Just two days ago I happened to see a man pushing a cart full of tomatoes, calling out “Rs 20 for
kg”. In a hot afternoon, he was sweating and struggling
to push the loaded cart forward. He looked as if he hadn’t eaten since morning.
Dressed in shabby clothes, torn in many places, all dirty and feet covered with mud, he would gain more sympathy than even a beggar on the street. His chappals too were broken and he was struggling to drag them along.
He was stopped by some buyers who demanded him give two-and-a-half kg for Rs 20. The other day when I bought 250gm of tomato, I got five big ones. Going by that 2kg would have 40 tomatoes. He was getting just 50 paise per tomato! Also 40 tomatoes would mean at least 3 plants which would have taken nurturing for months to be full grown and fruit bearing.
I hope many like me would wonder how farmers live considering they have to live with this money till they harvest the next time. Plants won’t give ripe fruits in a day or two. It needs toiling for months that too with favourable weather and rain.
People who bargain with them may have their reasons… cost of living, children’s education, ever rising prices… But I request you to spare a thought for the farming community to whom we should be ever grateful. Without them we wouldn’t be eating. Many of us wouldn’t dare live a single day of their lives. Those who know that parting an extra Rs 5 wouldn’t affect your life, please don’t bargain with farmers for their produce. You will be ignoring their sweat and depriving them of a meal, may be.