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Shoeshine boys to polish their own future

Shoeshine boys to polish their own future | The Polishwala | Scoop.it

Nov 7 2012 - The Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) has launched a preparatory course to educate the shoeshine boys of the city. The course will include some English and some mathematics among other subjects. It has been designed in a manner to enable them to study for a college degree after they complete the course.

Shyamsunder Ram (45), a joota polishwala (shoeshiner) at Dadar railway station says, “Studying at this age is not going to get me a better job. I want to study so that I can broaden my perspective of the world. I want to change the way I see things around me, and what better way to start than studying different subjects.”

 

Ram Kishen Mehra (42), a shoeshiner at Andheri railway station wants to study so that his children can have a better future. He studied up to the fourth standard but had to discontinue due financial constraints. “I am uneducated but I want my kids to be educated and have a better future. I want to study so that I can understand what they are studying and also so that I know which courses to choose for them when they go to college,” he said.

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A shiny' profession?

A shiny' profession? | The Polishwala | Scoop.it

ToI - Dec 20, 2008

 

Thane: You enter the station and you see them sitting on platforms. Banging the wooden boxes that they own, they continue chanting out the familiar cry, "Polish Polish" while you run to catch a...

 

At Thane station, there are around 35 boot polish walas spread across the 10 platforms. "All of us are from the Tusia community, which hails from Bihar," says Govindram, who has been polishing shoes at Thane station since 1992. With few opportunities available in Bihar, he came to Mumbai.


Chandrabhushan, who has worked at Thane station for the past 20 years, says that all polish walas are given licenses by the railway authorities. "The railway authorities appoint a union leader, who hires us. Thane station has a total of 35 polish walas, but 12 senior members are part of the union," he informs.

Jayprakash has been working at Thane station only for the past two years. He says that it isn't the best job in the world, but it can sustain him.

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Mumbai plans to 'polish' off its shoeshine boys

Mumbai plans to 'polish' off its shoeshine boys | The Polishwala | Scoop.it

Aug 6, 2007 - CNN-IBN

Mumbai: Mumbaikars always had the option getting a shoeshine on the go. But that luxury may soon be history.

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Shoeshine: The Endangered Profession

Shoeshine: The Endangered Profession | The Polishwala | Scoop.it

May 17, 2012

 

Mowing the Law is an Indian Legal Blog run by Law Students, publishes articles on contemporary legal issues, accepts articles submitted by Lawyers, law students, legal authors, legal researchers, anyone interested in Law.

 

  They are a quite breed; the only sound you will hear them make is that of them hitting their wooden boxes. Some avail their services every week day; some just before an important interview; the others don’t even notice they are there. The profession of polishing shoes is one that has always been looked down upon. Shoe shine men do not make much but they are hard workers looking to make a decent living. They do not make as many headlines as Auto rickshaw drivers or street vendors. Their numbers may be few and substantially decrease every year, but that is only because of the low earning potential and mental attitude towards dealing with people’s feet. Those handicapped


individuals who choose to polish shoes instead of begging are indeed an inspiration. At railway stations, a large part of the shoeshine man’s salary is paid to the station, leaving only 60 to 70 Rupees after a long day’s hard work for the shoeshine man to feed his family and send his children to school.


Three major aspects must be concentrated on, for the development of shoeshine men: enactment of laws to protect their interest, changing people’s mental attitudes towards them and co-ordination among the shoeshine men themselves. There have been a few examples where shoeshine men left railway stations and started polishing shoes in shops and airports. It is good sign that at places like airports, shoe shining machines are being replaced by people. It’s time we start thinking about the people of this noble profession, without who, many of us would be unemployed (because of our going to interviews with unpolished shoes).

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Mumbai’s shoe-shine boys

Mumbai’s shoe-shine boys | The Polishwala | Scoop.it

Nov 12, 2008


In Mumbai, anything done with diligence and planning has the potential to evolve into something spectacular. One such fascinating example is the boot-polish business set up at local train stations all over the city. Busy commuters, who get their shoes polished at stations, have no idea that these uniformed men are part of a large, city-wide network.

 

The boot-polishwalas are divided into area-wise batches that are managed by various organisations. What was started by social reformer Jagjivan Ram in the 1960s as an endeavour to increase employment amongst the poor has now become a widespread and efficient system. An instance is Dhanak Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd that manages the boot-polishwalas who sit at and between Churchgate and Mahalaxmi stations.

 

The chairman, Brijlal Ram, explains, “There are ten such societies that manage the boot-polishwalas from Churchgate to Virar and five that supervise the ones from CST to Kalyan.”

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Kaalia (1981): Amitabh Bachchan bribes the shoe polishwala to get the information

Kaalia (1981): Amitabh Bachchan bribes the shoe polishwala to get the information | The Polishwala | Scoop.it
Watch Kaalia: Amitabh Bachchan bribes the shoe polishwala to get the information - Best Dialogues - Bollywood Hindi movie show clip online - VideoChaska.com - Hindi Movie Channel.
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