We have all heard of the Bollywood hero Salman Khan. However, there is another Salman living in Mumbai who is a real life hero, Salman Iqbal Sayyed. Born on 3rd December 1992 near Haji Ali signal, Salman was exposed to the ways of the world at a very young age.
Salman dropped out of school in the second standard to help his parents support their living. He did various little jobs available at hand to earn money. ‘Then I upgraded to selling books at the signal’, he says. Salman was passionate about learning and would often try to educate himself from the books he sold. His Father taught him alphabets and Salman took help of his regular customers to read and understand English. Salman and his friends competed over who could count more numbers. ‘So there was no education, but there was still education’, he remarks. Salman had no complaints to make, he was a young ebullient boy who went on exploring everyday life.
Little did he know that there was more in life awaiting him. One day, while he continued his mundane activities he encountered Caroline Didi, his angel. She persuaded him to study further. Salman was initially skeptical but eventually came around. ‘I studied and gave my 10th standard board exam. It was the first exam of my life. I thought I would pass, but me pure style me fail hogaya,’ he giggles. Radical introspection and the possibilities of an alluring future lead him to think, ‘Jaha zindagi ke itne saal beetien hai, waha char mahine aur daalne me kya kharabi hai.’ He was buoyant indeed and that is exactly what helped him pass his 10th standard. There was no looking back now. He came out with flying colors while he studied at his Junior College. He aimed towards applying in KC College, scored 81% in 12th standard and got through in the first merit list. He is an avid Arts student and wishes to major in Sociology. Salman works at Mumbai Magic, a tour company, to be an independent student. Salman got an opportunity to attend an event in New York a couple of years ago. Recently, he got selected in a State Exchange Program to study in an Undergraduate 10 months course in Texas, United States.
Salman is a benevolent altruistic person and it reflects in his aspirations for future. He wishes to come back from the US, study further and establish his own tour company that would employ and help students like him. ‘I don’t want people to give me sympathy. I’m not that kind of a person’, he says, expressing his wish to outgrow his past and averses talking about it. Equipped with a lattice of clear ideas, he is all set to plunge into the future. He is a true believer of the idea that circumstances do not define your destiny, it’s in your hands.
He looked at every hurdle in life not as an obstacle but as a potential opportunity. Salman Sayyed is a true philanthropic hero. His story and attitude towards life are equally inspiring.