Shell India brings to us the inspiring story of Sarita, as part of their recent campaign #GreatThingsHappenWhenWeMove. Article sponsored by Shell.
It is always inspiring to witness how some people place their personal challenges aside to rise up and help others in need. Delhi-based Sarita Kashyap is an epitome of this virtue. Despite her own financial struggles, she was determined to feed hundreds of homeless people, ragpickers and hungry children living on the streets, through a noble food venture called Apna Pann Rajma Chawal.
“Growing up in a lower-middle-class family we didn’t have a lot of privileges. But what we had was much more special. The life lessons learnt stayed with us and helped us do better every day,” shares Sarita.
The 42-year-old adds, “One of my fondest memories from childhood was when we visited our local Gurudwara to help out in the langar, which would feed hundreds of people daily. This exposed me to the joy of giving back. After I left my job I wanted to do something along these lines.”
Sarita was a successful automobile saleswoman dealing with high-end cars for 18 years. She left her job in 2019 due to some differences at work which triggered the dormant desire in her heart to do something on her own. Securing a job was not her goal any more, but she aimed to help people through her venture.
However, it wasn’t so easy. A single mother with a young daughter to support, she soon realised that starting a non-profit social venture was something she could not afford. That is when she got the idea for Apna Pann Rajma Chawal. “I realised that a street food venture selling home-made rajma chawal [kidney beans and rice] could be used to both support my family as well as feed the hungry,” she says.
Sarita starts her day at 4 am to finish her household chores and prepare food for her stall. At around 11.30 am, she mounts two large containers filled with steaming hot rajma and rice on her scooter which has been customised with a portable table and carriers.
For the next four hours, her make-shift food stall, situated in Peera Garhi, Delhi, serves delicious rajma chawal alongside homemade raita and salad for Rs 40 (half plate) and Rs 60 (full plate) to several customers, as well as underprivileged children and homeless people.
Commonly known as ‘Aunty’s stall’ among the needy, Sarita uses a major part of her daily income to feed the underprivileged. “I sell a minimum of 100 boxes a day out of which almost 60 per cent is sold to paying customers and the rest is served for free to the children and homeless people,” says Sarita.
Sarita now plans to start a home delivery segment of Apna Pann Rajma Chawal soon and is working on acquiring the prerequisite food licenses. Her relentless efforts to drive positive change is a source of true inspiration, one that Shell India is shining the light on through their campaign, ‘Great things happen when we move’.
Through this recent campaign, Shell aims to celebrate the indomitable spirit of Indians, their dreams, and aspirations along with their inspiring journeys. The campaign encourages Indian women to step out, move forward and chase their dreams by highlighting the stirring stories of women like Sarita. The core assertion of their stories is to establish that mobility is a key enabler of people’s progress.