I wear a coat over my saree to ensure it does't get stained as I cut the tender coconuts and serve them to customers. I owned a white coat before. But it wore out and was torn at certain places, hence I switched to the green one.
My husband and I run the stall. It is a great partnership. I have household chores to complete—sending my kids to school and preparing a meal for the day. By the time I finish my work and come to the stall, it is 10 in the morning. Till then, my husband is in charge.
Upon my arrival, he leaves to set up his corn-cart towards the end of the street. In the evening, he sends me home to look after the kids and their studies.
We together earn ₹15,000-₹20,000 per month. The earnings are majorly dependent on seasons. Sales are great during summer as compared to those during the winter or the monsoon. We get the entire stock from Maddur district in Karnataka and earn a margin of about ₹5 to ₹6 per coconut.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was no business at all. Even if we did want to sell, who was there to buy? Nor there was any supply!
We stayed at home throughout those months. We were receiving rice and pulses from the government and tried to sustain ourselves with limited means. A few of our customers also helped us with food.
It feels great when the business is running well. It is not a great feeling when business is low, since things get tough financially. I mean if a woman is out, on the footpath, selling tender coconuts, there are difficulties back at home. Right?
So, I am here for that, trying to support my family, and it gives me immense satisfaction.
Customers who come during the day are very friendly and patient. Many come with their children and I love interacting with them. Although the nature of the work is arduous, I have not faced any problem with it.
In fact, one of my customers helped me take my business online. You can leave a review of our service on Google! They printed posters talking about the health benefits of tender coconuts, registered us online to ease the transaction process and made us understand how to operate the app on phone.
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