This is a group of adolescents and children away from home, family and friends selling plastic toys to children, with which perhaps many would play with a glee. They have not gone to school or are not bothered about it. Their only wish to earn money for survival. The 10-12 member group is from one area and two-three groups work and live together. These groups are from different areas as wide as from Uttar Pradesh to Tamil Nadu. No conflict as every group has its distinct product to put on sale – even there is no conflict in the group as to who sold how much. Every one is happy, enjoying and uncomplaining. I met them at Dhenkanal, Orissa during the 11 day Laxmi Puja festival there. They requested me to use my front veranda to sleep. They will go out to sale in batches in the evening and night till the small hours and sleep to get up around 6:30, sleep a little more during the day and prepare the toys during the day and are ready for the evening. There lunch rice and dal together in a polythene bag. What touched me most is their age and acceptance of life – they are not unhappy even in poverty – most of all they are uncomplaining of their circumstances, of the people around, do not discriminate among themselves on age, language,etc. They have not gone to school, yes but are a school themselves – they teach us to smile and survive.
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