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‘Had to fulfil her dreams’: Elderly auto driver sells house to fund granddaughter’s education, leaves netizens emotional

MUMBAI: Life hasn't been kind to Desraj, an elderly autorickshaw driver from Maharashtra toiling away to support his family. However, his resilience and positive outlook towards life have moved netizens so much so that they now want to help him and his family.

The man, who lost both his sons in a matter of a few years, ended up being the sole breadwinner supporting his family of seven members. Subsequently, his wife fell sick, piling more misery on Desraj, economically.

Driving his vehicle all day in and around Mumbai making a paltry Rs 10000 a month, he struggled to make both ends meet. However, that didn't stop the grandfather from fulfilling his granddaughter's dream to become a teacher.

"It was the responsibility of my daughter-in-law and their 4 children that kept me going," the man said in an interview with Humans of Bombay (HOB), a popular social media page. "After the cremation, my granddaughter, who was in class 9, asked me, ‘Dadaji, will I have to quit school?' I gathered all my courage and reassured her, ‘Never! You study as much as you want'," the post now going viral read.

Although he admitted that most days were tough, it was his grandchild's efforts and good scores that kept up his hopes. "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!," he said. To celebrate her achievement, the man extending his kindness gave free rides to all for a day.

And his support and love just didn't end there. When the young student wanted to pursue a B.Ed in Delhi, her ‘Dadiji' without much hesitation agreed. "Educating her in another city was way beyond my capacity, but I had to fulfil her dreams... at any cost. So, I sold our house and paid her fees," said the man, who no longer has a roof over his head.

While his family now lives in their village and he continues to work in Mumbai, he said all his pain vanishes when his grandchild calls to say she came first in her class. The proud grandfather further said, "Main toh poore hafte sakbo free ride dunga! (I will give everyone free rides the entire week)" in order to celebrate the "first graduate" in the family.

As the story went viral, many loved his grit and determination to support the dream of his granddaughter and wanted to help him financially. While some wanted to sponsor the girl's further education, others wanted to raise money so he can start living with his family once again in the city.

As many reached out to the Facebook handle of HOB to get his contact, the admins informed that the man can be reached at Khar Danda Naka, adding that his vehicle number is 160. However, as many links for online donations cropped up, the page clarified that they cannot verify the links or have any association with the fundraisers, yet.



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