In this episode of Beedi Badiya Vyaparigalu, Nafreen Taj speaks of her work and family.
Nafreen Taj is a street vendor who sells biscuits (rusks) and buns. She is the mother of five children and is married to a man who is largely indifferent to his family. “I remember, my young children would cry every time biscuit vendors would come near our home. I decided then that I have to take care of my children or else they will remain helpless and be left to cry for food every day. I took up the wholesale business of biscuits and buns and started dealing with petty shops in my area. Slowly, I started making a small profit on the sale.”
Each day at the start of the business, Nafreen’s earning would vary from Rs 100 to Rs 500. “That amount made a huge difference in our lives then. On some bad days, my mother would get about 250 grams of cooked rice for us, I would buy sambar worth Rs 10 from a shop and then feed all the children. Today, times have changed. My elder daughter has a B.Com degree and is working in a company. One of my sons works in a chicken shop. My other girls are still studying.”
Working on the streets, of course, is no easy task. In this interview, Nafreen recounts that most people give her water when she asks for it, but she struggles to eat on time on most days.
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