As I go about my work photographing people and places, I bump into many men and women selling little things like bottled water, chewing gum and instant noodles on the street. Often times, they sit quietly in their respective corners, with their baskets full of stuff, till someone approaches them for something.
Other times, they call out to passers-by hoping to catch their attention and earn their keep for the day. I have seen young children, old women, and even differently-abled men trying to a make a living this way. Whenever I can, I buy from them instead of going to the local store in that particular area.
Sometimes, I buy a packet of biscuit or a boiled egg even when I don’t want it because, for me, seeing old women going about their lives like that is a little heartbreaking. There was an 80-year-old woman I met in Patan who was selling old glass jars for as little as five rupees. She said she was selling them to buy her grandson a toy airplane for his birthday.
I don’t think I will ever forget her face. I wish more people bought bottled water, chewing gum, toffees and food from these roadside vendors. A little help could go a long way in helping them make ends meet and maybe allowing them to indulge in a little something they or their loved one have set their heart on every once in a while.