While travelling in a local train in Mumbai, one can come across several vendors selling their stuff ranging from toys, cosmetics, pens, carry packs, water bottles, vegetables, fruits, biscuits and other edible items like tea, samosa, bhajiya (snacks) etc.
Right from Churchgate to Borivili and Virar on the Western route and from CSMT to Thane and Kalyan on the Central route, these vendors move with their baskets or bags from compartment to compartment.
We may feel sorry for these people doing the tiresome job the whole day. But the tale of a samosa seller is interesting.
He sells samosas only and gets a commission of two rupees for each samosa. On weekdays, he sells more, but average comes to two thousand samosas per day. That means he earns about four thousand rupees daily or one hundred twenty thousand rupees a month. That too without GST or TDS. So is the case of a tea vendor, who earns one rupee for a cup of tea. This may vary from vendor to vendor.
Though most of the earnings are spent on living expenses in Mumbai, most of them are able to meet the necessary ends like housing, marriage and education of children. One vada pao vendor in Churchgate, Mumbai has sent his both kids abroad for higher education.
These vendors have not studied much, but they know how to read and write. They know how to do business and earn money without a formal education. Compare these guys wearing dirty clothes with persons, who dress well, wear a tie and suit, wear shoes, speak english fluently and work in air-conditioned rooms.
What makes these rough and tough guys distinct? They too consider themselves employed and happy with their lives. An educated young man may feel shame in making or selling tea and snacks, but now there are MBA and Engineering graduates, who have realised the potential of this avenue and taken plunge into this wholeheartedly.
MBA chaiwala is one example. Classroom cafe is another. Tandoori tea is one more. A group of MBA graduates have come together to start dairy business. There is an IT engineer, who uses charkha (spinning wheel) to upcycle plastic wrappers into beautiful bags and mats. There are many examples of this nature.
The moral of the story is that no work is below standard, if you decide to do it with your skill and innovation, and of course with a difference and passion. You not only get employed, but can generate employment for others as well. Where there’s a will there’s a way.