Be vocal to local

Bramma Vidhya V.  

Back then, before the lockdown, it wasn’t uncommon for me to buy the household needs and groceries at the supermarket. Indeed, it was quite common in anybody’s life.

I preferred them, as they made my work very simple either by giving me easy accessibility to all my needs under one roof or by providing me a door delivery at times of my busy schedule.

Meanwhile, I was slowly forgetting the street hawkers and vendors. There could be many reasons to blame for not going to the street vendors and local markets.

Firstly, only if I wake up early in the morning, I would be able to get fresh vegetables. The supermarkets are air conditioned, so, I didn’t worry about the freshness.

Secondly, stopping my vehicle near a vendor sitting on the roadside seemed to create roadblocks at times.

Then there were timeswhen I went to the vendors and returned without purchasing because but I had no change or cash. On the other hand, in the supermarkets, all I needed was just my debit card and nothing more.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic which had the entire nation locked down including the supermarkets.

Yet, amidst the crisis those vendors were still serving the people with new measures like maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. For the initial few days of the lockdown, I managed without vegetables.

One fine morning, I woke up to a street hawker who was screaming at her loudest. I simply went to look out and she called me out to buy some vegetables.

I had purchased one kilogram of vegetables and while weighing them I saw it was more than that. Yet, she gave me the bag adding a few more vegetables.

In the supermarkets, they will charge extra if the weighing scale goes up even by just a few grams. She also had a few raw mangoes in her basket and that generous soul gave me one just as a compliment. It was very kind of her although I knew she must have done it to woo.

After purchasing, she asked me to help her lift the basket and place it on her head. Alas! It was so heavy, I staggered. I expected her to stumble owing to the load, but to my dismay, she walked casually. While walking back home, I realised the plight of such hawkers and roadside vendors.

They sit under the scorching sun the whole day or push their carts uphill and they hardly earn some profit. Passers-by rarely stop to purchase from them. It is the roadside vendors’ destiny or luck to sell most of their goods within dawn and dusk. Since the lockdown, I prefer going to the local markets to purchase my needs. They always receive their customers with warm hearts.

At times when I turn them down refusing some vegetables I don’t know to cook; they would give me some easy recipes. I wanted to promote the local markets and encouraged my fellow apartment dwellers to purchase from them.

The vendors treat their regular customers like bosses whereas a person at the billing counter in a supermarket would look at me without any expression or recognition.

I have become vocal for local. Even if the supermarkets reopen after the lockdown, I would rather go to the local markets. Nowadays, I wake up early in the morning just to purchase from my friends who are pulling their wheeled carts towards my house.

(The author is a student from Chennai)

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 4:02:14 AM |

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