School Droupout Ekes Out Her Living Selling Newspapers In Odisha’s Ganjam

Berhampur: Nirupama Pradhan (33), a newspaper hawker, cycles her way from Mujagada in Bhanjanagar (Ganjam district) to a dozen clusters distributing the day’s papers right from the wee hours. This has been her daily routine for the past eleven years: Rain or Sunshine.

Residing in a tin-roofed house, Nirupama, a Class IX dropout, decided to distribute newspapers from door-to-door after her mother died when she was hardly a 12-year-old girl.

“I get up around 5 a.m and wait for the first bus that reached the town with bundles of newspapers. I collect and put those in my cycle basket before I set on a long cycle-ride on the dusty pot-holed roads,” said Nirupama.

Nirupama earns about Rs 5,000 a month from sale of newspapers and she has to make both ends meet with that sum. She then cooks her food after paying back the day’s collections to her newspaper agent. She earns a few more rupees stitching clothes for children in her neighbourhood.

“I am ready to teach tailoring to young girls in the locality provided I get some government assistance to help other woman become self-sufficient within my limited ability,” she said with confidence.

“I am still a struggler in my life. But I have no regrets. I wouldn’t complain to anybody about my plight. I want to live with self-respect,” asserts Nirupama who has vowed not to marry.

Interestingly, Nirupama is a universal sister in the locality. She is helpful and comes forward to extend a helping hand when someone needs her assistance in Mujagarh.

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