The barter system was introduced centuries ago to facilitate trade between two individuals with their respective needs.
Though it had stopped after the advent of currency, one can still get to see glimpses of similar transactions.
The area near Monda Market Police Station in Secunderabad is one such place where used clothes are exchanged for household utensils. And they find their way to the twenty odd shops located on the pavements that serve as a second hand clothes market for poor people.
The clothes are sold here thanks to the network of numerous women who visit colonies in the city carrying big baskets filled with cooking utensils and exchange them for used clothes.
“The utensil is exchanged depending on the quality and quantity of the material. Children's clothes are less in demand so these are rarely exchanged. Woollen clothes, silk sarees have a good demand. We bargain for them in exchange for utensils,” says Yadamma, who regularly sells clothes to these shops. Clothes which are collected are brought in hordes by the women and are sold off at the shops for a cheap price and later on, these are arranged at the road side shops for sale.
Many people from the lower strata of the society visit the place to buy some used clothes that are available here.
The price of a shirt ranges between Rs. 10 and Rs. 15 and a salwar kameez costs Rs. 30 for a pair.
“Most of these are bought by rag-pickers, rickshaw pullers, housemaids and waiters.
The reason is that good clothes get spoiled while attending work, so the people prefer to wear these clothes,” says Ramulu, who has been in this trade for quite sometime now.
“At times, one can get clothes in good condition and so whenever I pass by this place, I stop over to view the stock,” says Tirupathi, a labourer at Monda market.
ASIF YAR KHAN
Run-down clothes are sold for cheap near Monda Market Police Station after being collected from households across the city