mid-day editorial: Help chaiwalla-turned-CA get back on his feet

By  mid-day correspondent | Mumbai | Posted  08-May-2017

On Saturday, this paper carried a front-page report about a former chaiwalla named Somnath Giram. Originally from Solapur, Giram's was a fairytale story: he started selling tea in Pune after he came to study there, after which, he passed his Chartered Accountancy (CA) exam. He was felicitated for the feat and in April 2016, the state government appointed him as Maharashtra's brand ambassador.

Giram then started visiting colleges and universities across the state under the 'Earn and Learn' scheme, giving lectures to students, and sharing his life story and experiences with them.

Yet, a car accident a couple of months later ended that dream run, paralyzing him below his waist. From that day, this young man, once the toast of the state government, is now struggling for a job and for funds for further treatment. Despite numerous pleas to the state for monetary help, there has been no response of late.

The state needs to look at the case again and perhaps, find something productive for their former brand ambassador. A well-paying teaching job could be one option. First, there is an urgent need to further the course of his treatment and the state should do the optimum it can in this regard. The next step is to make the former 'Earn and Learn' ambassador an ambassador once again, so that he can still give lectures and teach students, even if in a limited capacity. At least his requests for some kind of government job can be acceded to, or heeded.

He was once the state's ambassador for all that is good in the world. So now, to desert him in his darkest hour, seems unfair and cruel. The medical care he needs may not be too much for the state government.

The chaiwalla-turned-CA, who has inspired so many in intangible ways, needs government intervention. Do not ignore him now.