Do you know any beggar who has made a big name in the world? And I bet you must know hundreds of small entrepreneurs who made it big or better! The vegetable vendor who sold fresh vegetables door to door in my neighborhood until yesterday has set up a vegetable shop of her own now. My maid’s husband who ran a mobile mess has set up a small eatery availing Mudra Yojna. So, my question to the great Ex-Finance Minister P Chidambaram, how can you call a pakodewala in my neighborhood as equal to a beggar? Next time I see him, he might have a chat corner of his own!
Excelling in studies is not everyone’s fortune. Or why else did Indira Gandhi turn out to be a DROPOUT wherever Nehru tried to usurp her including Oxford University! Not everyone is as lucky as Karti Chidambaram to have a country’s Finance Minister as a pampering dad to allow Rs 170000Cr scam under the flourishing business of Aircell-Maxis! Poor and lower middle class people of India have to sweat it out to make ends meet. So, they sell pakodas, samosas, Bhel, panipuri, tender coconut for livelihood. They work as cobbler, duplicate key-maker, washer-man, cloth-presser etc for survival! But, Mr P Chidambaram, they are not beggars! Even in their poverty, they live a life of self-respect and dignity!
There were hundreds of paid trolls and piddies who echoed Chidambaram’s insinuating comparison. For their benefit, let me list out few basic differences between Beggars and small-scale enterprising people:
1. Usefulness. These small odd job-doers are so useful to us that we can’t think our lives without them. How useful are beggars?
2. Optimism….Hope for better tomorrow!!! With hard work and dedication, they dream of taking their small jobs to the next level. Can you say that about beggars?
3. Dignity and self-respect that comes with earning through hard work and self-capacity. Is it applicable to beggars?
4. Contribution to Economy. They generate money howsoever little, spend it on raw materials and livelihood. What about beggars?
Imagine if someone had shamefaced one young chaiwala from Gujarat to beg instead of selling tea! Would he have become the Prime Minister of the World’s largest democracy by begging? Well, PM Modi’s life-story is truly awe-inspiring for all pakodewalas and chaiwalas!
Andarben and Jasuben , Gujarati women from Ahmadabad, started selling pizza in a small outlet in 1990. Today, their ‘Jasuben Pizza Outlet’ has made a big name all over the world. Another lady, Induben too started her work of preparing and selling khakras, a Gujarati snack, on a very modest scale in 1965. Today, Induben Khakrawala is one of the most powerful snacking establishments in Gujarat. Just imagine, if these hard-working ladies were demotivated by calling their modest enterprises as good as begging!
Do you know MRF Tyre Company owner Mr K M Mammen Mappillai? Well, he had started his enterprise in a small way in 1946, making toy balloons in his backyard. Today, his company’s turnover is Rs 22700 Cr. Imagine if someone like Chidambaram’s mentality had discouraged him from working harder saying his meager job was as good as begging?
P C Mustafa, the owner of Id Fresh Food Private limited started his impoverished life journey with selling chocolates and sweets in village. Later he started making 10 packets of 1 kg idly/dosa batter in 2005. Fortunately for him, there were no Chidambaram sorts to insult him that begging was a better option. Today, his company manufactures 50000 packets a day with the team of 1300 employees.
(Image source- The Weekend Leader)
In Kolhapur, Maharashtra, a bhelwala named Rajabhau made such a big name that it has become a tourist attraction there. It’s our luck that, in 1964, when Rajabhau Shinde started his modest bhel stall, there was no one to convince him that begging would bring him equally good revenue!
Govind Lalji Dholakia, a poor farmer’s son, started his career in 1964 as a diamond polishing worker with Rs 100 pay. As nobody was there to advise him to opt for begging for an equally good income, today he is a Businessman, Founder and Chairman of Sri Ramkrishna Exports, a diamond manufacturing and exporting company.
Well, those who are born with the silver spoon, those who have loads of black money stashed in Swiss bank accounts, those who have fooled the poor for six decades with the most abused slogan ‘Garibi hatao’ …..well, we shouldn’t expect from such filthy rich people to be able to differentiate between begging and sweating it out to earn few bucks! There are many success stories of rags to riches where people started from scratch, fighting against all odds. Just imagine, if they had felt ashamed of doing some small work and opted for begging instead! So, as responsible citizens, let’s take the responsibility upon ourselves that these small entrepreneurs are encouraged and supported to do better for themselves. Look around, keep your eyes and mind open.
PRADHAN MANTRI MUDRA YOJANA (PMMY)
Financial Year :2015-2016
No. Of PMMY Loans Sanctioned :34880924
Amount Sanctioned :137449.27 CRORE
Amount Disbursed : 132954.73 CRORE
Financial Year :2016-2017
No. Of PMMY Loans Sanctioned :39701047
Amount Sanctioned :180528.54 CRORE
Amount Disbursed : 175312.13 CRORE
This is the scheme launched by Modi Government in 2015 for providing loans to such non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises upto Rs10 Lakh. This visionary scheme has changed the lives of many low scale entrepreneurs and has helped them lead a more progressive life. Help those around you to enlighten about such opportunities. Let’s see who the hell mocks our hardworking brothers and sisters as beggarly!
Jyothi Suparna Chincholi