‘Step Out to Feed Family’: Lockdown Through Eyes of a Fruit Seller

Daily wager’s lockdown diaries. A fruit seller records his life in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan

Solanki Diwakar is a daily wager and a film actor, living in New Delhi. He chased the impossible dream to be on the big screen and achieved it by doing small roles in movies like Dream Girl and Sonchiriya.

But acting is not a full-time profession for him, he still has to sell fruit to earn a living for his family.

And like millions of daily wagers across the country, the nationwide coronavirus lockdown has taken a toll on Solanki’s earnings. In desperation, he has decided to step out of his house to somehow earn something to pull through this crisis.

‘I Didn’t Want to Step Out But I’m Helpless’

After spending all the money Diwakar had saved before the lockdown, he could no longer sit at home and had to get back to work to find a way to survive and provide for his family.

With the risk of being hauled up by the police, Diwakar goes to the Okhla Mandi and with great difficulty manages to get some vegetables. He then loads his cart and sells the vegetables in the Malviya Nagar market.

“I used to think that I won’t go out at all till things get better. Mainly because of the kids. If I go out and get infected or god forbid something happens.”
Solanki Diwakar

Solanki says he has seen the videos of policemen overturning and damaging the carts of many vegetables and fruit vendors. He feels it’s unfair and the policemen are not empathetic towards the poor.

“They don’t understand how they (daily wagers) are running their homes. We earn everyday to eat. We don’t know if we’ll have any food tomorrow or not.”
Solanki Diwakar

Diwaikar doesn’t know when things will get back to normal again. For the time being he’s content with what he has got, he is taking it one day at a time.

He hopes for the return of better times, to again see himself in front of the camera. When he can live his passion and there’s also enough to provide for his family.

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