“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse,” quoted American author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once. Thirteen years old Harendra Singh Chauhan from Noida has become a befitting example of this saying.
Two days back, a passerby saw Harendra sitting on a pavement and finishing his homework under streetlight outside Noida City Centre Metro Station. Next to him, laid a weighing scale and a cloth on which he had kept the money that he earned by offering people services to check their weight.
A class 9th student of Sri Krishna Inter College in Noida's Sector 122, the boy was trying to earn some money to pay for his school and support his family. Touched by his determination to study, the passerby had put up a post on Twitter and Facebook sharing his story, along with his picture. Within no time, the post went viral on social media as people drew inspiration from Harendra’s dedication.
Two days later, on Sunday, Harendra was on a plane to meet the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
What was Harendra’s reaction!
When iamin visited Harendra at his 8*7 square feet one-room home in Hoshiarpur Village in Sector-51 on Saturday, he had already received the news that the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is willing to meet him in Lucknow. He was excited and scared. “This would be the first time that I would be travelling by plane,” he said smiling.
Harendra who wants to become an Army officer someday is quite concerned about continuing his studies. He goes to school at 7 am and after completing his tuitions, he sits outside the Noida City Centre metro station from 7 pm to 9 pm, with school bag in front and a portable weighing machine beside him.
The boy has a heartening story to share as he recounts why he started sitting outside the metro station. Harendra’s father had lost a job in June last year. He needed some money as he had to buy colors, sheets and a file to finish his holiday homework. “I saw my father’s weighing machine. I decided that this was a feasible way to earn money and fund the school project,” he confides.
Harendra earns anywhere between Rs 60-Rs 70 on good days. However, there are times, when he hardly gets anything. “I realised I wouldn’t be able to devote proper time to studies if I simply sat outside the metro station with the weighing machine. I then thought of taking my books along and study and finish my homework while waiting for customers,” he adds.
Ram Gopal, who is pleased with his son’s determination to study, is undoubtedly a proud father. However, he is suffering from polio which has made it difficult to get him a job. Sharing that he always wanted his children to study, Ram Gopal says, “I tried getting them enrolled in a private school but he had to move to a government school as we couldn’t afford enough the fees. It is difficult for me to get a job as I can’t stand for long hours.” However, another passerby who saw the teen studying has promised his father a job. The young lad has two siblings Vivek (17) and Himanshu (7).
Harendra knows that money would always be a hurdle between him and his ultimate goal yet he sums up his resolve to reach by saying, “I am happy with what I have and somewhere the things would fall in place for me. I am not going to stop studying and give up my dream.”