Rashmi Rekha Das

At a time his friends play video games and enjoy their adulthood, Chuman Rao of Bolangir sells newspapers every morning for over a year now to achieve his goal.

Chuman’s story has resemblance with the story of India’s 11th President, Doctor APJ Abdul Kalam who had started selling newspapers during his teenage in order to follow his dream.

Similarly, Chuman’s story is all about hard work and perseverance. Be it scorching summer or chilling winter, he leaves for delivering newspapers from home to home just to follow his dream of becoming a doctor. 

All he wants from this is to take care of his ailing mother and bear educational expenses of his two brothers.

At the age of 13, Chuman who resides at Kandhapalipada in Bolangir district has shouldered the burden of his family following his father’s death.

According to sources, Chuman lost his father two years back and his mother became sick. As he had none to extend support to his family, he opted for selling newspapers.

Chuman’s father was a contractor for which he had never faced any sort of crisis when his father was alive. Once a student of private English medium school, he is now a Class VIII student of a government-run school.

For Chuman morning starts at 5am. He starts delivering newspapers in morning before diligently reporting to his school. In between, he never forgets to take care of his mother.

Headmistress of Bolangir Town High School Kumudini Mishra said, “Keeping his dedication towards study in mind, all the teachers of our school have decided to support him financially. Besides, we will try our best to fulfil his other needs so that he would prosper in life.”

Chuman said, “My father died two years back.  I get Rs 1,000 per month. I give money to my mother and she runs the family.”

His mother said, “We are eking out our livelihood from whatever he earns from distributing newspapers. We get rice and medicine from the government. We have no other support.”

His neighbour said, “He is a scholar student. If the state government or any organisation extends a helping hand to his family, it would definitely make his dream come true.”

Reported by Manaranjan Joshi, OTV