Lockdown Times: Sad Stories Of Street Food Vendors

When it comes to street food, India is remembered first for its wide range of lip-smacking street food like Pani puri, momos, dosas, chat, Bhelpuri, Vada pav, lassi, samosas and many more on the list. Its exotic spices and ingredients are so mouth-mothering that nearly every Indian is missing them in lockdown.

In India, each state has some popular chat points and best street food places like in Hyderabad, we have Gokul chaat, Ram ki bandi. Many such famous food centres have long queues every day and the love for street food is unimaginable gigantic. The business for street food vendors is also supermassive with serving hundreds of customers daily. But, the lockdown has left streets empty and street food vendors pocket empty.

One vendor, who sells tasty kebabs on streets said, “All are helping each other but nobody did anything for us during the lockdown. We are done with our savings and we are in dilemma on how to look after our wives and children. Our living has become hard and I came to the city again yesterday with big hopes”. It is also a drawback for their business now as people are paranoid about eating outside, especially street foods for being less hygienic.

”Our non-vegetarian rolls were so much in demand, but only 2 or 3 people ordered them yesterday. And I have not served my first customer for today”, the vendor added. This quarantine has left many housewives and bachelors trying their hand in cooking restaurant-style food. Also, whenever they have craved for street food, people made at homes despite the tedious effort. All of us have been searching for our favourite street food recipes on the internet and making it at home.

“You can make anything at home, nobody can stop you. But it won’t have the taste that we work so hard to bring in the rolls. Making it (street food) at home might mean a fun evening for most people, but for us, it means our livelihood.” Now, as relaxations are bringing in the hope for street food owners, they are all prepared with necessary hygiene and social-distancing guidelines and are desperately looking for customers to come and eat their special items.

The vendor said, that they have kept sanitisers and use it every half-an-hour. “I also spray it on my customer’s hands before they eat. I use a mask and ask them to stay far from me and also others”. Another fruit juice seller reacted when asked about people making their favourite fruits juices at home itself. He laughed and said “Homemade juices are good but will not be a success. I select each fruit carefully from the Mandi and press the juices with love. If people start making things themselves that our livelihoods depend on, we will have to go back to our village.”

On the other hand, half of the foodies are eagerly waiting for the street foods to open so that they can gobble up on their favourite dishes. And another half are being cautious, wanting to end COVID19 completely before tasting outside food. Nevertheless, it will still be a loss for street food vendors for a few more months as the rush and craze won’t be the same.

Source: Time Of India

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