This heart-wrenching story of an autorickshaw driver in Mumbai named Desraj from Maharashtra doing everything to support his family will leave everyone teary-eyed. Losing a child can be devastating and not everyone gets time to mourn the death of their loved ones. There are people who have larger responsibilities to take care of. Like this auto-rickshaw driver who ensured a better life for his grandchildren after losing both his sons.
According to a report, Desraj mentioned that his oldest son who was just 40 disappeared from home. He left for work as usual but never returned. A week later, people found his dead body in an autorickshaw. A part of Desraj died with him but burdened by responsibilities. Desraj said, “I didn’t even have the time to mourn-the next day, I was back on the road, driving my auto”. Two years later, Desraj lost his other son to suicide. While driving auto he got a call saying, “Your son’s body has been found on platform number 4”.
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To earn for the family, he started working longer hours, leaving home at 6 am, and driving his autorickshaw until midnight to earn around RM568.13 a month. Of this amount, RM340.88 went into paying for the education of his grandchildren, leaving RM227.25 to feed a family of seven. Desraj said, “It was the responsibility of my daughter-in-law and their four children that kept me going”. He even had to sell his house and then sent his family home to sleep in the autorickshaw he drives. He is willing to do all that so his granddaughter can go to school and study to become a teacher.
He also added that his granddaughter who was in class 9 asked him. “Dadaji, will I have to quit school?” He had to gather all his courage and reassured her granddaughter, “Never! You study as much as you want”. Desraj also happily stated, “On most days, we’d barely have anything to eat. But everything seemed worth it when last year, my granddaughter told me that she’d scored 80% in her 12th boards. I was on cloud nine! The whole day, I gave a free ride to all my customers”.
His granddaughter once told him, “Dadaji, I want to do a B.Ed course in Delhi”. Educating her granddaughter in another city was way beyond Desraj’s capacity, but he had to fulfill her dreams at any cost. That is why he sold his house and paid her fees. It has been a year since he sold their home for the sake of his granddaughter’s education, and he regrets nothing.
Desraj said, “Honestly, life’s not bad. I eat and sleep in my auto and during the day, I ferry my passengers. Just sitting, sometimes it hurts my legs, but then my granddaughter would call and tell me, “I came first in my class” and all my pain vanishes”. He also said, “I can’t wait for her to become a teacher so that I can hug her and say, “you’ve made me so proud”. She’s going to be the first graduate in our family”.
This grandfather’s story has taken the internet by storm and netizens have created a crowdfunding page for him. They managed to raise RM135,937.19 and have handed him a check for the amount. A statement said, “The support Deshraj Ji has received is immense. Because you all went out of your way to help him, he now has a roof over his head and will be able to educate his granddaughter. Thank you so much”.
Sources: Instagram Official Humans Of Bombay