Published: 10th May 2018
Care of footpath: Vegetable vendor scores 79 per cent in SSLC
Vinod Kumar B, who used to sell vegetables in KR Market, did his homework and studies under the streetlight and on pavements
From selling vegetables on the streets of KR market morning and evening to scoring 79 per cent in SSLC, Vinod Kumar B’s story is one of determination and self-belief.
Vinod’s day begins and ends at KR Market. A native of Bannimantapa in Mysuru, the teenager lost both his parents in an accident when he was just three months old. He was raised by Munirathna, his maternal grandmother, also a vegetable vendor at the K R Market.
Vinod grew up on the pavements of Bengaluru. He started selling vegetables along with this grandmother, at the age of four. They slept and lived on the KR Market footpaths. Even though they made only a few hundreds every day, Munirathna, a gritty woman, had seen how the lives of people living in the footpaths would end. And she didn’t want Vinod’s fate to be the same. So, she admitted him at a BBMP school in the locality.
Alongside selling vegetables, Vinod did his homework and studies under the streetlight, on pavements. In class nine, the boy came across BOSCO Nilaya (one of the centres of BOSCO Bangalore, an NGO working with the children in need of care and protection in the city). He began frequenting the centre to attend the free remedial education classes conducted in the evening. After a month, when he shared his plight of living on the footpath, Fr. Regi Jacob, director, BOSCO Nilaya agreed to help him and take care of his academic expenses and accommodation. Thus, Vinod became an inmate at BOSCO Nilaya.
“I wanted to score distinction (85pc). But, I am not disappointed. This has only pushed me to do better in future,” Vinod says, adding, “I used to study eight hours a day. Staying at the shelter gave me the much-needed privacy which helped me concentrate on my studies. I want to take up Science in my PU and one day I will become an IAS officer.”
While staying at BOSCO Nilaya, he used to frequently visit his grandmother, who still lives on the footpath. Vinod wants to take care of his grandmother and give her a good life she deserves. Stories like Vinod Kumar's are inspiring, proof of what conviction and hard work can achieve.
Vinod is the Leader of Child Rights Club (Nehru Makala Sangha), Jolly Mohalla, in the city. He participated in Karnataka State 10th Child Rights Parliament in November 2017 and was the student representative to evaluate child-related issues with State-level authorities and dignitaries. He secured second rank at State-Level Siri Kannada Examination in November 2017. He has won the second place in the State-Level Hindi Secondary Examination. He has been selected for a quiz competition to be held at Hyderabad organised by ISRO on World Science day.
The competition dates are yet to be announced. He has won the second place in the Mathematics activities organised at Tata Institute, Bengaluru, on National Mathematics Day December 22, 2017. He has won 1st place in the qualifier level in an essay-writing competition organised by LIC in 2017.