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Kathmandu street vendors lament lack of options following crackdown

Updated: 2024-06-20 10:04
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Nepalese porters wait for customers at the Kalimati vegetable market in Kathmandu in 2020. NIRANJAN SHRESTHA/AP

Editor's note: In this weekly feature China Daily gives voice to Asia and its people. The stories presented come mainly from the Asia News Network (ANN), of which China Daily is among its 20 leading titles.

Every day, Menuka Basnet, 57, sets up her pushcart on the streets and back alleys of the Old Baneshwar area of Kathmandu to sell grilled corn.

She is a widow, mother to three children and the sole breadwinner in her family. She said she earns about 300 to 400 Nepalese rupees ($2.25 to $3) a day, which is hardly enough, but she has been doing this for more than a decade as she sees no other way to make a living.

"I'm at an age when I shouldn't have to do all of this, but look at me. I have no choice, and I have to hide to do my business," she said.

Her husband died of heart problems, her daughter recently underwent surgery and she herself has intestinal problems. She lost her house and property after failing to pay her loans.

"My family and I have spent days in hunger, living in the cold," she said. "Every day I come here to sell corn, but there is no business."

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