How a newspaper gave an 11-year-old a future

The newspaper world has found its own Kalawati.

On April 25, at a traffic light in Bhopal, Kaushal Shakya, an 11-year-old newspaper boy, had a life-changing experience when his potential buyer turned out to be Rahul Gandhi.

Writes Rasheed Kidwai in The Telegraph:

Akhbar kyon bechte ho? (Why are you selling newspapers?) Do you go to school?” the Congress vice-president asked the boy holding out a newspaper.

Kaushal, who has been selling newspapers at traffic signals for two years now, said he went to a government school and wanted to be a doctor. He said he sold newspapers in his spare time to help out his family of five, including his parents and two sisters. “My father is a labourer and there are days he doesn’t work,” the boy said, asking the VVIP in jeans and kurta to buy the paper.

Akhbar le leejye. Aap hi ki khabar hai (Please buy the newspaper, you are news),” he told Rahul.

“Those who were accompanying Rahul that day said he was moved. He took out his wallet and extracted a crisp 1,000-rupee note. A baffled Kaushal handed over the newspaper to Rahul without taking the note. “I don’t have change,” he said.

“Rahul handed over the note. “Please keep it,” he told the boy. “Become a doctor. Never let your dream die.”

One more incontrovertible piece of evidence of what television and the internet can’t do?

Image: courtesy Hindustan Times


  1. Revati Laul

    Giving a thousand rupee note to a child at a traffic light does not equal giving a child a future. That’s a ridiculous over-simplification. If Rahul Gandhi really cared about the child he could have done what is mandated by law. Reported the fact that the child was working to the ministry for women and child welfare, supervised his return to school, funded that and looked into the welfare of the family. There are mechanisms for these things to be routed through. Why does the Vice President of the ruling party not have faith in those mechanisms? And if they’re broken, why doesn’t he pursue that end? And why does a media critique site write so blithely that it makes me feel you do not understand your role at all? If this is an argument for print versus tv – it’s a non starter. In any case, I’d urge you to be up to speed on those debates – they are far less flat than you make them out to be.

  2. rahu

    haha…in traffic jusnctioon … news paper boy breaking jink and reaching close to Z security vvip rahul gahndhi ..and security personal allow to meet him rahul gandhi !!!
    and rahul gandhi showing 1000 rupees note to buy 4 rupees material …(wil any one man with sence in india show 1000 rp note at street to puurchase 4 rupee material no one was near rahul gandhi to give him 4 rupees ??? leave it…or rahul gandhi really dont know the cost of news paper or common material in india..or for rahul gandhi rupees 1000 just a rupees 4 rupees to common man ..)…
    and interestingly rahul gandhi got enugh time to talk with kid ..(thanks to heave traffic and traffic signal)…

    instead of finidng child labour in india ..our media find rahuls greatness !!!

  3. are u kidding man? its proving that 2014 election is knocking at the door and Telegraph like sold news paper trying to project Rahul baba against NaMo… babu aur kitna din paper tiger(kaguge bagh) banke rahoge…

  4. N.Krishnamurthy

    Well done, Rahul baba! Your act of kindness has enabled Bhopal lall’s family. How about visiting my gaon next?

  5. Deepak

    First of all, the very idea that Pappu stopped for a traffic signal is a joke. When that is ruled out, then the rest of the story becomes a big lie. Seems to be a carefully manufactured PR story without a shred of truth in it.

  6. Anon

    Great promotional strategy used by Pappu fans.

  7. Gaurav

    ahaha, seems no one here is happy about child’s future. Everyone wants to his share of joke onto Rahul Gandhi.

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