Overcoming misfortune, she strove to support her family

Rita from Pune views success through satisfaction of her customers
Rita Jamdar at her cubicle, waiting on her customers.
Rita Jamdar at her cubicle, waiting on her customers.Pic courtesy: Augusto Rodrigues

Augusto Rodrigues

Rita Jamdar cuts a figure of hard-earned achievement as she serves her customers, cultivated through thirty years of her existence near the old Asilo hospital in Mapusa. She serves fresh sugarcane juice, lime soda and tender coconut from morning to night to sustain her family.

“I came to Goa thirty years ago and lived happily with my husband until he fell sick. I had to find a way to earn our daily bread and thought of selling fresh sugarcane juice, lime soda and tender coconuts. It was tough adjusting to the new regime as I had to look after my sick husband, my two young sons and this business. But I slowly got used to it,” says Rita, as she busies herself preparing sugarcane juice for a client.

Forty-five-year-old Rita came to Goa from Pune when she was young. “After I got married, one of my uncles, who was a policeman in Goa, asked us to come to Goa to work. My husband was working till he fell ill. I realized I had to start doing something to start earning, and the idea to start this business struck me,” discloses Rita, who had two sons to nurture.

Rita Jamdar at her cubicle, waiting on her customers.
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“My eldest son was in the ninth standard and the younger one in a class lower. I used to take them to school, collect them and keep them with me until I finished work. We all ate together here. They studied here and even helped me with my work,” recollects Rita with a smile.

From a small kiosk, Rita now pays Rs 18,000 rent for a small cubicle from where she operates, 8 am to 8 pm, and later travels home to her home in Bastora. “I found work difficult initially because of the insecurity I felt. I used to worry and be doubtful when I first started, maybe because I was new and had just started life outside my normal environs, but I trusted myself,” says Rita with a smile that envelopes pride and pain.

“I close my shop for fifteen days every year for Ganesh Chaturthi. That is the time when I go home to celebrate Ganesh for 12 days. Otherwise, I am always open. I dropped my mother-in-law to our native place some months back, and I now have my niece who comes and stays with me. She is a helpful girl, and work now is not as busy as before,” opines the lady who looks at her regular customers as part of her family.

Rita Jamdar at her cubicle, waiting on her customers.
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“I have customers who have been coming over for years. They trust how I maintain the cleanliness of my sugarcane machine and my level of hygiene. Fortunately, I have never got any complaint from any customer so far, and that is how our trust has been built,” informs Rita as she greets an old customer of hers.

Rita reveals, “Business was down during the pandemic, but it was not the end of the world. I was not financially scared but scared of getting the disease. Now that things are normal, it is life back to usual.”

As one sips her lime soda and listens to her conversation as she works to serve her clients, it becomes clear that some people know to see success through the satisfaction of their customers.

Rita Jamdar at her cubicle, waiting on her customers.
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