‘Mumbai belongs to all and anyone can make it’

Pravin Vaishno, a native of Udaipur, arrived in Mumbai 10 years ago and now runs a recycling or kabadi shop outside the Goregaon railway station.

mumbai Updated: Aug 23, 2018 12:33 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,goregaon railway station,mumbai news
When he first arrived in Mumbai, Pravin Vaishno didn’t know anyone in the city, and he says he didn’t need to.(Satish Bate / HT Photo )

Pravin Vaishno has seen the city expand, change and yet remain the same in the past 10 years. He runs a recycling or kabadi shop outside the Goregaon railway station. “For me, Mumbai is equal to work. The city is becoming more and more expensive and so we are planning for the family to return to Udaipur, but I won’t leave the city as long as my limbs are working,” says the 35-year-old.

When he first arrived, Vaishno didn’t know anyone in the city, and he says he didn’t need to. “I always found help, be it when asking for directions or looking for a job.”

A recycler offered him a way to make a living, and in four years he had his own outfit.

“This is a city where everything can fetch a price. I’ve even sold parts from inside a toy mobile phone,” he says, laughing.

It was in Mumbai that he got to know people from different communities. A neighbour drops by to ask for a spare paint bucket. “They know my shop is a like a magic box where you can find anything. Mumbai makes me proud to do this job.”

Vaishno spends all day at the shop, watching like a fly on the wall, and almost every day he sees a new face. “I know they are new here,” he says. “But the city belongs to all, and anyone can make it, if they are ready to do any job without considering it odd.”

Meanwhile, he says, “I’m happy to be doing my bit to keep the city clean.”

(This story is part of a series Moving Images that celebrates the city of Mumbai through its people.)

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 12:32 IST