I saw this on Deccan Chronicle of Dec. 12th 2006 and could not resist posting it here. Its important to realise such truths in the euphoria of India’s Economic boom and the forecast of double-digit growth (i.e. 10%) . In comparison a senior ranking official of the Italian Chamber of Commerce whom I met in Milan, said they would be happy if they could acheive their aim of 1.7% growth for 2007 ! Anyway here is the story…
Lucknow: For 11-year-old Chhotu, it is always darkness at noon. He works through the night, selling tea at a stall outside a newspaper office and sleeps blissfully through the day at this busy crossing. The pavement opposite this crossing, incidentally, is his birthplace because it was here that he had been abandoned some 11 years ago. The tea stall owner, Ram Naresh, took on the responsibility of the child and Chhotu grew up in this environment. Ram Naresh died two years ago and Chhotu now works at another tea stall that offers him two meals a day but no salary.
He has developed a chronic skin disease called Psoriasis in his legs but cannot get treated at the government hospital. Reason? He does not have a residential address nor a guardian whose name he can put down in the hospital papers. The only friend that Chhotu has is this stray dog Moti, who follows his little master wherever he goes and even sleeps beside him at the busy road crossing. But Chhotu never complains. All he wants from life at the moment is a blanket because winter is creeping in. “Agar mil jaye to achcha, nahin to koi baat nahin,” he says with a smile.

Story by Ajay Singh
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