We all go through ups and downs in life but, only a few have the courage to rise up again without giving up. And, this inspiring story shared by the Humans of Bombay on their Instagram page is all about that. 

This story is about a young man whose father used to clean lakes. As a child he would accompany his dad to Wular Lake to take out trash and sell it to the kabadi wala

Source: www.instagram.com

His father always taught him about the importance of keeping the lakes clean. But, one fine day his father had an unfortunate incident. He slipped from the boat and injured his leg while working. Later, he was diagnosed with leg cancer due to the toxic lake water and he passed away. 

When we took him to the doctor, we found out that Abbu had leg cancer & that the toxic lake water might have caused it–within months, he passed away.

The man was only 8 years old when his father passed away so the responsibility of his mother and his two sisters fell upon him. He left school and took up his father's job to earn a living for his family. 

I was 8 when the responsibility of Ammi & my 2 sisters fell on me. Ammi wasn’t well, so I left school & took Abbu’s job. 
Source: www.instagram.com

The fact that the toxic lake water killed his father wasn't something that he was able to get over, which is why he took up his father's job. He also made a promise to himself. He decided to clean Wular Lake himself. And, for almost 7 years, he would wake up at 6 AM and set out to collect trash.

Everyday, at 6 AM, I’d set out to collect trash & by evening, I’d have 10-15 kgs of plastic bottles, polythene & other waste. I’d sell it to the kabadiwala who then sent it to a recycling unit–I’d earn Rs.150-200 a day.
Source: www.instagram.com

Soon, things started to take a turn for the better when one day he collected about 12,000 kgs of plastic which is quite a lot. He realised that he could do a lot more if he had someone to help. And, that's when he requested his friends and other students to help him out in the cleaning process. 

Upon seeing the impact I’d made, I thought–what if my friends helped me? The cleaning process would be much faster. So, I motivated my friends & other students to do the same. 
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After months of hard work, his efforts bore fruits and he was being praised for his achievements. The word spread like wildfire and a documentary maker also made a film on him and his life in 2017 and other good things started happening in his life.  

In 2017, a documentary maker made a film on me. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation made me the ambassador of cleanliness; even the PM praised me. The corporation then gave me Rs.10,000 per 1.5 months to spread awareness!

Over the next 3 years, he travelled around Kashmir in order to spread awareness among people to respect our waters.

We’ve wronged our lakes & we need to make amends. It enrages me to see anyone throwing trash in the water; I give them a mouthful. 
Source: www.instagram.com

This year, he even managed to get his older sister married. Next on his agenda is to buy a big house for his mom and to get his younger sister admission in a good school. 

I want to buy a big house for Ammi & put my younger sister in a reputed school.

Now, all he hopes is for his dad to rest in peace and to be happy wherever he is. And all he wants from us is to keep our waters clean. 

I’ve abided by his teaching all my life–he was a good man & he died doing something we all should’ve been doing; keeping our country, it’s waters clean.

You can read the entire post here: 

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“As a child, I used to go up & down the Wular lake with Abbu–his job was to take out the trash from the lake & sell it to the Kabadi wala. He’d always tell me how important it is to keep the lake clean; it was sacred. Once, Abbu slipped from the boat & injured his leg. When we took him to the doctor, we found out that Abbu had leg cancer & that the toxic lake water might have caused it–within months, he passed away. I was 8 when the responsibility of Ammi & my 2 sisters fell on me. Ammi wasn’t well, so I left school & took Abbu’s job. I couldn’t forget what the doctors had said–the lake water killed Abbu & I was determined to clean it. So everyday, at 6 AM, I’d set out to collect trash & by evening, I’d have 10-15 kgs of plastic bottles, polythene & other waste. I’d sell it to the kabadiwala who then sent it to a recycling unit–I’d earn Rs.150-200 a day. Most of it, I’d give to Ammi & save the rest for my sister’s school fees. That was my routine for 7 years. Once, a kabadiwala told me, ‘Do you know you’ve bought me 12,000 kgs of plastic?’ Upon seeing the impact I’d made, I thought–what if my friends helped me? The cleaning process would be much faster. So, I motivated my friends & other students to do the same. Finally we could see patches of clear water after years–the neighbours who’d mock me for being a scavenger, praised me for my achievements. The word spread & in 2017, a documentary maker made a film on me. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation made me the ambassador of cleanliness; even the PM praised me. The corporation then gave me Rs.10,000 per 1.5 months to spread awareness! Over the last 3 years, I’ve travelled around Kashmir telling people to respect our waters–we’ve wronged our lakes & we need to make amends. It enrages me to see anyone throwing trash in the water; I give them a mouthful. Over time, I saved up & this year, I had enough to get my older sister married. Now, I want to buy a big house for Ammi & put my younger sister in a reputed school. I want Abbu to be happy wherever he is. I’ve abided by his teaching all my life–he was a good man & he died doing something we all should’ve been doing; keeping our country, it’s waters clean.”

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