Fighting the odds: The tale of a snack seller in Visakhapatnam

snack seller, visakhapatnam

A daily wage earner, Rama Rao started selling traditional snack foods in Visakhapatnam a decade ago. The snack seller shares his story with Yo!

“I have been in this line of work for ten years now. I belong to Srikakulam and come to the city for a week. I bring all the products that I want to sell, and then base myself at Dondaparthy. From there, every morning I head to a part of the city, and then go around by foot selling my wares. My basket has murrillu, chikkillu, jantikillu, popcorn, chips and pappu/nuvvulu chikkillu. All these products are from Srikakulam, and are made by a sahukar there. After being in the city for a week, I head back, restock my products, and then come here again. On a good day, sales can earn me from Rs. 300 to Rs. 400. But then, there are the dismal days too, when there are no sales at all.

My day begins early in the morning and by 7 AM I am out on the roads selling. Work often goes on till 8 PM in the night, when people, headed home from work, buy my products. I don’t limit myself to a particular geographical area, and each day of the week takes me to the neighbourhoods of Akkayyapalem, Dondaparthy, Madhurawada, Kommadi, Arilova and other areas in Visakhapatnam. I head to the bus stand, and simply take a bus to a new place every day.

My family is my wife and our three daughters, who stay in Srikakulam. All of them are daily wage earners, and our collective money helps us to make ends meet. I am 60 years old, and will continue in this line as I don’t know any other work. I don’t have much of free time, but I spend whatever time possible with my family,” shares the snack seller as he signs off.

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