Everyday Heroes: This Bangalore Sabziwali is Giving Veggies Free of Cost to 300 Construction Workers


Everyday Heroes: This Bangalore Sabziwali is Giving Veggies Free of Cost to 300 Construction Workers

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The coronavirus pandemic is not being fought on the frontline by doctors and police officers alone, but tremendous grit and a lot of heart has been shown by some ordinary citizens.

One such exemplary Indian, is Mamatha, a vegetable vendor from Rajajinagar Ram Mandir in Bengaluru. The sweet-faced sabziwala has been not charging those who are cooking food for construction workers stranded in the city because of the lockdown.

In an anecdote narrated by Kshama Nargund, an advocate from the city, a man came to buy a huge bunch of curry leaves from Mamatha and asked her how much it cost. She immediately asked him if he needed it for cooking. The customer replied in the affirmative.

Mamtha sensed that he couldn’t be buying such a big bunch for himself and asked him whom he was cooking for. He said that he was cooking for 300 construction labourers. She then questioned him about their location and once she was convinced that the customer was being honest, she told him that he can take any amount of vegetables he needed for free.

On further inquiry, Kshama learnt that Mamatha keeps aside some vegetables for labourers and daily wage workers every day, and she has been doing this even before the pandemic struck. Many construction workers, in fact, purchase vegetables from her. “It is the least I can do to help,” she said.

When asked for a picture, the sabziwali shyly obliged.

Mamatha’s act of kindness caught the attention of State Education and Labour minister S Suresh Kumar, who decided to pay a visit to her shop. On his Facebook page, he said, “Today evening I met Mrs Mamtha, who is doing vegetable business near Ram temple, I gave my heartfelt thanks to her. But she didn’t think she did something big. That’s the sign of her greatness.”

Mamatha has become an internet favourite. Her inspiring story is widely shared on Facebook and Twitter. One tweeter suggested that after the pandemic, one should buy groceries from such small neighbourhood vendors to show our gratitude.

It’s true not all heroes wear capes. Some like Mamatha just wear a smile.