Allan Moses R.

Bangalore: As dusk falls on the busy market roads, customers are welcomed by the rows of CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) that light up the numerous makeshift shops, stalls and pushcarts.

“I have been doing well with help from Ramesh. I have become so dependent on his services that I cannot manage without him, even for a day,” said S. Sivaraman, a roadside food vendor at the Chennakesavaranagar market, off Hosur Road.

He is one of the many hawkers who are benefited by D. Ramesh, an entrepreneur who distributes CFLs with rechargeable batteries at a nominal rate.

Things were different four years ago, when the hawkers had to battle for a spot under the street lights or rely on the expensive kerosene lamps.

“Earlier, due to the poor lighting, many people would cheat me by slipping away without paying for the food. Now, there is no chance for that, all thanks to these bright lights,” added Mr. Sivaraman.

Mr. Ramesh rents battery-operated CFLs to these vendors at Rs. 20 a light every evening. He collects the batteries later in the night and charges them for use the next evening. Lighting up the lives of about 80 vendors such as Mr. Sivaraman, he has been doing this for the past four years.

Hassle-free

Dhanasegar, a flower vendor at the Chennakesavaranagar market, said: “I used to spend a lot of money on a kerosene lamp. Often when kerosene was scarce, I had to go without lights. The lantern’s heat also withered the flowers. Now, these lights are hassle-free and bring me good business.”

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