Every town and city in India has its own special market day. In my state of Assam we call it ‘bazaar din’. Villagers from nearby places travel and take their spot on first come first basis at a field or a road. In my locality in Beltola, they set up their shop right at the road. Most of them sell vegetables. Let me stop you there before you even think of hygiene. There’s no such thing in India.
These sellers come a long way from different villages in trucks and buses. The trucks and buses run on a daily base contract. They provide pick and drop facility to these sellers. It is a very congested affair. The trucks are heavily packed with both people and goods together. Most of the sellers are women, the husbands drink local made alcohol from their wives’ hard earned money.
Why they don’t sell to retailers?
These sellers mostly sell their own produced vegetables and fruits. The retailers don’t buy from them cause they can’t provide their produce in bulk. There goes your promise made by the government where they claim that they buy from every single villager and provide them with minimum buying price. Since the produces are locally grown they are fresh, the villagers can’t afford the chemicals to make their vegetables look fresh.
Every customer bargains but when it comes to bargaining with these villagers who come a long way to sell their produce, the well educated customer drops all its shyness and brings forward its real face. The customer knows that these villagers don’t have any other option but to sell their vegetable at any price he commands. The customer would pay the lowest to the seller and would later visit a restaurant with his family with the same money bargained from the vegetable seller. Our system is so rigged and our minds are so corrupted that we would spend thousands of rupees in a restaurant but would fight with the seller from the village as if its our own salary negotiation. The thing is we are accustomed to abuse the poor and the downtrodden. This is the way our parents have raised us.
And then comes the tax collector. The tax collector usually have 4-5 young guys under him. They are supposed to go to each and every seller and collect tax of 50 – 100 rupees depending on how much space they have used on the road. The tax collector is responsible for solving any dispute among the sellers.
The police has no role in this whole set up. They visit the market in the evening hour to collect their part of the tax from the tax collector. The whole system is rigged. While we talk about empowering the villagers, they are the most abused population in India. Due to the fast changing technological advancements, they are even more scared than they were 5 years ago.
Do you also have a market day in your country? Let us know how is it at your end.