Mysuru, Dec 30: Fifty-year-old Ramesh, a road-side fruit vendor, is a worried man. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the city has virtually upset his life. He is left with no option to sign off Year 2015 on a sour note.
Owing to security reasons the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and police officials have asked him to vacate the place. His little stall is just half-a-kilometer away from the venue being decked up for Modi's programme on January 3.
Ramesh says he has already been told by the MCC officials to vacate immediately. He is hanging around with the hope that some miracle would happen.
"If I stop my business my four-member family will be in big trouble. I have to pay the rent and look into the small needs of my family," says Ramesh, who has been occupying the road-side space for the last two years.
Ramesh says his fruit stall is not obstructing the footpath, since he has set up the stall on the excess land. His stall is situated on the University Road, next to the famous Kukkarahalli Lake - popular among joggers and walkers.
I am worried about my family now
A Modi fan, Ramesh says he always voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But his worry now is not whether his love for BJP or Modi will diminish.
"I was a security guard at a private firm two years back. I got into this job to ensure that my children (both sons) have a better future. I earn Rs 500 every day after all expenses," he adds.
Ramesh's list of regular customers varies from sports stars, business men, top professors and students.
"We love the way he cuts the fruits and serves it. It is so hygienic and this place has become part of our life. It's sad that he is finding no support," says Raghu M, a second year PUC student.
A badminton player now practicing for the state-ranking tournament, Raghu says Ramesh has never missed to turn up even for a single day. His friend, Bhargav, a 9th standard student, says Ramesh is not a greedy vendor.
"He knows all of us by name and is like a brother to us. Hope he will come back to the same spot soon," says Bhargav.
I am not with angry with Modi, police
Ramesh says he gets the fruits from the famous Devaraja Market in Mysuru. "I am left with no option but to return the fruits now. Some of my regular customers have promised to help me as well," he says.
When asked whether he was angry with the PM, police or MCC, Ramhesh said: "What will I get with anger? My worry is my family and their well being."
MCC Commissioner CG Betsurmath told OneIndia on Wednesday that they are undertaking the drive due to security measures.
"There are rules and regulations for street and footpath vendors. Some put up permanent structures and some temporary. The current drive is as the per the police (SPG) guidelines. These are mandatory rules," he says.
Ramesh's honey-topped fruit salad will be missed by many!