Kozhikode

A protest, by selling tea and snack for ₹10

The makeshift shop selling tea and snacks at ₹10 set up by a group of farmers at Koodaranhi against price hike at restaurants in the area.  

No sloganeering, no strike and no fast. That is how a group of farmers at Koodaranhi, a hillside town in Kozhikode district, is holding a protest against restaurants for increasing the prices of tea and snacks all of a sudden. They opened a makeshift tea shop that sells tea and a snack for just ₹10.

‘Oru Chaayakku Oru Kadi’ (A snack for a tea) at ₹10. The movement, Janakeeya Prathishedha Chaaya Kada, is five days old, but people are thronging the shop on High School Road in the town.

‘Insulting’

“Who doesn’t like to have a sizzling cup of tea and fresh snacks served in the evening at a nominal price. The idea of protest struck us when the restaurant owners insulted us, saying ‘take it or leave, we fix the rates’. We farmers can’t tolerate such insults,” Varghese Karottayil says.

Without any notice, he says, the restaurants hiked the rates from December 1 . “Earlier, the price of a cup of tea was ₹8 and a snack such as Parippuvada, Uzhunnuvada and Neyiyyappam was priced at ₹8. Now, the price of a tea is ₹9 and snacks cost between ₹9 and ₹12. This is simply looting,” said Jose Kurungattu, another farmer.

Workers and passers-by seem to have been appealed by the unique way of protest in the town. “After our farm works, we begin vending at around 4 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. or till the tea and snacks last. Initially, we used to make tea and snacks at our homes. But now we have engaged a person,” he says.

Incidentally, the Koodaranhi grama panchayat on Monday urged the restaurants to revert to old prices. “The restaurants may have to oblige. We have told them we will not stop the protest. Restaurants and bakeries in neighbouring towns at Mukkom, Karamoola and Kodencherry sell tea and snacks at old rates. Even a tea and a snack together at a Palayam bus station in Kozhikode city cost only ₹15,” Mr. Varghese adds.

“On the first day we made tea and snacks for about 100 people. The figure touched 450 on Monday. People ask for parcels to take home. So, we decided to offer three snacks at 20. Of course, this is not a profit-making venture,” Mr. Jose says.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 10:52:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/a-protest-by-selling-tea-and-snack-for-10/article21871207.ece

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