi.
Once he finished his SMART training, Abdul picked up a job of his choice as an assistant to the director at Omar International Private Ltd. for a monthly salary of 15,000 rupees. The job gave Abdul the opportunity travel all over India. Armed with just his people skill and a burning desire to learn and grow, sky is the limit for the multi-talented Abdul. He hopes to start his own business soon and involve his family in the same.
During his time at SMART, Abdul picked up the habit of maintaining a journal to help him analyse his life and stay grounded. On some days, Abdul feels that the boy who lived in Siliguri is very different from the person who now lives in Delhi. Delhi has given him a new identity and a new life. Now, his desire is to do something for the people of his village back home so that they may also have the opportunity to escape harrowing poverty and change the trajectories of their lives the way he did. He encourages the boys of his village to the SMART centres across Delhi. He firmly believes that if it were not for SMART, he would have never been able to escape such daunting circumstances. At Mahindra, we’re inspired by his story and committed to help more like him every day to Rise for Good.
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