A story shared on the popular page ‘Humans of Bombay’ has struck a chord with thousands of people. In his interview with ‘Humans of Bombay‘, Mumbai resident Nitesh Jaiswal opened up about the struggles his parents faced to educate him and his brother. He spoke about how his “uneducated and underprivileged” parents worked hard to raise two medicos, despite facing financial as well as societal pressures.
“My parents are originally from Uttar Pradesh – they married young and moved to Bombay after in pursuit of a better life,” said Mr Jaiswal. They had barely any money to their names, but his father soon managed to find a job at an electrical factory. Within a few months, however, he lost three fingers in a mishap and was fired without any compensation.
To look after the family, Mr Jaiswal’s mother began to take up odd jobs while nursing her husband. “But her family tried hard to convince her to leave dad. They’d say, ‘You’ve only been married two years, it’s not too late to leave this disabled man,’ but mom refused,” says Nitesh Jaiswal.
He spoke about the sacrifices his parents made so their children could study. “They saved every penny to send me and my brother to an English medium school – there were days that they slept hungry, so we had a roti to fill our stomachs.”
The family moved to a rented chawl, where neighbours often taunted them, claims Mr Jaiswal. “Our neighbours and relatives would taunt dad and say, ‘You can’t even afford food, send them to a municipality school.’ But we studied hard- we’d be at the library in the day and burnt the midnight oil to avoid our neighbours; we always scored well,” he recalls.
Over the years, Mr Jaiswal claims, their neighbours would play loud music during their exams or start baseless fights to distract them. “It got worse when they found out we were both going to be medical professionals,” he says.
The day before his entrance exam, they started blaming the family for some water leakage. “They beat us up and as a result all of us were put in lock up,” says Mr Jaiswal. He had to take his entrance exam, so he begged for bail. He was finally allowed to leave at 2AM.
But he says that his parents’ struggles have paid off. His mother used all her savings to buy a piece of land and later sold it off to pay for her sons’ college. “But it’s all paid off – my brother has a Bachelors in Dental Surgery, and I’m working as a research associate for COVID right now,” says Nitesh Jaiswal.
“We’re finally in a place where we can take care of our family- we still live in the same chawl, but we’re saving to buy another flat so that we can finally move from here.”
He ends his interview with a touching tribute to his parents: “It’s genuinely not about where you come from, it’s about where you want to go in life, and my parents proved that; two uneducated, underprivileged parents can raise two medicos.”
“My parents are originally from Uttar Pradesh–they married young & moved to Bombay in pursuit of a better life. They arrived here with barely any money & slept in makeshift bamboo homes. Finally, dad got a job at a factory, but within months he lost 3 fingers on his right hand in a mishap. He was fired without compensation; finding another job was hard. With dad unable to work till he healed, mom started packing bangles & doing odd jobs to fend for us & my brother–he was born around the same time. But her family tried to get her to leave dad. They’d say, ‘You’ve only been married 2 years, it’s not too late to leave this disabled man,’ but mom refused. She worked & nursed him back to health & finally he began selling accessories to earn a living. They saved every penny to send us to an English school–there were days they slept hungry, so we had a roti to fill our stomachs. By then we’d moved into a rented chawl, but our neighbours would taunt dad & say, ‘You can’t even afford food, send them to a municipality school.’ But we studied hard–we’d be at the library all day & night to avoid our neighbours; we always scored well. Still, they wouldn’t let us live in peace. When I was in the 10th grade, they’d play really loud music or start fights, to distract us. It got worse when they found out we were going to be medical professionals. Mom had used her savings over the years to buy a small piece of land–she sold it off to pay for college. The night before my entrance exam, our neighbours started blaming us for some water leakage; they beat us up & as a result all of us were put in lock up. I begged them to give me bail to give my exam & finally at 2 AM, I was let out–I had to leave for the exam at 6 AM. But it’s all paid off– my brother has a Bachelors in Dental Surgery & I’m working as a research associate for COVID. We’re finally in a place where we can take care of our family–we still live in the same chawl, but we’re saving to buy another flat so we can finally move from here. It’s genuinely not about where you come from, it’s about where you want to go in life, & my parents proved that; 2 uneducated, underprivileged parents can raise 2 medicos.”
The story of the Jaiswal family has garnered nearly 40,000 ‘likes’ on Instagram. In the comments section, many applauded the sons for making their parents proud, while others hailed the parents for their strength and resolve.
“Huge respect to the parents….. they must be very proud of you too,” wrote one commenter.
“Kudos to your parents and you both! Keep making them proud,” another said.
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