SRINAGAR: The women vendors selling vegetables at Foreshore Road, on the banks of the Dal Lake have expressed displeasure as their economic condition is miserable due to lack of finances.
Most of these women belonging to Habak, said that they have been in this profession for the past one decade but rarely received any assistance from the government.
“The vegetables we sell are purchased from the green market and a small portion is produced by us at our homes”, said Taja, a seller.
Watching the traffic movement with a smile on their faces, the women call for the people who pass by to buy their veggies.
“You need to be tender and gentle towards your customers otherwise they won’t buy anything from you. In addition to this, whatever we sell are perishable items that need to be sold out before they decay”, she added.
Another marketer who preferred anonymity said that she was pursuing her graduation but it becomes difficult for her to manage work and studies simultaneously. “I don’t get enough time to concentrate on my studies as I have to help my ailing mother. If I don’t do that we will be left with nothing”, she said.
Khadija, another seller said that she did not allow her children to assist her in selling vegetables as all of them were educated.
“How can you permit your educated children to sell things on pavement in front of their friends? Won’t that be embarrassing for anyone”, she asks.
The income generated is very low and there is nothing left for us to save. We can not sustain our families on this inadequate earning, said Fatima, another vendor.
“My husband is suffering from severe stomach disease. Everything I earn is spent on his medicines”, she said.
The vendors asserted that the floods of 2014 had a profound effect on their livelihood as the vegetation of lotus-stem obtained from Dal Lake was destroyed completely, adding misery to their already distorted life.
“Government should come up with effective policies for people like us who are in desperate need, so that we can also lead a dignified life”, they added.