28 January 2014
Last updated at 16:35 ET
Sheikh Alamgir, 13, lived at the Sealdah railway station in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta for six years. He was among the nearly 500 children between the ages of five and 16 who have made the city's second-largest railway station their home. Photographer Arindam Mukherjee spent a month with Alamgir to document his life.
Alamgir ran away from home when he was seven to escape poverty and domestic violence. He said his father was an alcoholic who would regularly beat up his mother.
Alamgir is good at being invisible. The station which registers an average footfall of 1.4 million every day helps him lose himself in the crowd and provides him the anonymity of big-city life.
Alamgir says his father never earned enough to feed him and his six siblings. The non-governmental organisation Mukti sometimes gives free lunches to children living on the station. Here, Alamgir eats a meal of lentils and rice provided by the charity.
Most of the children living at the station, including Alamgir, are drug addicts. He says he doesn't feel hungry if he takes drugs.
Most of the children make a living by begging or selling knick-knacks at the station.
Some have also become rag-pickers. They rummage through rubbish for materials that can be recycled.
Some of the children also indulge in petty crimes like stealing. Here, Alamgir fights with an older boy, accusing him of stealing his money while he was sleeping.
He is no match for the older boy and is soon beaten. Here, he cries at his loss.
Mr Mukherjee says the last time he met Alamgir, he bought him an ice-cream. "He ate it and then wandered off with a friend. I never saw him again. I went back a few times to the station to look for him and asked about him from the other boys, but couldn't find him. He had vanished. Just like that," he says.