Bazaar! Colours of Life at Okhla Sabzi Mandi


– Ashim Sunam & Saiam Hasan

The sight of a market spilling over its sides may not be the first thing to attract you when you pass by Delhi’s Okhla Sabzi Mandi. One of the biggest vegetable markets in Delhi, it is full of colour and people at work. This contrast grabs one’s attention.

Okhla fruit and vegetable market was developed by DDA and handed over to APMC Azadpur as its sub-yard in1987.

Farmers from all the nearby villages of Delhi come here to sell their produce. “We don’t get a holiday like you people do, we have to work in all conditions and all situations.” says Fatima, a green grocer at the Mandi.

“I am coming here since my childhood and it has been more than 5 decade now,” echoes 57 year old Moinuddin, who has spent more than half of his life at the Mandi.

1) Fruit and Vegetable Market, subyard-Okhla, popularly known as Okhla Sabzimandi, is expanded in approximately 9.98 acres of land.

There are around 50 big shops and 218 small shops in the market. The size of these shops is 12’x53’ and 12'x12’ respectively.

There are 81 porters registered with Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee. Sunil is one such porter who earns around 100-150 Rs. per day and has been working in the market for the last eight years.

Produce is imported to the market from different parts of India.

Porters packing the gunny sacks after unloading potatoes from the trucks.

Apart from authorized shops, there are street vendors also, who have to bribe the brokers and local goons to set up their stalls.

The market aims to ensure orderly marketing to safeguard the interests of producers, sellers and consumers.

Aamir is 13 years old and sits at the shop in place of his father during lunch break. “I return from school at 1 pm and after having my lunch I sit in the shop,” says Aamir. He finishes his homework in the evening and hardly gets time to play. “Dukaan band kar denge to bikri kaise hogi (How will we sell if we shut down the shop?),” he added.

There are 68 and 50 shops alloted for vegetables and fruits respectively.

Okhla Mandi also supplies vegetables to local retailers across Delhi.

Malti Devi says, “It is our family business and two of my sons are also involved in the same profession. Our family owns a total of 3 shops in the market.”

Budhiram has been putting up his shop in the mandi for the last 32 years.

Women work with equal vigour at this market and stand at par with their male counterparts.

The market comes to life everyday at 5 a.m. and continues till late evening.

One of the last few trucks with the much needed vegetables makes its way to the mandi.

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~ by thegai on April 25, 2010.

2 Responses to “Bazaar! Colours of Life at Okhla Sabzi Mandi”

  1. Hi… i like your post and actually it helped me a lot for my project….
    I know it is an old post but i was just wondering if you have any idea about the kind of competition the shop keepers delve in… any marketing or price wars with each other… please help me if you know about this… Much thanks in advance

  2. All categree white & Red potato small & big saleing shop numbers 195 supar star aalu company new okhala sabzi mandi new delhi 110020 content number 9313667177, 9811026028, 9990932251, 9811270970

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