Every evening after Iftar, Mosharraf Hossain takes a flask of warm tea and some single use or 'one-time' cups, and walks around the village hawking 'Hot tea, here is hot tea!' For every cup of tea he sells, Mosharraf earns Tk5.
"I used to earn about Tk300 every day from my tea store before the lockdown but now that my store is closed, I had to come up with a way to make some money. My wife is pregnant now which has added to the pressure," Mosharraf told The Business Standard (TBS).
The middle child in his family, Mosharraf lives in Bahadurpur village, Mothurapur Union, in Chatmohor Upazila of Pabna. His homestead is his only property and when his tea store near Bahadurpur Eidgah Corner was closed down due to the lockdown, he was at loss.
"I spent the first four days of the lockdown at home and it was hellish. I had all these thoughts about how I could do something to make a living and eventually, I settled on the idea of hawking tea," Mosharraf continued.
When asked how he prepares for every day, Mosharraf said, "I make the tea at home and pour it in the flask. Then I leave for the village with the 'one-time' cups."
Chapal Hossain, a friend of Mosharraf's, assists him in tea selling. Combined, the two of them sell around 40 to 50 cups of tea every day making about Tk200 –Tk 250.
It is after Iftar when everybody is at home relaxing that they crave a cup of tea. That's where Mosharraf comes in, and this has added a new dimension to the village atmosphere.
Several people in the village, including Delwar Hossain, Noju Hossain, and Abdul Halim, were regular customers at Mosharraf's tea store before the lockdown and they were pleasantly surprised when they found out about Mosharraf's new venture.
However, the mobile tea venture is a temporary solution. Mosharraf complained that last year, since the beginning of the lockdown, underprivileged people received relief from the government but he did not get anything. And this year, it is happening again.
Asked about this, Abu Bakkar Siddique, UP member of Ward – 2 assured that this time Mosharraf would be given a relief package.
"This year when the government allocation for underprivileged people affected by Covid-19 arrives, we will help Mosharraf," he added.