Sweat for dignity

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Imphal, September 2, 2017: “If we remain idle one day we will face serious humiliation” says a local street vendor boy selling ‘Pani Puri’ in the heart of Imphal, who can make an easy living by earning Rs. 24, 000 per month at the average.

At least three street vendor boys are seen selling at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal. They are seen in the afternoon and evening.

“I begin my sales at 3:00 pm and closes at 8:00 pm everyday and I can earn a profit not less than Rs.800 per day”, Oinam Shantikumar, a street vendor told Pothashang.

“I don’t feel shy to be a vendor. Let’s live with dignity indulging in whatever work suit us”, “Remaing idle of being shy will worsen our life”, said Shantikumar who is the publicity secretary of Kanglei Development Organisation (KEDO).

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KEDO was established on April 20, 2007, in Imphal with the motive to uplift the economy of the state by way of inculcating work culture and encouraging use of local products.

It has around 100 volunteers at present working in and around Imphal. They are engaged in various activities like selling tea, sugarcane juice, ice cream, milk, kerosene, edible oil and transporting goods for women vendors, distribution of food products and working as night watchmen at the Khwairamband Ima market.

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They have also opened a salon in the city and are earning a good income through these services.

The members also carry out cleanliness drives in the city at regular intervals. The organisation has taken up a vegetable farming project at Irang Ahum Fangba at Lilong Arapti.

There are around 7.01 lakh youths seeking employment in the state. The population of the state, according to the 2011 census, is around 27.21 lakh.

Soibam Maniton, the president of the organisation said, “Our youths need to expand their vision. If we inculcate work culture, there are many ways to earn.”

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Selling Pani Puri is a new venture for the local boys. Vendors from outside the state has been selling the snack also called Gol Gappa, which has been the delight of the people here.

Shantikumar not only work as a Pani Puri vendor. He also works as night watchmen at the Ima market. “We are a team of eight persons for the purpose. We get Rs. 1, 000 per day which is more than enough to meet our daily meals”, said Shantikumar

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