#11 – The Dosa Ajji: Sharda Chouragade

“The thing about being content in life. All you need is a moment of confidence and courage to turn your life around.”

These are the encouraging words of Sharda Choragade or fondly known as ‘Dosa AJJI’ (grandmother in Marathi) from Nagpur.

From walking away from a drunkard husband to coping with the death of her mother. From starvation to starting her dosa stall. This woman has experienced some of the most difficult of times. Yet, throughout her struggle, she kept believing in the moto: “SAB ACHA HO JAYEGA” (everything will be alright)

In amidst all this turmoil back in 2004, this feisty lady managed to start her own Dosa stall to sustain her family. She started by selling them at a meagre Rs 2/piece. Even when the stalls around her were increasing the prices, she managed to keep to a bare minimum of Rs 10 for 2 dosa and Rs 10 for 4 idlis.

Why such low prices? The simple fact that she has seen starvation first hand; how it paralyses you from doing anything. Her motive was to serve school children and labourers, for whom affordability was prime.

She is an extremely strong woman who walked from an abusive husband. She had no care when she was pregnant and finally mustered the courage and walked away for the sake of her unborn child. She worked odds jobs to educate her son. And when she had enough money, she started her own stall.

One of her cherished memories over the years is of a college student, a frequent customer who surprised her with a banner for her stall to attract more customers. 

The last six months have been difficult on her and she has barely made any money. But being the strong woman she is, she has soldiered through with the little savings she has gathered.

You can help Sharda if you wish here.

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