Hukumchand Soni, a jeweller for 25 years, would not have imagined in his wildest dreams there would come a time when he will have to sell vegetables to earn a living.
His shop-counter, which once remained covered with expensive ornaments, is now occupied by green vegetables and the jewellery scale now weighs potatoes and onions.The GP Jewellery Shop in Jaipur’s Ram Nagar has undergone a radical transformation to adapt to the new set of customers who visit it daily.
It’s been four days since I started selling vegetables. This is the only way I can survive (the lockdown). I have no big savings, no big capital, so I started selling vegetables, Soni said.
He said his jewellery shop was not big but enough to run his family.
After the lockdown began on March 25, all non-essential shops and services were ordered shut and Soni managed for a few weeks but now, he said, he has to find means within the available options to run his household.
We had been sitting at home for so many days… Who will give us money and food? I used to make and sell small jewellery items like rings and used to repair damaged ornaments. I and other shopkeepers are certainly suffering daily losses, he said.
The only earning member in the family, Soni said it was not an easy decision to become a vegetable vendor.
At least I am earning now. It is better than sitting at home and doing nothing. I have to pay the rent for the shop. I have to take care of my mother and the family of my younger brother who passed away, he said.
He said he goes to the local mandi everyday to get his supplies and transports them to his shop in a hired tempo-rickshaw. I only know that work is worship. That’s it.