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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Let us not bargain with the poor

    As Indians, we are experts at bargaining. We rush to some retail store, if they announce a shirt free for one purchased, little realizing that the shirt given free may not be of the same quality as the one purchased.

    Be that as it may, we also bargain with the poor. We spend even twenty minutes with the friendly neighborhood vegetable vendor, trying to get five rupees less on some vegetable purchased. And we do bargain to get that plastic item purchased from street vendors.

    Forget the sweat and the hard work that these people in the service sector put in. Forget even the tough talk that they sometimes have. Yet, we should not forget that their net earnings is never too high.

    The flower sellers, the fruit vendors, and the vegetable vendors, do have unsold inventory, often given away free to some orphanage or sold for rock bottom prices. If one considers the hard work that they put in, their earnings at the end of the day, would not be much.

    Remember, we have bonuses, we have the PF and the gratuity to take care, and we also have educated sons or daughters to take care of us. But the poor ladies -- most of them -- have husbands who make their way to the wine shops and drink as if there is no tomorrow. The net result is that they try to do odd jobs like selling flowers in the evenings and do the household chores in at least four houses, in the big cities, taking home something like Rs.11,000/-. Even this, or most of this, goes towards educating their children, somehow.

    The story gets repeated again and again. As responsible citizens, let us stop bargaining with such people, and let them make that extra bit of money. For, after all, when there is unsold inventory, they stand to loose.

    At the end of the day, we would have consciously contributed to a more equitable society, as it were.
  • #635798
    The author said exactly correct. Once I traveled in a day express from Madurai to Chennai. An old person came in the train by selling hand kerchiefs , a man sitting by my side bought some kerchiefs from him. I noticed this but took casually. Another person blind one was crossing by selling pen and pencils, this person bought a good volume of pen and pencils from him. But this person never bought any food items or cool drinks from the vendors. I asked him whether he have children in Chennai. His reply made me to astonish as he told me that he bought all the things for some orphanage nearby his house and he bought them from such vendors to provide some life to them.

  • #635827
    Good submission by Mr. AB SIVAKUMAR & beautiful narration of an incidence by Mr. Ramchandran.

    Although this is not mandatory for each one of us but this should be carried out by anyone who Is capable of doing it. This is what the life is all about.

    This world more bigger brands but few good instances makes us believe in the humanity. May God bless them all.

  • #635828
    Thank you Anand Sir, for the word of appreciation. I personally believe that we, as Indians, can also contribute in our own small ways to this informal economy. Yes, there is more equitable distribution of wealth in so many quarters, like the small vegetable vendors, who literally give away free, the left over vegetables to the orphanages, where there are hundreds of mouths to eat.

    Similarly, as Mr Ramachandran has rightly pointed out, so many blind men and women make their living by selling very small things like pens and it is quite gratifying to note that such proceeds reach the poor. So, the poor man's economy is self-renewing in nature. Let us participate in it and help them to the maximum extent possible.

    Ditto for the small hotels. You can find at least two poor people eating the left over stuff, late at night, somewhere around 11 PM. Iddlis are sold for Re1/- apiece, and still there is a huge crowd wanting to buy it. Those who do not sell the whole lot at the end of the day, are more than willing to give it away for free, to those who cannot even manage the money to buy such low priced food.

    What a total contrast between this and the likes of that third rate crook called Vijay Mallaya, who has willfully swindled crores, and is still duping the CBI or other agencies? Will the money ever come back? Only God shows a way for these poor people. Everyday.

  • #635838
    A nice thread by the author showing his feelings towards fellow poor humans. It is really very strange that even the upper class and rich also bargain with these poor people.

    I think with time we develop this apathy and the whole society is suffering from this syndrome.

    Anyway, the message is very clear that we should try to change our mindset and help these small street vendors in such indirect ways.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #635856
    The author need appreciation for this well written thread. It is true people when go to a restaurant we never hesitate to give twenty rupees tip to the server there. But when a street vendor comes and says ten rupees an item we will bargain with him for less. This had become the mentality of a common Indian. In fact we should encourage the people who are trying to help themselves by doing some business instead of begging or doing antisocial activities. There are people who waste money at other places but will bargain with these small vendors.
    always confident

  • #635876
    From my life experience, what I found that bargaining has been done much by the rich people who does not want the vendors enjoy more than they deserved. Most of the rich people would shop for whole sale prices as they buy huge quantity and the whole sale prices are generally less. Same criteria is set for the push cart vendors who sells the fruits and vegetables and thus they pick up verbal duel on reducing price and the vendor wont. I too feel that those who sweat a lot for a pittance earning , we should not try for bargaining. And we ourselves can gauge whether the price quoted by him is on the average or not. And by the way when some one comes and sells his product at your door step, there would be some margin for him to earn and that should not be curtailed and bargained and thus he would end up doing a social service for you without earning one paisa from the deal. So never bargain with poor.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #636334
    A very thoughtful thread about the behavior of some people who try to be penny wise but end up being pound foolish.
    People spend around 250-300 on a burger meal, 750 on a 'chicken bucket' or a few thousands on designer clothes and sarees. But at times, people who can afford, start bargaining with the vegetable vendor, a flower seller and ask for two or three rupees change from the autorickshaw drivers.

    Maybe the poor are easy to bargain with and bargaining in the trendy shops would make us look inferior or something to be embarrassed about. Such practices should be discouraged and if we can afford, then, by all means, pass it on to the poor man/woman.

    A note of caution would be not being misled or emotionally blackmailed to buy stuff knowingly or unknowingly and very high inflated prices.

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