New Delhi: Even as the country celebrates 65th Independence Day in gusto and patriotic fervour on Wednesday, there are many on capital's streets who see the day as yet another struggle to manage a day's living.

An interaction with street vendors in the city tells how the I-day celebrations bring a day of brisk business for them who barely manage to earn profit on other days.

Thirty-five year old Satyender has seen the I-day celebrations changing colour through the last 15 years. He sells car accessories and knick-knacks on other days, but when August 15 is round the corner- it has to be tricolour, he says.

"For me, it is nothing, but a chance to sell more. Around Independence Day, the sale of flags, wrist bands and other innovative products are in demand," Satyender said.

"I know what the day stands for, though," he added. He usually earns Rs.150 a day, but around August 15, the sale brings atleast Rs.100 more. Among the range of products sold on Delhi streets, one gets to see items like umbrella-cum-flag, wrist bands, small tricolours, tricolour kites and car stands.

Street children have also joined the bandwagon to earn a little on the day of patriotism. Nine-year old Deepak from Bhilwara, Rajasthan has sold 40 tricolour wrist-bands so far, but does not know why the demand goes up around August 15. All he knows is that "people fly kites" on the day. "I think people fly kites on this day," Deepak said after much contemplation.

At the busy Bhikaji Cama traffic intersection in south Delhi, 12-year old Suraj Kumar recalls his days of being at the other end of celebrations. He has been selling car-accessories on Delhi streets for the last three years.

"I miss my schooldays...On August 15 there used to be flag hoisting in school and we used to get biscuit and candies," Kumar, from Bihar said. It was after his mother's death that he dropped out of school and joined his father.

"My mother died and father was alone. To raise a family of five for him was impossible, so I left school to assist him," Kumar added.

However, there are people who see the day as their time to be with the family or see friends at a plush mall or head to the theatre. "Well, it's a public holiday. I would prefer staying at home and catching a good sleep," admits 26-year old Shashank Arora, a banker.


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