August 15 is a “wonderful” day for Aman Yadav, a nine-year-old newspaper vendor in Bhopal. The boy has already made more money in the past three days than he does vending evening newspapers on the streets of the state capital.
“I have made Rs470 by selling flags in the last three days. This is normally my nine days earning,” he says. “I did not need to work hard for it (making money) because people are so excited about August 15.”
After wiping his forehead with his left sleeve, the child smiles and adds: “I will celebrate Diwali with this income. It’s a saving for me.” He sprints off with his bunch of miniature Indian flags saying that he needs to sell just two more to achieve the target and did not want to be disturbed.
Aman is one among the hundreds of street urchins whose excitement about Independence Day has nothing to do with the country’s freedom struggle and independence from the British. These kids are more interested about the commerce that the day brings in.
Eleven-year-old Kallu, who has had a rather busy Friday selling flags, badges and stickers, told HT that he had made more profit this Independence Day because of a Rajasthan-made showpiece that can be put on car dashboards or tables.
“The Rajasthani vendors have not given chance to every child to sell it. They asked us what we know August 15 and it’s only few like me who gave them right answer about the day and received the rights,” says another Kallu, adding that the items were being sold for Rs 30-50.