This Article is From Sep 29, 2015

A Facebook Post Changed His Life, Now Teen Can Go to School

13-year-old Harendra Singh became an instant hit on social media

Noida: The sight of a boy hunched over his schoolwork, a weighing scale next to him, outside a metro station in Noida struck one passer-by as unusual, enough that he stopped to take a picture that he would soon upload on Facebook.

13-year-old Harendra Singh became an instant hit on social media.

For days he had sat unnoticed on a pavement, using the streetlamp to do his homework while waiting for customers who would check their weight and throw him a few coins.

When someone did spot him, it turned his world around.

After his photo went viral, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced five lakh rupees for the teen and said his education would be funded by the state.

Harendra, a class 9 student of Sri Krishna Inter College, never imagined that a chat with a stranger would lead to this.

"My father lost his job in June and has not been well. For the last one-and-a-half months I've been coming here at 7 pm every day to earn some money so that I could buy stationery," he said. He made about 70 rupees - sometimes less - before going back home, which is a single seven-feet-by-seven-feet room for five people.

When Noida resident Vikas Sharda came out of the metro station and stopped to speak to the boy sprawled over a pile of copies, he was so moved that he shared his photo with a post: "I want you people who travel from Noida metro after 7 pm to use his services and somehow help him get back to studies. And PLEASE don't make him feel like a beggar."

Harendra does not know the impact he had on social media. "I am happy now that I can study ahead," he says, and that is all he really cares about. His next goal is to join the army.