Shoemaker of Movie Stars

Discussion in 'Real Life Stories' started by garry420, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member


    “I ran away from my home in Bihar when I was 10 years old because there was no ‘spare’ money for me to buy a pen for school. After working in Delhi at a Leather workshop for a few months, I reached Bombay and moved into Dharavi where I shared a room with a few village boys and worked at a leather factory. I was always entrepreneurial, so on weekends I would make mobile covers and sell them at VT station. I painfully saved Rs. 25,000, but like so many in Bombay I got conned of the money and chased the culprit to Bangalore – all in vain. I started doing odd jobs in Bangalore and over time made a friend, Jacob. He took me to Salsa class one day and that decision changed my life – I fell in love with dance.

    When I finally returned to Bombay, I continued working at the labor factory, but began attending Sandip sir’s dance classes (after he agreed to let me pay the fees in installments.) One day, Sandip Sir asked me if I could make ‘dancing shoes’ for him – which back in 2000 were only available abroad. I said, ‘yes, let me try’ and that’s when this dream turned into reality for me. Obviously the first few pairs were disastrous, but I saw a market for it and what’s more...I realized that I had a great advantage. I had easy access to all the raw materials needed, because they were all available in Dharavi itself. I quit my job in 2005 and started making professional dancing shoes full time. By 2007, I bought this small space in Dharavi, which is my workshop and started supplying my shoes all over…infact my shoes have been worn by all of Bollywood including Priyanka Chopra and Hrithik Roshan.

    Today, I make enough money to support my brothers who are in school and it’s my dream to see them fully educated. As for me, I can’t help but smile. Who knew a ‘run away’ boy from Bihar could start making shoes for movie actors? And I owe it all to Dharavi…for those who aren’t born with a golden spoon, it’s the only place that allows people like us to have a dream.”

    via Humans of Bombay

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