Chinchwad vegetable vendor cash in on currency crisis

Customers throng his shop that provides e-wallet facility

By Gunwanti Paraste

The Modi government’s demonetisation plan has gone completely awry, and it has left the common man in a cashless quandary that has already lasted five days, with no end in sight. The serpentine queues at banks are getting even longer despite the government’s claims of supplying larger volumes of currency notes, and the ATMs are all closed for all practical purposes. Things have reached such a desperate state, that citizens are devising innovative means to get over the crisis.

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A vegetable vendor from Chinchwad has assured his regular customers of supply without paying in cash. Instead, he has told them to use the mobile wallet Paytm facility to pay for the vegetables they buy. This has struck a chord with the common man, and people are glad that they can avail of the vegetable they need for their daily meals without paying in hard cash, using the Paytm means instead.

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Meet Mahesh Garud, the quick-thinking vegetable vendor who runs a stall in Chinchwad market. He claims to be the first vendor in Chinchwad to adopt the Paytm facility to run his daily trade in vegetables, and the response from his customers has been heartening.

Mahesh told TGS that he had started accepting payments through Paytm three months ago. But the response then was lukewarm since there was no currency crunch at the time. And the volume of business hardly amounted to Rs 1,000 a day. Now, with the scrapping of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the common man has been left in the lurch and it is the right time to provide cashless transactions. Mahesh’s Paytm business has now shot up to about Rs 6,000 a day, and besides his regular customers, the Paytm facility is also bringing new customers to his stall.

Mahesh’s family has been in the vegetable vending business for 50 years. Mahesh himself was focused on getting a decent education, and he even acquired an MBA. “I was never interested in working for someone. I want to expand our vegetable business. I started the Paytm service three months ago, hoping that it would make things easy for customers, and also bring in new ones. But my customers were not keen or even aware of the Paytm facility. But now that the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have been scrapped, and there is not enough money supply in the banks, people have had to face the reality of getting by without any cash in hand. I have been getting a good response from customers to the Paytm facility. I also provide free home delivery of vegetables. My clients include 20 hotels and catering enterprises,” he said.

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One of his customers, Narendra Kale, said, “The Paytm facility has proved to be a life-saver and very useful since no one has any cash. I must say that the Paytm service launched by Mahesh Garud has been a very timely and much needed initiative. Now any one can come here and get their daily vegetables without worrying about paying in cash.”

Another customer, Smita Shetty, said, “Mahesh Garud was the first vegetable vendor in Chinchwad to start the Paytm facility three months ago. But at that time, we were not aware about that service and neither did we need it since there was no currency crunch then. Now, with the current scenario where people have to spend hours and days waiting in queues at the banks just to withdraw a little money, the Paytm service is like a godsend, At least I can feed my family though I may not have any cash.”

gunwanti.paraste@goldensparrow.com

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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