In front of Yashoda Hospital, Kaushambi, stands a food van which is quite popular among the office goers of the area. The owner of the van is Lucky Durga, 58, who serves delicious homemade food at affordable prices. Durga has been running this van for four years & always carries an infectious smile on his face, however, his life is not devoid of challenges.
He says, "There was a time when I owned a factory of plastic and cycle parts for children’s cycle but everything was over after I lost my wife, Anu Durga in 2007. Things went downhill after that, in my personal and professional life." After the demise of his wife, Durga got married again. He is a father of two daughters and a son. Both his daughters are now married, his 16 years old son suffers from a disease because of which, both of his kidneys do not work. He says, "My son is on regular medications and is being treated in AIIMS Delhi. My own medical condition is not too well. I too had a bypass surgery in 2014. My lowest heart beat rate is 20 and the doctors have told me that if at any moment of my heartbeat drops by even 1 from its lowest rate, I will cost me my life. But still, I wake up everyday to put up this stall to keep things going."
After Durga had his surgery, he lost all of his savings and there was no means of earning as he lost his factory too. That is when he decided to open this van with the help of his friend four years ago. Now, Durga serves a variety of homemade food like dal, rajma roti and rice. There are many offices near the hospital, and people who work there often come to his van to have lunch. They share a very special and friendly bond with Durga and love his food. “I work at LIC bank. One day, I came here for lunch and loved the food. We also talked to Durga and got to know about his problems. We decided to help him. Now, my colleagues and I come here every day”, says Hemant Sharma, 35, an employee at LIC bank, Kaushami.
Vinod Mahour, 40, who works in Yashoda Hospital, Kaushambi, Ghaziabad says, “I like the food, it's like having homemade food without burning a hole in your pocket. I come here twice a day because that's how much I like uncle’s food”.
Durga is a man full of life, and even after going through so much turmoil in his life, he didn't lose hope. He is an inspiration for those who can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the story of Lucky Durga whose life challenged him in every way possible but he still chose to fight against all odds.