Dreamers and Doers


India is full of entrepreneurs…they are everywhere. People here are bursting the edges of society and living on the streets, eating on the streets, working on the streets,  and must work to survive on the streets. All over India there is a demand  for  innovative services that quite frankly fit into the definition and action role listed above.  Granted many people just give up to the challenges of life, but there are  some enterprising people with ideas and a strong work ethic who take advantage and if not thrive…. at least  survive. This is evident just walking down the street….any street, in any city in India.

A man helping shoes  last just a little longer.



A barber adapting by setting up shop on the sidewalk to shave and cut hair using the  windows as a mirror.  Does he have a line forming  to wait for his services?

Image above image by Nita Jatar Kulkarni  from: http://www.stockpicturesforeveryone.com/2011/09/tailors-in-shops-and-stalls.html

This man has an strong sewing machine to do those pesky jean hems.


An old woman whose only work is to beg as the sight of her, makes your heart ache.

Now I would like to introduce you to three men who are not of the poorest of the poor in Ahmedabad, but are entrepreneurs in their own right.  The first is “copy man” because I don’t know his name, though he had a huge presence on the campus of Cept University. Designers need  plans and copies  made frequently.  The dean told us his story.  “CM” began in a small neighborhood copying  shop. He learned from a friend of the need of such a shop at Cept. When he had the wherewithal, he opened  a  shop in a small building near the canteen. sid image blog profile

Word spread quickly through the design student and faculty that  “C M”, if notified of due dates, would stay open late into the night or open earlier in the morning to copy and plot last minute drawings!  The dean told us that business was so good that just the day before, a very special machine was delivered. It is connected to a computer in Japan!  Copy Man’s work ethic and commitment of service to his customers is paying off.

Next, I want to introduce you to Salim and Mohamed, who are Muslim, and are partners in a thriving rickshaw business in the old city. I mention their religion only in passing because much has been in the news lately,  that Muslims have fewer financial opportunities under the present governor than Hindus. This is not true for these two enterprising men.  They actually have a fleet of 20 rickshaws to accommodate large groups and their place of origination is in the front of the House of MG which is the Heritage Hotel of the old city.  It is a wonderful location with elegant accommodations, but that is another post.  There are lots of architects, academics, and other tourists ,who are interested in seeing the  world renown architecture  in Ahmedabad  designed by two of the great modernists, Louis Khan, and LeCorbusier. Salim  and Mohamed have made themselves familiar with architectural sites that tourists come here  to see. They know the hours, places, details about the  sites and can  provide background information.  They charge $3 an hour either to drive, wait, or serve as guides at the sites. When we were on one of the architectural tours  to see Corb’s villas, Salim  suggested a visit to a blood collection building that David was not familiar with. We went on his suggestion and it was wonderful piece of contemporary architecture.

These men work 7 days a week, They will come to pick you up for a reservation trip or you can find them at House of MG. They had no education in architecture, or art, but know their city, and what targeted tourists want to see.  Their cards are passed out as ” must have guides.”  They are bright, personable, and self-educated, as well as very hardworking.  I don’t know any details about Salims family as he was the introverted one.  Mohamed  had quite the opposite personality. He told us very proudly about his children. His son is college educated and a manager at a new hotel.  His daughter is a doctor.  These men saw a need, made a plan, worked hard and they and their families  are benefiting. They are “dreams and doers.” AUTORICKSHAW_STRIKE_DE_924f


Namaste. . . . .T I I

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Dreamers and Doers

  1. chr1 says:

    Thanks for sharing. The Indians I deal with in Seattle are willing to negotiate over most things as a cultural trait. Good to see that spirit.

    • annetbell says:

      Chris, thanks for sharing your experience. I have no personal experience, just a personal ones. I agree…a wonderful spirit! Namaste. . . .. Anne

  2. Page Shields says:

    Great post! and such good pictures of the street life.

  3. liviuchrisavram says:

    sunt oameni care se nasc in strada traiesc in strada si mor in strada .. si totusi sunt mult mai bogati si mai fericiti decat multi care au o casa , profesie sau glorie .. de ce .. ? este simplu .. ei iubesc si au venit in forma asta pe acest pamant drag sa ne invete pe noi ca iubirea depaseste toate zidurile create de preconcept , educatie si egoismul uman .. eu am avut norocul sa dorm in strada , am avut norocul sa fiu aruncat in tara straina fara casa, fara nimic, fara sa cunosc limba , fara nimeni . si totusi Iubrea revasata din Cer .. are grija de tot ce este viu ! Namaste !

    • annetbell says:

      I am so sorry not to be able to read this. I didn’t see a translate option……Namaste. . . .Anne

      • liviuchrisavram says:

        are people who are born in the street living in the streets and die in the street .. and yet are much richer and happier than ever that a home occupation or fame .. why .. ? is simple .. they love it and they come in the form on this earth to teach us love that love surpasses all the walls created by preconception, education and human selfishness .. I was lucky enough to sleep in the street, I was fortunate to be cast in the foreign country with no home, no nothing, to speak without one. REVAS Iubrea yet in Heaven .. takes care of all that lives! Namaste! 😉

      • annetbell says:

        I think you are right. We marveled at these people who had so little in material goods, taking such joy in the simple things of life..flying kits, smiling, waving , laughing..feeding the feral animals. India was a life changing experience for us. Were you in India or somewhere else living on the streets? Namaste. . . .Anne

      • liviuchrisavram says:

        I learned to live in the heart Namaste 🙂

      • annetbell says:

        And a good place that is to be! Namaste. . . .Anne

  4. yiyime says:

    Thank you for sharing this interesting , compelling , motivational and inspiring post . Love the photographs and indeed make a point which I deeply believe in …that determination , dedication and hard work can overcome the greatest of barriers in one’s life.

  5. Kongo says:

    love the photos of the street people

    • annetbell says:

      Indian people love to have their picture taken and are quick with a ear to ear grin. Wonderful, peaceful, joyful people with so little material wealth! Namaste. . . . Anne

  6. maverickbird says:

    Anne You might also be interested in reading a book about Dharavi slum in Mumbai, I guess its called poor little rich slum.It gives a dizzying peek into the staggering micro economy called slum entrepreneurs.Needles to say,if you have not yet visited it, it will be a life changing read.

    • annetbell says:

      I have read Katherine Boo’s BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS, about that slum but haven’t heard of Poor LIttle Slum. Thanks for the tip and the comment. Keep reading
      namaste. . . .Anne

  7. Nita says:

    My stockpicturesforeveryone photo blog is there for bloggers like you but in return I need an acknowledgment if any picture is used. You need to provide a link to the blog or the page from where you took the image (not the image itself) and you also need to give the credit to either Nita Jatar Kulkarni or http://www.stockpicturesforeveryone.com/
    The original picture is here:
    You can either do that either at the bottom of the image or at the bottom of the post – a link as well as a credit line.
    If you do not wish to follow the procedure, I understand, but then you need to remove the picture
    (https://talesalongtheway.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/strtailor.jpg?w=650) of the woman in a green sari who is speaking with the street tailor.

  8. Nita says:

    Yes, thank you. Appreciate you prompt response.

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