17-yr-old boy sells 'Unniyappam' on road to feed his family 

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Kochi: For Vaisakh, 'Unniyappam' is a source of income to feed his family of five including his mother and four younger sisters. Battling the scorching heat during noon, the 17-year-old boy wanders on the streets here to sell 'Unniyappam'. He continues his walk in search of customers till evening. He was forced to take up this job at a tender age after his father abandoned the family. Vaisakh, a native of Chengamand, decided to shoulder the responsibility after quitting studies in class 10.

Assisting Vaisakh, his mother Bindu wakes up at 5 am daily to make Unniyappam for the sale. After packing the snacks, Vaisakh sets off by morning itself. He used to take 30 packets every day. Vaisakh revealed that he return home only after selling all packets.

"I get a maximum profit of Rs 20 per packet. If 30 packets get sold, I can easily earn Rs 600 daily. We make both ends meet through this income," said Vaisakh.

He finds money to pay his house rent and meet the educational expenditure of his sisters through the income from the Unniyappam sale. His sisters Haritha, Kalyani, Krishnapriya and Mithra are studying in Class 8, 5, 2 and 1 respectively.

"Eldho, a friend whom I met during the sale, gives lunch daily. I never drink a glass of water spending a rupee from the Unniyappam sale. If I spend it, there will be shortage of money which is needed to look after my sisters," added Vaisakh as a responsible brother.

Vaisakh's mother expressed grief on being evicted from their old house where they were staying on rent.

"I reached this new rented house along with my children with the help of Mekkad church vicar. Don't I need a shelter to sleep peacefully with my four girl children?," asked Bindhu.

Amidst the struggle of living with the small income from the Unniyappam sale, Vaisakh is dreaming of constructing a small house for his mother and sisters.

"I want to build a small house and a shop. Then.... I wish to continue my studies and become a policeman," he disclosed his dreams.

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