Among the children mastering their kites, and those savouring the variety of foods on offer in the Beach Utsav on Panambur beach, a group of children in untidy clothes made their way among the onlookers holding clumps of rolled up papers in their hands.
Selling groundnut for Rs. 5, these young entrepreneurs from the shacks of Korikatte close to the beach, hit upon an idea to make an extra buck at the last utsav itself. “We borrow some money from our parents, buy groundnuts, roast them with salt and sell them here. Around 15 children from our area do this,” said Srikant, a Class 4 student at Government School, Baikampady. Accompanying him are Ashok, also 12 years of age, and Akash (9), both children of drivers.
“On Friday, we sell half a kg of groundnut, on Saturday, one kg, and on Sunday two kgs. We spend around Rs. 150 on the nuts, and get back Rs. 300,” said Ashok, adding that the capital was borrowed from their parents. “When we first told our parents about this, they were reluctant to lend us that much money. However, when we came back with the returns, they were more encouraging,” he said.
What do they spend the earned money on? With the children fascinated by the variety of kites flying about, some even asking how much a small kite would cost, it would seem like the most obvious desire. No, they refuted in unison.
The money, said the children, goes back to their parents, who spend it during the annual temple fair or contribute in their names to a local social organisation.