Jameel Shah is a self-made man who carved a life for himself in the city of his dreams – Mumbai. He moved from a tiny village in Bihar to pursue his dream – to see Bollywood stars in the flesh. His journey brought him to Dharavi, where he began working in the trade of shoemaking. Somewhere along the way, he stumbled upon ballroom dancing and – along with learning the dance and becoming a professional performer – he also began making dance shoes.
Today, Jameel has created a little niche for himself in the dance-shoe business and is a bit of a celebrity in his own right. How many of us can claim to have our own Wikipedia page or claim to have met Australian songstress Kylie Minogue?!
Throughout his journey, this young man did not forget where he came from. The small successes he’s seen have been shared with all back home. He’s begun an educational centre in his village (Doghra) to encourage others to reach for the stars like he did. He strongly believes in the power of education and wants to ensure others have the advantage of it as well. He himself has begun learning English to help him grow further as an individual and as an entrepreneur.
On a personal note, Jameel shares with Ketto that he refused to marry an under-aged girl and only got married after ensuring his bride was of legal age. This, he says, is something most of his fellow-villagers don’t bother about. He wants to set an example for his people and help them move forward.
We applaud this inspirational human being. May his tribe increase! Watch him as he shares his fascinating and moving journey on Tedx Talks.
NB: It’s in Hindi and is the most fascinating talk you may have heard yet!