A fruit seller from Indore has gone viral on social media for protesting against the Municipal Corporation in fluent English. The woman, who has been identified as Raeesa Ansari, says in the two-minute video that she holds a PhD (Doctor Of Philosophy) in Material Science from Indore’s Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya. She claims she had to resort to selling fruits in the market because of the inability to get another job, given the social prejudice against her identity as a Muslim woman. The authorities’ directives of clearing fruit and vegetable carts from the markets, owing to COVID-19, has been affecting the vendors’ livelihoods.
Here is a clip of the two-minute video that has been reshared online multiple times:
*Today, A vegetable seller surprised everyone with her English*
Protest against the Municipal Corporation of #Indore for selling vegetables in Partial Lockdown.
She studied Ph.D in M. science & physics. she said that she had no research & job because she is Muslim. pic.twitter.com/sooqoPUsqM
— 𝐀𝐤𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐲 𝐒𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐡 𝐁𝐚𝐢𝐬 (@AkshayyySingh) July 22, 2020
“No One Will Give Me Another Job Because I’m A Muslim”
Ansari, who claims to have gotten her PhD in 2011, says that she has no option other than to be a fruit seller, due to prejudices against her community that are common these days. She says, “The first question is: who will give the job to me? The perception that coronavirus is being generated from Muslims has become common now. Because my name is Raeesa Ansari, no college or research institution is willing to give me a job.”
Ansari said that she is from a “heritage family” that has sold fruits for approximately 55-65 years now. She has inherited the fruit shop from her father, who is now 75-years of age, and in the current scenario, she is compelled to take on the family business.
News18 reported that Ansari’s professors from the university remember her as a bright student. Dr Rajkumar Chauhan from the Physics department said, “I remember that Raeesa had given a decked up fruit basket for my daughter’s engagement. She was a bright student and used to study hard but I am am not sure what prompted her to start working at her family’s shop.”
Fruit Seller Protests In English Against The Municipal Corporation
Ansari in the video is protesting against the Municipal Corporation for its partial lockdowns and curbs on the marketplaces in Indore, which has been affecting the incomes of fruit vendors and vegetable sellers. They apparently also removed her mango cart.
She explains, “At times, one side of the market is closed, the second one is shut by the administration; and there are hardly any buyers. What we are supposed to feed our families? I am selling fruits and vegetables here. People standing here are my family and friends. There are more than 20 members in the family. How will they survive? How they will earn? There is no rush on the stall but still, these officials keep telling us to run away.”
Indore has crossed a tally of 6,000 cases of coronavirus.
Tanvi Akhauri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.