Sachin is studying in school and plies his trade only during his summer holidays to supplement his family’s income

To support family this 14-yr-old sells lemon juice in the scorching Hyderabad summerImage By arrangement
news Lime Soda Monday, April 18, 2016 - 19:38

With the unrelenting heat and rising temperatures in Hyderabad making life miserable, soda-lemon water offers a refreshing respite. While we take the soda-lime water for granted, for 14-year-old Sachin Bhale Rao who sells the juice in summers and for his uncle who sells it daily, this is a means for survival.

Bhale Rao from Borgi village in Medak district of Telangana sells soda-lemon water in Madhapur area of Hyderabad during summers. He starts at 10 am every day and works till 8 pm. Sachin earns around Rs 800 per day out of which Rs 400 goes for buying materials for the next day. Sachin is studying in school and plies his trade only during his summer holidays to supplement his family’s income.

His 38-year-old father Arjun Bhale Rao says, ‘’I am a poor farmer in Borgi village, Medak district and I hardly earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per year due to drought in our villages. So I want at least my kids to get proper education, they should not do farming like us and struggle all their lives like we are doing. In other seasons, my sons go to the government school which we have in our village but in summers we come to Hyderabad to earn some money by selling soda-lemon water, cucumber and mangoes. I usually sell cucumber and mangoes whereas my son sells soda-lemon water’’.

‘’We are staying at Hitec city slums in a single room house, it is my younger brother Bhimmaya’s house.  He sells soda-lemon water for 365 days. He is somehow managing to run his family.”

Sachin says, “I want to become a police officer and want to help people but due to financial problems we are not getting proper education. My father encourages me to study as he doesn’t want us to suffer like me. Due to government schools in our village, I was able to study and reached 9th grade at least. The soda-lemon water business is my uncle's business and we will work here till June and will get back to our village. I feel quality of education should improve in villages otherwise how will kids like us fulfill their dreams? I dream to become a police officer, I hope that I will one day become one and I will work hard for it.”

His 35-year-old uncle Bhimmaya Bhale Rao and younger brother of Arjun Bhale Rao is a BA graduate. In spite of having a degree, he is forced to sell soda-lemon water to run his family. While he is able to

He says, “After my graduation, I worked in Nalgonda in a company called Glass Space as a supervisor for Rs 7000. I have two kids, how will I run my family in Rs 7000 I don’t understand. Most of the money goes for rent and other expenses, so how will I educate my kids?”

“I always wanted to become a teacher but due to lack of proper education I couldn’t fulfill my dream and now I am forced to sell soda-lemon water for my family’s basic needs. The situation of government schools and colleges is so bad that in my college, the administration used to sell materials from the labs so we never had even proper practical classes. Thank god at least government institutions are free, otherwise I would have not studied at all due to financial issues but what is the use of this degree when I am selling soda-lemon water? Government should do something for us otherwise even educated people will end up selling soda-lemon water”, he adds.

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