Saturday, July 06, 2019

194. On fruit-sellers

This is the peak season for fruits in Delhi. Markets are full of mangoes, litchies, water melons, musk melons and so on.It is also the peak summer with the city burning at 45 degrees celcius.

Often, we see vendors sitting on the roadside with large piles of watermelons or mangoes. Sometimes, we see them pushing their cartloads in the burning sun, looking for customers.Our attention is always focussed on fruits.We haggle with them and buy a kilo or two. We have a sense of achievement in having brought down the price a bit.

Do we ever think of how difficult a life they are forced to live.They don't have the luxury of air-conditioner, water cooler or fan.They keep sweating and working in the heat. What choice do they have?

Back home, their families keep waiting for them. When they return home, their wives,children and aged parents eagerly wait for them to divulge how much they could earn during the day. This matters a lot to the family.

The cycle continues. They keep facing hot weather, rain, fog or terrible cold throughout the year. They take risks and play with their health for survival.

Can we spare a thought for them? Can we at least stop taking advantage of their helplessness and not try to extract a rupee or two through haggling? For us, this is a paltry sum, but for them, this may make a lot of difference.

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