#GiftACart & Help 5 Street Vendors Fight the Effects of COVID-19 | Milaap
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#GiftACart & Help 5 Street Vendors Fight the Effects of COVID-19

Roadside vegetable, fruit, and food sellers are a common sight across the country. At the same time, they are also often overlooked in our fast-paced lives. From the number of hours they work to earn meagre incomes to the hurdles they face when arranging for necessities like their carts — the struggles of street vendors are unimaginable for many. More so with all the challenges they faced in 2020.

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.

This year, many such street vendors are trying to build a livelihood while earning just Rs 300-400 a day, at a time when COVID-19 has further worsened their chances of recuperating from losses.

But Visaka Industries, with the help of The Better India and you, our readers, can give a few of these vendors a new hope. 
With our campaign #GiftACart, The Better India is working towards donating Visaka’s solar e-carts called ATUM to vendors in Hyderabad.

Visaka Industries was founded by Dr G Vivekanand in 1983 and was taken over by his son, G Vamsi Krishna in 2017. In the past ten years, the company has taken a special interest in sustainability, and have accordingly, shifted the focus in developing building materials which are recycled or are environmentally friendly.

They have developed an all-new solar e-cart called ATUM. These vending carts 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.  

The solar e-carts from Visaka Industries are ready for use, but 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. Visaka Industries donated five carts in December 2020, and The Better India is helping them donate five more. 

Meet the Vendors:

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. 


“I have been selling fruits for the past 25 years, but haven’t had money to repair my dilapidated house that leaks during heavy rains, nor to afford a better cart. The broken wheel has made it impossible to go to other localities and sell fruits,” Khaja says.

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.

Katike Abdul’s cart is in a similar condition. He uses it to sell corn, banana, and other seasonal items. “My cart is stationary as all the wheels are broken. There is no shed, making it impossible to do business during the monsoons,” Abdul says.

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!

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12th January 2021
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your love and wonderful support so far.

To help raise the amount faster, Milaap is offering a 5% matching on all the payments (till the funds last). This means ongoing forward, for every 1000 INR, Milaap will contribute an additional 50 INR to the campaign thereby creating 1.05X the impact.

Please come forward to support the cause. You can help via the following methods:

1. Clicking on the donate now button:
https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-5-vendors

Please support and share the campaign with your contacts and networks.

Regards,
Team Milaap.
Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your love and wonderful support so far.

To help raise the amount faster, Milaap is offering a 5% matching on all the payments (till the funds last). This means ongoing forward, for every 1000 INR, Milaap will contribute an additional 50 INR to the campaign thereby creating 1.05X the impact.

Please come forward to support the cause. You can help via the following methods:

1. Clicking on the donate now button:
https://milaap.org/fundraisers/support-5-vendors

Please support and share the campaign with your contacts and networks.

Regards,
Team Milaap.
Rs.176,113 raised

Goal: Rs.200,000

8 Days to go

1.05x IMPACT 5% of your contribution will be matched to raise necessary funds for your campaign

Beneficiary: 5 vendors info_outline
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