50-year-old Pramila Khadse, a vegetable vendor at the Mahatma Phule fruit and vegetable mandi, Pune, could not control her tears when she received a stainless-steel tiffin box on March 8, International Women’s Day. “I am selling vegetables here for many decades, working almost six hours daily. I have never had a proper lunch. I would have biscuits with tea whenever I’m hungry. Now I will carry roti and dal for lunch,” she said wiping her tears. She was one of the 400 beneficiaries who received lunch boxes from women Rotarians of D 3131. “Most of these women come from neighbouring villages, 50 km away, for earning their daily bread,” said Gauri Shikarpur, the District Director of Women in Rotary. “They pack their lunch in old cloths as they can’t afford a proper lunchbox which will keep their food fresh. So we decided to gift them good quality tiffin boxes.” Padmaja Deshmukh, spouse of DG Prashant Deshmukh, and local corporators Manjushri Khardekar and Madhuri Sahastrabudhe helped in identifying the beneficiaries. Thanking the Rotarians, the women vendors gifted them traditional Maharashtrian turbans called the Pheta.
In a similar event, women Rotarians of RC Khargar presented umbrellas to women street vendors, while RC Nigdi also offered tiffin carriers to women ragpickers.