Sunil Kumar is all of 25-years-old. For the past two years, his livelihood has depended on going each morning to the Azadpur Mandi, buying seven varieties of vegetables and selling it in the city’s Mukherjee Nagar area, which fetches him approximately Rs. 2,000 per day, from which he pays his contractor Rs. 1,000 and saves the rest to buy the next day’s produce. All in all, he saves about Rs. 350 per day.
Yet, Monday’s disruption and the days to follow, threaten to upset not only his daily bread, but the livelihoods of lakhs of retailers, workers and labourers in the city whose livelihood depend on the Mandi.
Like them, about 250 odd sellers came into the city on the eve of Saraswati Puja, with the hope of selling vegetables essential for festival. That turned out to be an exercise in futility as none of the wholesalers were willing to buy the produce.
“I got nearly 200 kilograms of a variety of sweet potatoes with me, which are used at this time. But none of the wholesalers bought at the produce at Azadpur Mandi and I have incurred a loss of nearly Rs. 30,000. Once this festival is over, this produce will go waste,” said Kumar Bandhu, who comes from Bihar.
Distributors and wholesalers stated that there was nothing that they could do, until the decision was reversed.