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