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Cyclewale Bhaiya

Ramashray Bhaiya is one of the 17 heavenly creatures you seek when you're dashing headlong for your 8:00 a.m classes. After a very strenuous morning, he's massaging his knees and waiting for his battery rickshaw to be fully charged when we meet him. Ramashray Bhaiya greets us with a broad smile as we begin with our spree of questions. . "How did you end up at IIT Delhi ?" . He starts with contentment, "I hail from a very decent family in Unnao, my brother is the pradhan of a village, he told me about this project being started at IIT. Sumitri Saheb started it, as far as I remember. Saheb told us that our job is permanent, so I agreed. And it's been 19 years since then, in the service of students." Ramashray Bhaiya wipes his forehead as he speaks. Sun glares at us with even greater vigour. . When we start about his family and his life, the content in his voice gave away to forlornness, and he continues, . "I live in Katwaria Sarai. My family is settled in the village, and I can't afford to keep them with me in a meagre earning of 9000 per month. It's hard to cook alone for yourself every day but can't help it. I realised the due importance of education when I came to IIT and put my children in a school. I even enrolled my daughter in coaching for some exam I don't remember now.

लड़की को पढ़ा तो दिया पर नौकरी नहीं लग पायी, हम घूस कहाँ से देते अफसरों को. "

The pain in his last words is quite apparent, and in a very subtle way he adds, "I feel that IIT has been good with us, but somewhere along the line, we have been neglected. We run on the same rates as of 2013, we didn't get sufficient e-rickshaws after several promises, neither do the authorities pay heed to us when we voice our concerns, may it be the rates or some random auto-rickshaw, cutting our daily income to an even greater extent. I can't opt for a different job at this age, my knees have given up after 19 years of toil." . Ramashray Bhaiya stands up, like a saviour who has been fighting hard for a better life. . "One last thing, what keeps you here despite such problems?" . "यहाँ के बच्चे. वो हमको भैया कहते हैं, हम उनको भैया कहते हैं " And he walks away.

(Due to personal concerns, Bhaiya asked us not to put up his picture online. We respect that.)

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