Hot &Sweet Chaat - Life of Panipuriwalas
Posted: Saturday, March 30th, 2013 | Posted by: Janet KG | Views: 17846
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Mangalore is the shelter for many. Along with localities there are thousands of migrants from various parts of country working for livelihood. Among all of them these Panipuriwalas are very special. There are no streets in Mangalore without Panipuriwalas. Even though Panipuri is not from our region we love it. Evening walk ends with the Golkappas or Paanipuris for many of us. So, crowds around the Panipuri stall at the corner of street shows the affection of localities towards Panipuri.

In Mangalore there are Panipuriwalas from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat who prepare delicious Panipuris and serve for 15 to 20 rupees per plate. From morning till evening 3o clock they prepare Pani and Puris and open their door less stalls in the evening. Light house hill road, Hampankatta, carstreet, Milagres, Kodiyalguttu roads are the most profitable streets for them. A panipuriwala earns approximately 500 to 1000 rupees per day. This is the reason behind their migration from North India to southern states mainly to Karnataka.

All these Panipuri sellers are belonging to lower castes in caste hierarchy and hailing from very poor family. Mr. Rajiv, A Panipuriwala at Kodialbail street says it was not possible for him to look after his family in UP because agriculture was the one only source of income. But after coming to Mangalore he and his family are able to manage the expenses of day to day life without any tension. According to them Mangalore is far better from their place to earn and to live peacefully. Although several issues regarding street vendors are occurring and the MCC taking strong action against these Panipuri stalls Rajiv is blissfully unaware of all these.

From past ten years the number of migrants from north to south states is increasing rapidly. They have their own organization and the chief of organization (Malik) looks after the welfare of these Panipuriwalas. They are not obliged to pay any kind of fee to their Chief from the profit they earn. Few Panipuriwalas brought their families along with them, and children are admitted in schools. But during rainy season its very hard to lead days because they cannot open the stalls and people hesitate to eat at street sides because of the dirty smell from drainage's. They are able to sell once in 3 days. So, they just love summer. They are completely unaware about the policies of government for the eradication of poverty. There is no hope among them that Government will rehabilitate them with shelter and jobs. They bring boys from their village every year to continue this business. They are not aware that their facing problems of lack of shelter, full time job and education. So, the government should consider this section of migrants as impoverished. Most importantly the frustration should begin in their mind about inequality and lack of opportunities. It will be the first step towards development.

- The author of this article is a student of Master of Communication & Media Studies at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.
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