Vijay Singh was nine-years-old when he ran away from home in Assam.
It was difficult, he says, leaving his mother and three siblings behind in the hunt for a better life.
Ten years later, Vijay is a student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College at Delhi University.
When he left home, he was young — so young that he doesn’t even remember the name of his village — brash and irrational. And he wanted to escape from his alcoholic father.
Life, however, seemed to have different plans for him. Immediately after running away from home, the young boy had an accident and lost his right leg.
“I remember waking up at the hospital only to find to my horror that my right leg was gone. I stayed at the hospital for three months. After being discharged, I did not go home. I went back to the railway station,” he said.
However, there were very few options of a better life that the railway station offered. So, with a boy that he had befriended at the station, he boarded a train that was headed towards Delhi.
“The train brought us to the Old Delhi Railway station where I stayed for some days,” Vijay said. His friend left him some days after, leaving him to fend for himself in a new big city.
Loitering around at the busy station, Vijay was rescued by the child welfare committee and brought to Bal Sahyog (a child shelter home).
“On June 19, 2007, I came to Bal Sahyog here in Connaught Place. Since then, this has been my home, the place from where I struggled and achieved everything I have in my life today. After coming here I started studying and had decided that I will work hard and make a name for myself,” he said.
He said that he studied at the school inside the shelter home till Class 8, after which he was moved to Government Boys Senior Secondary School at Mata Sundri Road. Since then, he is being helped by an organization called Make a Difference that has been guiding and supporting him. Vijay completed his Class 12 and managed to score 70% in CBSE.
This year, Vijay found his name in the second cutoff list at Bhagat Singh College, where he will now be pursuing Political Science (honours).
“I always had interest in politics and knowing how it worked in the other countries. So, I decided to study this subject,” said Vijay, a self confessed fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Last month, he adds, he had to leave the shelter home after having turned 19.
“On June 19, I left the shelter home and shifted to a paying guest facility. It was difficult initially, but people from MAD (Make a Difference) are doing all they can to support me financially and morally,” said Vijay. He has taken up work at a mobile repair store meanwhile to support himself financially.
“Vijay is a role model for Bal Sahyog. Children here look up to him as Vijay bhaiya and we hope he achieves all his dreams,” said Mohammad Salam Khan, executive director at Bal Sahyog.