Migratory roadside vendors in Hyderabad hopeful of decent Diwali earnings
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Aarti Kashyap
HYDERABAD: The festival of lights has drawn many small vendors from across the country to the city, in the hope of making money by selling decorative items, curios and idols.
The vendors have placed their wares on footpaths at many places in Bandlaguda Jagir. The products include fibre diyas, wall-hangings, showpieces and idols.
These migrant vendors are mostly from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Some are full-time in the small scale business, while others are seasonal farm laborers.
Arun Chaudhari from Jalore in Rajasthan has been coming to the city for a week for six Diwalis. He said "It takes almost three days to reach here. This year I am hoping for a profit unlike the last two years. Sales have not been so good so far.."
Another footpath vendor, Sachin Dhandariya from Malegaon in Maharashtra, has brought along his wife Neetu and two kids.
Dhandariya said, "We sell handmade decorative items during the Diwali week, where we make some profit. Sales have not been satisfactory but I am hopeful of some earnings in the next couple of days."
Sagar bhai from Surendranagar in Gujarat is a full-time vendor who traverses the county with his decorative items. "Before Hyderabad, I was at the Puri Jagannath yatra. From here I will proceed to Goa for Christmas. The products fetch me around 20-30 per cent profit but it all depends on the season and the customers," Sagar said.
A family from Pali in Rajasthan, headed by a woman, was finding it extremely difficult to earn enough money to repay her debt.
Shanti Devi, the head of the family, said:
Shanti Devi selling idols near Manchirevula
"We are forced to come to the city so that we can survive. We work as farm labourers but rainfall has been poor in Rajasthan for four years and the wheat harvest was very low. We were compelled to find other ways to earn our living."
She said she had borrowed Rs. 60, 000 from her relatives and was hopeful of repaying it after Diwali. "I have only earned Rs. 2,000 in the last two days. After the festival, I will be selling idols but hopefully I can save some money before heading home."