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This 22-Yr-Old Vada Pav Seller Started With Rs 300 After Losing Parents, Job

Against all odds: Omkar Godbole's story of survival.

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2 min read

22-year-old Omkar Gobdole's life has been full of struggles. His father, who had been battling polio since he was six months old, worked as a clerk at Dombivli Nagari Sahakari Bank. But, lost his job when Omkar was in the sixth grade. A few years later, his mother's kidneys failed and she had to undergo dialysis.

Godbole and his sister had to quit school and take charge of their family. At 17, his sister was the sole breadwinner of the family and Omkar decided to stay home and take care of both his parents.

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In 2018, Omkar lost both his parents. With no house, job or educational qualification, it was tough for him to earn his livelihood. He worked at an events company for a few months but lost his job during the pandemic and exhausted all his savings in two months. With just 300 rupees in his pocket, he decided to use his cooking skills to pay the bills.

"When my sister went to work, I took care of my parents and the house. I learnt how to cook. Everything I know about food and cooking is taught to me by my mother. Sometimes I did wonder why I was doing the household chores when it's 'supposed' to be a woman's 'job'. That's how the society has conditioned us. Gender inequality exists all around us. It’s high time we break these stereotypes. If I had been stubborn then and told my mother that cooking is for women only, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything a year ago when I was left with only 300 rupees. If I didn't know how to cook, what would I sell? My mother always told me that when you cook, put your heart and soul into it. Yes, you need the basic ingredients. But if you don’t cook with all your heart, the food will never taste good and that's my only secret recipe, nothing else."
Omkar Godbole, Bindhasta Vada Pav

He started selling vada pavs from home and continues to deliver them all over Dombivli. His friend suggested he start an Instagram page and that's helped him build his brand name. Today, he is Dombivli's go-to guy for crunchy, delicious Indian burger.

Camera: Sanjoy Deb & Gautam Sharma

Editor: Veeru Krishan Mohan

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