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I didn’t come here with big dreams: Vinod Shukla, security guard

Vinod Shukla, 43 security guard, Delhi on his dreams, aspirations and struggles in city life.

urbanisation, urban india, migrants in urban india, security guard, how to make both ends meet, earn a living, migrates from viallges in the city, new delhi Vinod Shukla: I was jobless and had no source of income. My family has no land and I had to provide for them. I came here two years ago.

Where are you from?
I was born in Unnao zila, Hasanganj, Tehsilgram. It’s in UP.

Why did you come to Delhi? How long have you been here?
I was jobless and had no source of income. My family has no land and I had to provide for them. I came here two years ago, when my father-in-law, who worked as a security guard in a nearby building, told me about this opening. Both my father-in-law and I were appointed through a contractor.

How much do you earn?
I earn very little — I get Rs 6,000 for a 12-hour duty, so I do double duty to earn just enough to get by. I work every day from 7 am to 7 pm at one place and then do a night shift at another building. I barely get two hours of sleep. Thankfully, I don’t have to pay rent. I sleep in the parking lot on a charpoy.

Has Delhi been good to you?
I didn’t come to Delhi with big dreams. I just wanted a decent job to take care of my family. I thought Delhi is such a big city that it would be possible for me to earn a decent living here. I have friends here now, even though I haven’t seen much of the city.

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Did you ever go to school?
Yes, I studied till class eight, but then I had to leave school to support my family.

Who all are there in your family?
My parents, my wife and my two daughters.

Do you send your daughters to school?
They are too young to attend school just yet, but I will send them. I want them to be able stand on their own feet and be respected in society.

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What do you miss about home?
There’s no substitute for home. Everyday, I wish I could go back because my family is there. I miss my village and the people — my neighbours and my childhood friends.

City Seekers: A series on migrants in urban India

First published on: 21-06-2015 at 01:00:30 am
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