By Yeldi on May 31, 2017
Why is it important to go Local?!
Glocal is a buzzword that is slowly catching up. It means adaptation of global markets around a local culture. Eg. When a conglomerate like Mc Donalds tweaks their menu to serve recipes for the local palette. Ever since Rujuta Diwekar the famous Bollywood fitness dietician started advocating 'Be global, Eat local', many have joined the bandwagon for good health. This means choosing and eating locally grown fruits, vegetables and pulses over imported kiwis from New Zealand, imported apples from America and imported prunes from California. The motivation for going local can be several and may differ from person to person.
At the grassroots level the problem is much graver. Once in a while we watch the news with respect to farmer suicides. We all assume that it's due to unpaid loans or impoverishment from failed rains or bad crops. 1,82,936 number of farmers have committed suicide between 1997-2004! This isn't due to just agricultural problems. There is a destruction of an entire system that previously used to function with ease. No matter what the product is, from grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables to even clothes and bales of cotton. They are produced locally and then moved to cities and towns for sale. These products are quite often not picked up by the fancy supermarkets or stores in malls. Out of no choice local stores decide to sell them.
Unfortunately there are a few drawbacks. These stores are accessible only to a few customers who live in and around that area. Since most of us have got used to shopping in malls or large food chain supermarkets we think of these small stores only when we run out of an ingredient while cooking or need something on the spur of the moment. To make matters worse, we haggle and bargain while shopping at these local stores, or even with roadside fruit wallas while we don't blink an eyelid paying 5 times the cost at malls. Hence, the demand for these products goes down drastically thereby reducing the profit of an individual local Indian.
Gone are the days where our merchants addressed us by our names and asked us about the well-being of our family. The days when Keera kaarama advised us on which greens are good and the moment she found out one of our family members was coughing she would give a free bunch of thoodhuvalai along with her Rasam recipe! The truth is while the habit might have died out, those merchants are still alive! We still have our Aachis and Annaachis, Keerakaaramaas who are running their business with their heart and soul – giving us a personalised shopping experience!
After the phase of processed packaged food, instant foods, ready mixes and GMO foods found in big supermarkets, we are now entering an era where our doctors are advising us to eat – whole natural foods! We watch documentaries on people addicted to sugar or health issues arising from genetically modified produce. The awareness for organic food is slowly on the rise. With Modi Government's Make in India, people are slowly reverting to our roots and our grandma's tips. After the uprooting of several trees during the Vardah cyclone in 2016 December, even the experts said that we must grow more local trees that are suited to the local climate. All signs point in the direction of supporting our local ecosystem. While there is nothing wrong in experiencing cross culture food and products, one must not forget our centuries old wisdom that has been passed down for a reason.
Yeldi Folks is a community of people who wish to contribute to the growth of local merchants.
This community uses the Yeldi Folks NFC enabled Tap and Pay card to make payments. One can tap for as less as One Rupee with no fines or charges. One is also rewarded with Recash points for every purchase, thereby giving an incentive to shop more at local stores. This way, Yeldi helps develop customer footfalls by encouraging the public to go and shop at these small stores that one would have otherwise ignored. The list of stores includes Pharmacies, Groceries, Fruits and Vegetable stores, Restaurants, Parlours, Organic stores, Recharge / Mobile outlets, and lots more! The list also includes Make in India start-up stores.
So let's start a new phase. Support local.
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