This blog is about our second visit to the Green Park Market- this time we were fully equipped with our arms and ammunitions as students of Design- camera, sketchbooks ,gradation pencils and of course six pairs of observant eyes !!
The visit was preceded by a long conference call wherein we planned and delegated work to every member of the group.
Our class coordinator, Ms. Khushbu Dublish took us around all the places both monumental and trivial. When we made an effort to explore every small little place with depth and understanding, I realised that no place is insignificant from a designer’s perspective for every area runs through some form of management system be it organised or haphazard and hence problems can be identified and rectified through design.
We visited the monuments- Choti Gumti and Sakri Gumti, the temples- Shiv and Jaganath, the main market and made small stops at places such as the coal selling unit, taxi stand and roadside vendors.
Through out our walk we were clicking pictures and making quick sketches at the site to document our visit. We also decided to talk to the visitors about what they feel about the area and question some of the vendors. We plan to use this information to conduct demographic and comparative study.
The highlight of this day’s visit was the panoramic view of the market which our group could capture! We went door to door to seek permission for getting access to the terrace of houses opposite the market. We were almost dejected because of rude NOs when one sensitive and sweet uncle agreed to escort us to the third floor of his house where we made several time lapse videos and clicked fantabulous pictures! Eventually, the time and effort we spent doing this was truly rewarding.
We went back home- exhausted! but were almost rejoicing under the glory of what we saw as a triumph !
[Shakarkandi(sweet potatoes) seller]
Q1) Since when have you been selling shakarkandi ?
A1) Since Deepawali
Q2) Are you married?
Q3) How many children do you have?
Q4) Do they go to school?
A4) One does. Others are small.
Q5) How much do you earn on an average on a daily basis?
A5) 200-400 rupees
Q6) Is this amount sufficient to run your family?
A6) What can I do? I don’t have money for big work.
Q7) Do you ever think of changing your line or what you sell as it may have better prospects?
A7) Everyone wants to do big work but I can’t afford to. Hardly a few people buy Shakarkandi though.
Q8) Where do you stay?
Q9) What about the produce and storage? Don’t the sweet potatoes go bad?
A9) There is proper provision for that in the market. The roasted potato does not go bad for two days. We buy according to what we know will sell.
Q10) Are you able to sell more during festivals when the footfall increases?
A10) No. It does not benefit me.
Analysis: Small vendors can not dream of setting up big shops because they only earn enough to exhaust the same day- there are no savings at all to think of investing in greater endeavours.
On studying the mannerisms and tone in which he replied it was obvious that there was a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction in not being able to do anything else due to lack of resources and know how. The vendor does not want to diversify because of lack of funds as well as fear of trying anything for which he has no backing or know how. He prefers to sell what he knows best even though the returns are below satisfactory.
The fact that greater footfall does not imply more sale shows how sweet potatoes are very taste and liking specific and only those few who have a taste for it buy it regularly. It clearly is not the ideal item to sell in the market.
Stay tuned for more updates on our ‘tryst’ with Green Park and its people!!