Class IX girl sells FASTags at the highway. Here's why!
Shehreen is a Class IX student of RPM High School. She finishes her lunch everyday and runs to the Kumbalam Toll Plaza on National Highway 66. Why? She stands under raining clouds and the scorching sun flashing a FASTag card on the sidewalk hoping for some vehicle to stop by, so that she makes a sale. This teenager also holds a banner sometimes so that she is visible to the passengers driving by. She has been doing this for about a month now before which she used to run a Kulukki Sarbath shop for around three years which was closed after the lockdown.
Don't think that she is doing all this for some pocket money. This girl in Grade 9 is trying to support her mother by sharing her responsibilities. A temporary staff nurse at the Ernakulam Medical College, her mother also has a 10-year-old son, who is suffering from Mitral regurgitation (MR) and is deaf by birth. He has undergone four major surgeries. To support her mother and brother, Shahreen took to earning for the family. She has been balancing her work and studies and says that she manages to study for two hours a day. This young girl wants to become an IPS officer.
"Tags cost Rs 300 and Rs 500. When I sell them, I get to keep Rs 70 and Rs 100 respectively. On some days, I won't even sell a single tag," she says. Her mother, who is trying to become a permanent staff, has made countless appeals and is trying to get the minister's attention for the same. But it's been more than a decade, but she wasn't able to get there.
While there are children who complain about what they don't have, there are these children like Shahreen who walk extra miles to support their parents. Hats off to you little girl.