BANGALORE: At Sai Traders, a shack along Outer Ring Road, M Venkatesh gives tender coconuts for free to pregnant women and the physically challenged. He is the yalneer man, whose reputation has grown in the area. A nutful of sweetness is welcome in the summer heat, especially when a yalneer is selling at Rs 30 each.
Venkatesh, 51, has set up a board at the shack, off Iblur gate: ‘Free for temples, pregnant women, physically challenged’, attracting dozens of passersby. This offer has also built many bonds.
Venkatesh, from Hosur, started his trade four years ago. When his business ran into loss a year ago, he told himself to share his profits with the needy to streamline his business, and also for his own peace.
“Those who go to a temple name the god when they buy it. If they still cheat me, it’s up to them. Till now, none has lied to me. A pregnant woman, who was my customer, called me up recently to say she had a boy and I must visit her,” says Venkatesh.
But is this largesse leading to losses? “No, in fact, I’m getting bulk orders these days. There are cases when I’m woken up in the middle of the night to give tender coconuts for emergency cases. I’m getting more customers,” says Venkatesh.
Anand Reddy, a techie picks up tender coconuts from Venkatesh, had uploaded his picture with the board on Facebook. “An American who replied to the post even said he wanted to meet me when he comes down to Bangalore,” says Venkatesh.