Of Hunger and Small Acts of Kindness

Published by Nida Sabiha on

As an Indian, no matter whatever fancy restaurant you visit, at the end of the day we all find our comfort in street food. From Gol Gappas in Delhi to Vadapav in Mumbai, street food has forever fed almost every stomach and satisfied them. In a country where 300-350 million people are from the middle class, street food is the best way to find the most affordable yet delicious food. Moreover, street food has been the sole source of income for so many people who hail from small towns and villages and earn their livelihood through it. But in a world where capitalism rules and economic disparity keeps increasing, the street food vendors are struggling to survive their business. Indian cuisines are a worldwide favourite and street food is the true essence of it. Initially, this business was advertised by word of mouth but people have now discovered a very reliable and fast method of advertisement – food blogging.

Instagram is filled with food bloggers who post and advertise big restaurant and chains but there are very few people who appreciate the love that street food carries. I am pretty sure we all know Gaurav Wasan by now. You might have even stalked him. But if you haven’t, you should. With a following of over 3,59,000 on Instagram, Gaurav aims at promoting local vendors who put everything at stake and leave their households behind and come to cities so they can make some bucks for their family. You might find the kaka who sells aloo chat for 10 rs in his account. Gaurav has tried to bring the street food vendors to the notice of the public who stay around. He has tried to bring a crowd for the vendors whose stalls were desolate.
Kindness is not expensive. It can be talking to that sad old lady on the train, it can also be trying to buy food from vendors who didn’t sell anything that day. Not eating from a big restaurant won’t leave a dent in their income, but buying food from someone in need might leave a mark of happiness. Isn’t it ironic that they are literally trying to feed another hungry stomach so that they can feed their own? The street food industry has grown over the years in India. It’s getting popular amongst the youth as well. Yet the problem that occurs is marketing. A lot of street vendors have opened their stalls because they don’t know how else to make an income.

Gaurav is doing marketing and advertisement for those who can’t do it for themselves. He is using social media as word of mouth. Making people realise that the man they saw yesterday selling 10 rs Fruit Chaat, really needs those 10 rupees. Street food has fed both the rich and poor. A poor man ate a 10 rupees vada pav because he can’t afford anything else and the rich man just wanted to eat something new. But the one who’s selling doesn’t care. They just know their food fed a hungry stomach and the money will feed theirs.

Gaurav has been the reason for a smile on a lot of these street food vendors. He makes sure these people feel acknowledged and appreciated after working for years to earn minimum wage. So maybe the next time you are shopping, drink the 15 rupees nimbu paani instead of the mojito for 150. That 15 rupees will leave you and the one who sold it with more satisfaction than mojito will ever give.