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Independence Day: The streetside view

Tuesday August 14, 2012 08:50:35 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: For some, it's a day of celebration or simply chilling with family and friends. But Independence Day is just another day of struggle for millions living on the fringes of mainstream India.

Like 35-year-old Satyender, who will be trawling the streets of the capital Wednesday, when the country celebrates its 65th Independence Day, hoping to make an extra buck.

With a unique streetside view of the celebrations, Satyender normally sells car accessories and knick-knacks. But in the days ahead of Independence Day, patriotism is in - and so is the tricolour.

"For me, the day is nothing but a chance to sell more. Around Independence Day the sale of flags, wristbands and other innovative products in tricolour are in demand," Satyender told IANS.

"I know what the day stands for, though," he added. He usually earns Rs.150 a day. Around Aug 15, he can manage to make at least Rs.100 more.

Among the range of products sold on Delhi streets are tricolour umbrellas, kites and miniature flags. And vendors find ready takers for the saffron white and green knick-knacks.

Street children have also joined the bandwagon to earn a little more.

Nine-year-old Deepak has sold 40 tricolour wristbands but isn't quite sure why. He's also not sure what Aug 15 stands for.

"I think people fly kites on this day," Deepak said after much contemplation.

But 12-year-old Suraj Kumar knows. He has been selling car accessories on Delhi's streets for the last three years and remembers with nostalgia the flag hoisting ceremonies in his school in Bihar.

"I miss my school days... On Aug 15 there used to be flag hoisting in my school and we used to get biscuits and candies," he said.

Then life took a turn, his mother died and he dropped out of school to join his father.

"My mother died and father was alone. To raise a family of five for him was impossible, so I left school to assist him," Kumar added.


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