Rajesh B. Nair
|A family from Andhra Pradesh sells helmets for a living|
— Photo: T. Singaravelou
Safety issue: A two-wheeler driver inquiring about a helmet sold by the group from Andhra Pradesh at Ariankuppam
PUDUCHERRY: A family from Nalgonda district in Andhra Pradesh and settled in Porur, Chennai, is going from place to place selling helmets. The members of the family display the headgear in prominent locations in places where there is a popular demand for helmets for two-wheeler riders. They say their business has picked up after helmet wearing was made mandatory in Chennai.
Some of the family have set foot in Puducherry too, following reports of police plans to make helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders here.
Obdu, a native of Bhuvanagiri in Nalgonda, said the group was in town because they were told that the rule to make the wearing of helmets compulsory for two-wheeler riders would be made compulsory.
The group, comprising women too, line up on either side of the Puducherry-Cuddalore road near Ariankuppam.
Colourful helmets are stacked up high on the pavement of roads to attract potential customers. The group claims that their products bear the ISI mark. Unlike high-end models, the group sells helmets that are priced between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300.
Samathanam, an elderly woman in the group who is also from Bhuvanagiri, said they worked on commission basis. For each helmet sold they would get Rs. 5 as commission, she said, adding that the group made around Rs. 10,000 in Chennai alone following the High Court order to make helmet-wearing compulsory.
Obdu said they had travelled to places in Kerala, Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Bangalore to market their goods after the State Governments there decided to make helmet-wearing mandatory.
The group venture into helmet sales only when there is a demand for them.
On other occasions they sell household articles on the pavements in Chennai.
Obdu added that though they reached Puducherry three days ago, sales had not yet picked up. “There were several inquiries, and maybe sales will pick up after the Government announces the deadline for the mandatory wearing of helmets,” he added.
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