"Although I don't remember the names of my friends, but we were a group of about 15 boys. All of us were orphans, who met on the footpath. I was about 6-years-old when I first met them. We would go around ragpicking and searching for food. I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it was to live a life with no idea about your past or future. I would go around holding a plastic bag to beg people for food. If nobody gives me anything, I would end up eating spoiled fruits thrown by the road. I started to work with an idli cart who would give me leftover food every night.
A couple of years later, an organisation came looking and shifted us to a hostel. Initially, we were sceptical about the idea of staying there. But it turned out to be the reason why I have a better life today. They gave timely food, water, and a roof above our head. It meant everything to have a place to stay and food to eat. While my group of friends and I continued to go around either ragpicking or doing small jobs, there was another bunch of people who turned to illegal ways of making money. They would sleep in the day and steal in the night. They had a lot of money because of that - money that wasn't theirs but they still enjoyed it. Looking at them would tempt some of us, but our thoughts were clear - we wanted to have basic education and a good job. As we grew up, things began to change. We were shifted to a bigger hostel in another locality. It had more people who would convince you to take wrong ways to earn money. I didn't like it, so I was back to the footpath. That's when I met a few sex workers and started to help them with small things - buying cigarettes and pan. Fortunately, a transgender got me out of that group because it would ruin my future. [ FULL STORY LINK IN BIO ]
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