Spice of life

Amala Dangol has been selling products on the streets of Ason for the last 40 years. Sometimes she sells children clothes, sometimes lingerie, but when Tihar approaches, she is ready with her masala packets of dry fruit and sweets.

How do you celebrate Tihar?

Years ago I changed my religion to Christianity, so now I don’t do puja. But that does not mean I don’t enjoy the festival. My family has been very supportive, thus during Bhai tika my brothers visit me even though I don’t put tika. We chat, eat and enjoy and that’s what counts.

Does the festival bring more problems than fun?

Those who have it all and are content are happy with the festival; as for us children demand everything good, and tension increases.

What about the recent law against street vendors?

When I started to sell stuff on the street, there were only eight or nine vendors and we were welcomed by all. Now the scenario has changed and more people have come. Many don’t understand our problem. We bring goods on credit and after the sale, we get our part of the profit. With the ban on street vendors, I wonder how am I going to take care of my family. And this is not just my story, but many vendors have the same story to tell...