Mumbai: 'How do I feed my family?', asks Borivli woman after BMC seizes her handcart

Updated: 30 September, 2020 08:44 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Woman who ran a food stall at Borivli says she has barely any income after BMC seized her handcart on orders of BJP MLA Sunil Rane; MLA says rules are rules

(On bed, from left) Anupama Satam, her husband Girish Satam, father-in-law Rajaram Satam, daughter Aditi Satam, (on floor) younger daughter Prachiti Satam and son Gaurav Satam at their house flat in Kavita Apartments, Borivli, on Monday. Pics/Satej Shinde
(On bed, from left) Anupama Satam, her husband Girish Satam, father-in-law Rajaram Satam, daughter Aditi Satam, (on floor) younger daughter Prachiti Satam and son Gaurav Satam at their house flat in Kavita Apartments, Borivli, on Monday. Pics/Satej Shinde

An unlicenced hawker, who is the sole breadwinner of her family, has accused Borivli BJP MLA Sunil Rane of shutting down her business just because her stall was outside his office.

Anupama Satam started a food stall opposite the tehsildar office at Natakwala lane, Borivli West, around a year back. Earlier, she used to cook food at other people's homes, a job she took up after her husband Girish Satam, an auto rickshaw driver, met with an accident and is unable to drive anymore. However, Anupama, who is the sole earner in the family, has not earned enough since the BMC seized her cart and all the materials on the complaint of Rane.

Anupama Satam with her daughter Aditi at the spot where she has been doing business for the past two years.
Anupama Satam with her daughter Aditi at the spot where she has been doing business for the past two years

'Not my lookout'

"On September 24, the BMC seized everything. When we approached the BMC, they said a local MLA had complained and unless he allows, they cannot release my things," Anupama, 45, told mid-day.

Her family then approached Rane, but, "He told us, 'I don't want any hawking outside or near my office.' I pointed out that four other illegal vendors have been doing business just opposite the office, then why am I not allowed. To which, he said, 'it is not my lookout. You should find an alternative location or another source of income'".

Vegetable vendors on the footpath opposite MLA Sunil Rane's office at Natakwala lane, Borivli
Vegetable vendors on the footpath opposite MLA Sunil Rane's office at Natakwala lane, Borivli

'Aren't earning enough'

For the past five days, she has been setting up a makeshift stall with whatever she had, but has not earned enough as people are reluctant to eat there. The lack of earnings has also affected the education of her children — elder daughter Aditi is pursuing MA in German from Mumbai University, second daughter Prachiti is studying fashion designing and the youngest son, Gaurav, is in SSC.

Aditi, 23, feels she might have to give up studies and take up a job to support her family and the education of her two siblings. "Our business was shut during the lockdown and we have exhausted all our savings. If we don't resume our business, I will have no choice but to quit studies."

Sunil Rane, BJP MLA from Borivli
Sunil Rane, BJP MLA from Borivli

She also questioned the system for preventing her family, who have been living in Borivli for the past 70 years, from earning their livelihood. "It is upsetting when we, the people from Maharashtra, are prohibited from doing business in our own homeland."

'Nothing against anyone'

Rane said, "I had received complaints of a hawking menace from the locals. So, I complained to the BMC, which took the action. It was regular action and not against any individual. Hence, the allegations of me being vindictive are baseless and politically motivated."

He added that the cart and other materials will be released on Wednesday. mid-day tried to contact the BMC ward office for comment, but the official was unreachable till the time of going to press.

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First Published: 30 September, 2020 06:31 IST

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