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I was once a hawker: Mamata
January 27, 2004 21:11 IST
Union minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday revealed a little known facet of her life -- that she had been compelled to become a hawker in her school days in Kolkata to support her family.
"No honest labour can be belittling. I take pride in having been a hawker and believing firmly in the dignity of labour. I had to sell goods to support my family in my school days," she said.
She was speaking at the launch of a central government social security scheme in West Bengal for workers in the unorganised sector including taxi drivers, vendors and rickshaw pullers and hawkers.
Pointing to herself as an example, the minister for coal and mines said instead of sitting around waiting for a job, youths should take up some work, however small, so as not to be dependent on others.
Banerjee has in the past stalled drives against hawkers by her party controlled Kolkata Corporation Mayor Subrata Mukherjee to evict hawkers from the streets of Kolkata.
"I will forever be with the hawkers. I have a soft corner for them. They cannot be evicted without proper rehabilitation," she said.
The 48-year-old Banerjee, is the daughter of a freedom fighter and Congressman Promilerswar Banerjee, who passed away when she was in school.