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No Fear No Favour

COVID destroyed old business, meet Geeta who revived her family livelihood by selling Idli-Sambhar.

There was a day when she was upset for every rupee. She was not even able to get her daughter to attend school. Today, she earns 50 thousand rupees. Her story, from starting the Tiffin Center to the Idli-Sambhar stall, is inspiring. Know this story…

The Gita says- This thing is from Allahabad. Then I used to live with my husband. Was a small girl. Her husband could barely walk home with what he earned. I did not even have the money to meet my basic needs. We weren’t even able to get the child’s good education. She said, ‘I was wondering what to do so that I can earn four paise.

Someone advised me to start Tiffin Center. I started giving tiffin to a girl. A few days later I got a PG job. There was a requirement for food for 15 adults. Then I used to give food for 1,800 rupees for three meals throughout the month. It was hard work from morning till late at night, but it saved me eight to ten thousand rupees a month.

‘The food was good, so gradually the tiffins grew and the number reached 40. This went on from 2011 to 2016. Then the PG work stopped, the customers also left. New customers were not getting. There was nothing else I could do in Allahabad because I was afraid of insult. My sister lived in Delhi, so I moved to Delhi in 2016 with my baby girl. The motive was clear that something related to food and drink has to be done’.

First business in Delhi failed:

She says that I started living in my Delhi’s sister’s house and after a few days set up a stall selling Pudi-kachori, bread pakora, but that work did not do much. I was thinking of starting the Tiffin Center again when customers were not available. Wherever she lived, she pasted leaflets everywhere. An order was received several days later. The person who placed the order was preparing for the IAS. Soon, many boys of the institute started taking tiffin from us. I used to give three-time miles for three and a half thousand rupees.

The work was set well. 35 to 40 thousand rupees were started for the month. All this went on for four years but in March 2020 everything stopped.

COVID lead to shutdown tiffin business:

She told – within four days my tiffin has come down from 60 to 4. I could not understand what was happening. Then someone told me that the coronavirus has come, so everyone is leaving. All my accumulated work stopped. In a few days, the money that was pouring through the tiffin business also stopped, so I started working for the care of a heart patient. Used to live in his house. The girl was left with her aunt. Stayed there for three months.

Idli-Sambher stall gave her stability again, now she earns INR 90K/month:

She says – when I came home again in July, I could not understand what to do. Rent was to be paid. The child had to pay school tuition fees. With great courage, I once again started a food stall, but this time I thought of selling idli-sambar because it costs less and people of all ages like it. Work started on 28 July. Business got set well within a few days. I set up a stall in Shalimar Bagh. Stalls are held from 5 pm to 10 pm. It is common for 40 to 50 customers to arrive. I also sell dosa along with idli. Now there is a business of three to three and a half thousand rupees a day. After cutting everything, 40 to 45 thousand rupees are left per month.

Geeta says that many people who made videos on social media also helped me. This work has to be taken forward now. I will no longer run Tiffin Center. Corona had created a big problem for me earlier, but that was why I was able to shift to a new business and everything is going well now. Paid everyone’s credit. The child’s coaching-school fees were also paid. ‘I want my daughter to get a better higher education which I couldn’t get when i was young. I want her to be self-reliant’.

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