Amin ran away from home when he was just five. Today he owns a car rental company, has written a book, and wants to change the lives of street kids. Amin Sheikh shared his journey of life with Harita Mehta, exclusive on SBS Hindi.
Amin Sheikh has penned down his story in a book called Bombay/Mumbai Life is Life: I am Because of You, which he self-published.The book, he says, has been translated into seven languages, including Italian and Catalan, by people around the world who eventually became his friends. He says he has sold over 10,000 copies of the book and even has an e-book available for the readers.
Now a self-made entrepreneur, Amin has not forgotten his tough childhood on the streets. Since he wants to effect a change in the lives of other street children now, Amin is presently giving shape to a project called Bombay to Barcelona, which focuses on meeting the basic needs of street kids.
Why Barcelona? Because that was the first city abroad I visited with my employer. I have a special connection with it and I have made some wonderful friends there, he says. Ever since, he has been saving up his money and going on a trip once a year to Barcelona to visit his friends and interact with his volunteers there. This time, I also took three of my (street) kids there. They were so excited, he recalls.
But taking responsibility of the street kids was not easy, especially when he himself was struggling to make ends meet. This is when he came up with the idea of setting up a café which would not only help him earn some money to support his cause but would also double up as accommodation for the children.
Amin is now all geared up to start his dream café in Mumbai, called Bombay to Barcelona Library Café, for street children.
The profits, he says, will be used to help the young children get an education and also give them employment after they turn 18.
All the funds he raised from the sale of his book are being used to give shape to his ambitious project, he says.
Currently taking care of eight kids four girls and four boys Amin wants to provide them with a safe living environment and a good education. These children will stay in the cafe, those who are eligible to work will join him, and the rest will simultaneously complete their education.
Amin has ambitious plans for his café. He would, for instance, like it to be a platform for young artists to showcase their art and/or conduct performances too.
There will also be a special board at the coffee shop with contact details of street children turned professionals carpenters and electricians, for instance, so his customers could give them employment opportunities.
Amin is now raising funds to give shape to his cafe. He is open to the idea of having a partnership. Amin also wants to start an NGO and all the profits that he will earn from his cafe will go to that NGO which will further support street kids to pursue their education.
Online Source: SBS Hindi.