Following heavy rains, the motorists garner all the sympathies. A word of kindness is also reserved for pedestrians. Nobody bothers about hawkers. But these are the worst-hit: they are put to severe hardships.
The recent spells of rain have kept Sakunthala, a fruit vendor from Tambaram, on her toes. She carries the fruits to a safer place and brings them back to the market.
“The rain during June and July is unexpected one. I use tarpaulin sheets to protect my stock. But if the rain persists, a major portion of the stock rots. This has a tremendous impact; I borrow money for interest and I have to repay my lenders, whether I sell my fruits or not,” she says.
Sathya, a flower vendor for more than 25 years, says that he and his wife Sakunthala pay a ‘tharai vaadagai’ (rent for shop) and sell flowers. They have to clear the stock every day to make a profit.
During the rains, it is next to impossible for them to sell everything.
Even without the rains, these hawkers have a tough time. V. Srinivasan, a resident of West Tambaram, says: “Whenever pedestrian issues crop up, hawkers are blamed. Relocating street vendors into a mall may not work.
The idea of street vending is easy accessibility to buyers and reasonable pricing.”
He points out that traders who were being shifted to Irumbuliyur a few years ago, during the construction of the flyover, are now back in the West Tambaram market.. They transport their stock by two-wheelers or three-wheelers.