Ramdhani Yadav lives with his son, Anand, in a cramped two-room slum dwelling in the Mumbai district of Andheri. His kitchen, bedroom and wardrobe all crowd into a space of less than ten square metres.
“People today have cutting-edge smartphones, expensive cars and other things. But for me all this is only a dream. I use a cheap phone that costs 100 rupees only. I don’t have a car to drive. I don’t have a nice comfortable home, I live in this small hut. All the nice expensive things more well-off people have are but a dream for people like myself,” he said.
A Brighter Future
For Ramdhani, the stall is a way to make ends meet. He says he would leave it to someone else if it meant a better future for his son.
"I don’t hold any particular sentimentality towards [the stall] and it isn’t much more than a means of livelihood for me and my family," he said.
“I want my son to study and do whatever it is that he wants with his life. I want him to move forward in life and do better for himself than I ever could.”
Anand is 17 years old and attends a nearby school in Andheri East. After graduating from high school, he wants to complete a Bachelor of Commerce before taking the highly competitive Indian Police Services (IPS) examination.
“I want to move forward and prove my mettle,” Anand said.
“My dad supports me fully. He says that I should pursue whatever field I want to be in. He works so that he can support my education,” he said.
The exam requires three years of preparation and qualifies successful applicants to the role of Assistant Superintendent of the Indian Police Service. Anand said he would like to serve the people and tackle the corruption affecting street vendors today.
“I want to absolutely finish this problem.”