Just one close inspection of their carts could make things clear. You might notice a broken wheel or a makeshift piece in the corner to keep the vehicle standing. Many a time, the damage is beyond repair, and they are left immobile. But helpless vendors continue to use the carts, unable to move them around to expand their areas of operation. This is because they can’t afford new carts and because renting one involves daily payments, no matter how derelict the vehicle is.
With your help, The Better India can give a few of these vendors a new hope.
These carts developed by Visaka industries are eco-friendly and have a solar roof to generate electricity for the cart’s functioning. Highly cost-effective and long lasting, these carts require no maintenance and are rough weather resilient.
Each vehicle’s cost is Rs 40,000, and The Better India is crowdfunding Rs. 2 Lakh to help five such vendors who are in urgent need of carts.
“The e-cart is loaded to operate an in-built lamp powered by solar energy and a charging point to use for different requirements,” says Sunil Thatiparthy, senior manager, branding at the company.
The 320W power generated from the solar roof can allow vendors to extend their business hours. “Besides supporting additional business, owning the e-carts will also help them save money spent on daily rents,” he adds.
Mohammed Khaja Pasha from Secunderabad, Telangana, has a seasonal fruit stall on Paradise road. Khaja earns Rs 400 a day using a broken cart. With no lamp on it, it becomes difficult to continue business in the evenings. He tells us his operated knee makes it painful to stand along the road, waiting for the customers.
Khaja even asked his eldest son to drop out of college to save money. “If I get a new cart, I will be able to move and do more business,” he adds.
Abdul adds that he is surviving hand-to-mouth while also taking care of his two sisters, mother and an 18-year old son.
Yunus Syed is a banana seller at Heritage supermarket in Secunderabad and he does not have a proper cart. He even borrows electricity and pays the nearby shop for using the supply.
Yunus says that if he gets a new cart, he can become independent. “I earn Rs 300 a day. If I can save some money and do better business, I will be able to pay timely fees for my children’s education,” he adds.
Diwan Vali, a chicken seller in Vadapalli village, Andhra Pradesh, struggles to earn even Rs 5,000 a month after losing his cart due to financial constraints. “I used the pushcart vehicle to sell chicken and earn money. Now I am limited to a rented corner shop,” he says.
Diwan says that with the solar e-cart, he will cover many localities in the area and resume his steady income. “I am unable to pay school fees for my children. I also want to earn enough, save, and use the money to run a tiffin centre and sell chicken for better income,” he adds.
Aruna, a fruit seller, does not even have a cart. She spreads a bed sheet on the roadside to display her produce and earn Rs 200 a day.
“The access to solar e-cart will allow me to protect the fruits and store them in case of rains or rough weather. My three kids go to Amravati school in Sitaphalmandi, Hyderabad, and they will benefit the most with the better earnings,” she adds.
We urge our readers to come forward and help us support Khaja, Yunus, Abdul, Diwan and Aruna in their livelihoods. Let us make their 2021 truly a Happy New Year!