Among many things, the Maggiwalas of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu have their place in the minds and hearts of tourists who come to enjoy the beauty of nature in lush green mountains, gushing streams, as well as famous apple orchards.
While the versatile two-minute snack keeps the tourists warm and helps them focus on building memories for a lifetime, the Maggiwalas of Kullu have their own battle to fight.
As the team of The New Indian crisscrossed across poll-bound Himachal Pradesh to understand what the common people seek in these elections, the Maggiwalas of Kullu shared their problems and what they expected from the new government.
Ranjeet Singh, a Maggi vendor, told The New Indian that the government comes and goes, but it never thinks about Maggie sellers. “The demand for Maggie is huge in this region. The government can make some policy and provide a permanent place for our eateries,” Singh said.
Singh has been running his humble stall near the end point of river rafting in the city of Kullu for several years now. The rate of one plate of Maggi costs between ₹30 to ₹60.
Anita, who runs her stall at the same point, said the construction of a four-lane road helped vendors a lot. “With the construction of a four-lane road, the transportation of eatables to the hills has become easier. We thank the government for roads, but we want our shops not to be shifted from one place to another,” she said, demanding a permanent place for the vendors.
“I request the government not to disturb us again and again through police and administration. They should give us a permanent place,” Bhola Ram said.
While pandemic years had affected all of us in one way or the other, the Maggiwalas also spoke of the hardship they faced when the tourist movement was restricted. Some claim that they never received administration support to reestablish their business.
“No one helped us. I lost a job at a company due to the COVID pandemic. Then I opened this vend. I want more job opportunities for the youth of this state,” Jugal Kishore said.
Jeewan Kumar Singh, a shopkeeper, said, “I pursued an MBA from Pusa Road in Delhi. After an accident, I lost my job, and then I returned to Kullu and started selling Maggi.”