On sale….

The BBMP is intent, it appears, on cutting down pavements wherever it can widen the roads for the ever-increasing motorized vehicle traffic of this city…but our pavements are areas where a lot of vibrant life exists. Instead of thinking of our footpath users (apart from pedestrians, who are, anyway, an endangered species), perhaps we should appreciate the way life is led along these urban spaces.

Here are two young women that I photographed in Indira Nagar.

The first is a bangle seller, vending the lac-and-mirror bangles that are so famous in Rajasthan.

Rajasthani refugee selling lac-and-mirror bangles

The second one is selling an assortment of bead necklaces:

Rajasthani refugee selling an assortment of bead necklaces

They both hail from Rajasthan; their own colourful attire is so attractive to the eye. They have obviously migrated to this city from their native region, hoping to be able to eke a living.

They may not be able to pay the price required to set up a licenced shop, but seem to be able to feed their families with what they make, selling their wares on the street.

Surely, instead of looking at them as problems to be removed, we could try thinking of them as human beings who are trying to earn their living by some form of dignified trade, and see if something can be done for them, so that they can ply their trade without being at the mercy of the sun and the rain? I notice, lately, a large number of people from the desert regions of Rajasthan….camel-drivers, bangle- and bead-sellers, ceramic vase-makers, and "jadi booti" herbal-vendors…how can the city accomodate them, and give them a better quality of life than the hardships that drove them out of their villages in the first place?

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