This Chennai couple delivers vegetables in an autorickshaw to those in need


A yr in the past V Deepa determined to arrange a small vegetable store in Vijaya Nagar, Velachery, to complement the earnings of her husband S Vignesh, an auto driver.

As she had monetary commitments, she would go away her one-year-old child along with her mother-in-law and spend the day on the market. “I was gradually expanding my customer base and this lockdown has left me in the lurch,” she says, including, “My husband also can’t earn anything as he cannot take his autorickshaw out. We were worried about how we will manage. That is when my husband suggested that we use his autorickshaw to sell vegetables,” says Deepa.

So on April 3, Deepa started to promote vegetables door-to-door in the automobile in and round Velachery.

“The idea seemed workable and I thought it would be a service to the public during the lockdown. I travel in the driver’s seat, along with my husband, as the rest of the space in our auto is filled with trays of vegetables,” says Deepa, including that she resorted to a retro-method to appeal to clients. “I shout out, ‘avarakka, thakkali, parangikai, keera… ellam contemporary kai amma’ on the high of my voice, as we drive previous flats and homes.”

Deepa goes to Koyambedu by 5 am along with her husband and spends two hours to procure vegetables for ₹2,000. She begins her door-to-door gross sales from 10 am onwards. “We wind up by 12.30 pm, and return home. The cost of vegetables has skyrocketed, therefore I get five kilos of six or seven varieties of vegetables. Demand seems high for fresh green vegetables such as broad beans, cluster beans, Ooty beans, lemon, ginger, drumstick, spinach and onions. Right now she does not sell fruits as the price is rather high. “If I get a kilo of tomato for ₹20, I sell it at ₹25, I don’t increase my margin more than ₹5 per kilo. After all the hard work, at the end of the day, we make ₹300 each.”

She at the moment stays along with her mom in Perungudi as she will be able to depart her child in her care; her in-laws have left to their native city. “It is the elderly who are extremely happy that I bring vegetables to their doorstep. I wear gloves and cover my face with a mask, and leave the vegetables they want near their home, and request them to leave the cash in the basket, which I take after they leave,” she says. So far she has offered out all her vegetables inside two or three hours and no matter is left — bruised vegetables — she feeds to the cows on the street.

“We disinfect the auto as we are aware of the COVID-19 and the crisis the world is facing,” she provides. “If anyone requires we can go to other nearby locations as well to sell.” As Deepa is “not tech savvy”, she solely offers in money now.

“All today, my husband would go away residence by morning and return by midnight. Now this lockdown has given us an alternative to spend 24/7 collectively. Romba jolliya irukku avar kooda eppovum irukkaradhu. If this works out effectively, then we would in all probability take it up on a everlasting foundation,” says Deepa.

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