While driving to work, out of blue I noticed this street vendor and his brothers selling Indian flags. I was tempted to go and talk to them.
These people reside in Chotila and commute everyday by bus or cheaper taxi/press cars. They have seasonal work. They sell mosquito nets, doormat, toys, flags and other seasonal items. Yes, of course Indian flags are a seasonal item to sell. And most of us suddenly become patriotic on our Independence day and Republic day. We display flags as our WhatsApp and Facebook profile pictures, on our vehicles, showroom windows etc and on the next day, we throw them away.
What his family does is that they go on roads of Rajkot and collect flags we throw out and try to recycle them. Besides that, since the time they understood that the plastic is harmful and it is banned, they started collecting newspapers and magazines, recycle them and make flags.
To my shock, they all are illiterate but they know the difference between 15th August and 26th January. I am sure many of us won’t know the difference.
Most of the items they sell are made up of recycled materials. They don’t understand much but they know how harmful plastic is for our environment.
He requested me to buy some flags and also told me that if I don’t need them after 16th, they would come and collect it from me.
I salute them for their spirit, patriotism and their knowledge about environment in spite of being illiterate.