Kiosks owners and fruit vendors earning a small living outside the GMC gates got together to protest against the nasty demolitions which have taken place here to oust and discourage them. These group of home-based business people need space of their own inside or outside the GMC complex. Their kiosks were demolished in July, 2021 on the basis of an 2018 order that found the vendors encroaching on government land and messing it up for their small businesses for a few hours daily. The area outside the GMC is in an utter mess currently offering ample scope for accidents to happen.
By Our Special Correspondent
WHERE can we go and earn our small livelihoods in peace, Sir? That is the heartfelt cry of the group of vendors who supply freshly home-made Goan snacks and even honest meal deals, to relatives of patients in the GMC wards outside the gates every day in the morning, afternoon and evenings. Many of them come all the way from Old Goa and Curca, getting up early to prepare their range of snacks from popular batatvada-samosa, sannam, excellent chappati-dal-sabzi and all manner of familiar Goan food.
Some come in their vans, some trek it up, some hire transport collectively. When their fresh fare gets over quickly, they depart quickly. It’s a fast turnover of business here for a few hours daily. Needless to say there is a dire need for it for the range of provisions offered here outside the GMC gates.
Recently in a blitz of demolition their little kiosks and carts were razed. It is really unfair for the government to order PWD action against them by destroying their little set-ups, confiscating or driving them away with the excuse that they create a bottleneck at the gates of the GMC and leave behind litter!
The vendors are now forced to run their small business by hanging around near the gates in heat and dust with the on-going roadways work being carried out. Most say they keep their own bins but people just like to throw litter on the ground when they’ve finished eating! However they do good work by providing services and something like 80 odd vendors cater to the public visiting the hospital.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s government and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane must consider providing an organized food court to the vendors either inside the GMC grounds or outside. After all they too are voters and will remember any good done for them! It may be remembered that in emergency situations which arise constantly with a patient in a GMC ward, relatives are hard-pressed to find essentials for the patient as for themselves.
While there are Salt & Pepper cafeterias in the GMC compound complex and the food is reasonably priced, there is also a lot of expensive junk food being retailed. Most Goans prefer to eat the snacks served up at the gaddo vendors outside the hospital gates, they’re of good quality, more honest nutritionally and comparatively less expensive. But will the appeals of the quickly formed association of the GMC Gadda Vendors be heard in high places?