Bengaluru: Vegetable vendors form the backbone of the supply chain and can be found hawking their wares on carts, street corners and Sunday markets. With the ongoing cash crunch following the demonetisation on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, there has been a sharp dip in sales and these vendors are finding it difficult to make both ends meet.
According to Kanakraj who sells vegetables in Nandanam colony, Horamavu, life has become very difficult. “People are now buying lesser amount of vegetables,” he rues. “Till recently they were offering `500 notes, which I could not accept as I did not have enough change.”
He says the lack of business had affected his livelihood. “It is very difficult to buy rice or even wheat for that matter as me and my wife are hardly able to sell anything.”
Luckily he says small transactions are still taking place. “People still buy small things such as lemons, carrots and sometimes cabbage from me. Hence we are still alive,” he said. Kanakraj rues that change is the biggest problem, “What can I do if people buy vegetables worth Rs 120 and give me Rs 500. How am I supposed to conjure up change,” he says wistfully.
Kanakraj is not alone. Ratnamala sells her wares during the Sunday ‘Santhe’ at the Madiwala market near Adugodi police station. “Business is affected she says cautiously after being assured that nothing untoward would happen to her.
“People until November 12 were offering me Rs 500 notes which I had heard was not accepted anymore. I had to turn them away,” she rued. Shanth Kumar who also hawks vegetables in Madiwala market told DC that times were very tough. “With the old notes going out of circulation, we are left helpless,” he lamented.
As he removes a piece of cloth tied on his head, Shanth Kumar has tears in his eyes. “How will I feed my family if this keeps going on? Luckily people seem to have `100 notes. I was able to go to the APMC yard in the morning to pick up vegetables.”
Demonetisation has hurt everyone. But it is the poorest of the poor who are suffering the most. With most having no bank accounts or post office accounts and dealing in minimal currency exchange, vegetable vendors are one of the most affected as they belong to the lowest strata of society....