Published: 25th March 2020
Learn why this Class XII student from Trivandrum is selling soaps right after school every day
Learning to make soaps at school, Akhilraj SC started selling them to his teachers, a move that was welcomed widely. Now, he's selling them on the streets after school
It's about 4 pm and the bus stops are crowded with kids in uniform. Unsurprisingly, it is their time to return home to some well-deserved rest and a hearty snack too. I happened to be travelling by bus one such evening, when I saw a boy moving through the crowd with his lunch bag close to his chest. Though usually empty for most children, this one was not. It was filled with soaps that he was selling to people on the road. Now that made us curious. When we asked him why he was out on the streets selling soaps, he replied with a smile, "I make soaps at home and sell them so that I can support my education, myself."
Akhil's parents and his brother helps him in packing the soaps (Pic: BP Deepu)
A student of Valliyathura Fisheries School, Akhil learnt the art of soap-making in school as a part of an NSS activity. "The teachers taught us to make soap. I tried it at home and when I showed it to my teachers, they liked them so much that they bought them. Realising that it would help me earn some income, I started making soaps whenever I had the time," said the Class XII student. So, how does he make them? "I mix the raw materials with coconut oil as my base. There is a consistent process to be followed while making soaps," explained Akhil who makes bath soaps, wraps them in colour paper and sells each at '30.
Akhil uses lime flavour for his soaps (Pic: BP Deepu)
So, does he not hope to fulfil any teenage fantasies like buying a bike, travel the world and so on? Akhil confessed that he hopes to one day build a better house. Apparently, they got electricity only quite recently. And before that? "I studied under streetlights and candles. I managed to score three A+ in my class X Board exams," he said proudly. His mother Beena Sadhuraj chimed in, "We were living in a thatched house earlier. The conditions were poor and the house was about to collapse. Fearing it, we built a shed with asbestos roofing. We have a huge debt for the same. Since Akhil earns something with the soaps he sells, he is able to take care of himself and his education to a certain extent."
With an undying spirit to earn his bread, Akhil confessed that if he is asked to name his soap, he would definitely name it Akhil Soaps. "I haven't put a name on it yet. I just cover it up with coloured paper and sell it now. I wish to become a scientist someday, however, I would continue selling soaps as this has helped me meet with my expenses till date," he said and smiled.