During the lockdown the hawkers near Charminar were gone and for several months they didn’t come back with their stalls. But since the lockdown has been lifted and the number of COVID cases gone down, the hawkers are coming back. With them the ‘Footpath Mamool mafias’ are also coming back.
These ‘Footpath Mamool mafias’ demand money from the hawkers. Force them to pay up and harass these hawkers. These mafias or the goons and pahelwans as they are called, collect money from the vendors calling it ‘protection money or fee.’
Not just the goons, even the shops collect money from these hawkers. A hawker will need to park their cart at a certain spot, if that cart is in front of a particular shop, then they will have to pay fees to these shop-owners. The owners will collect Rs 50-100.
It all depends on the stuff that these peddlers sell. Depending on the goods that are being sold to the location of the shop, the shopkeepers will collect around Rs 50-100 from the cart-owner, per day. These carts are located in Nayapul to Shah Ali Banda, Lad Bazar and Khilwat areas. The vendors will be selling different goods. The road, footpath and the area, overall is filled with these carts.
The ‘Footpath Mamool mafias’ will be roaming around collecting money. If the vendors refuse, it will be bad for them. The goons will beat them up or in some cases; the vendor might also end up losing their limb. The problem is that even the police do not help these vendors. Instead, they ask for money as well. They cannot go to the cops, as even they harass the vendors.
It's difficult but the vendors try to make do, somehow. They give money to the shopkeepers, the goons and at the end of the day they are able to take just enough money, back home.