This small Indian shop has no shopkeeper, and the reason will melt your heart
In India, if someone told you that there is this shopkeeper-less shop where you can buy stuff and just drop the amount due in a box at the counter, you’d perhaps not believe them. However, such an establishment actually exists in the coastal village of Azhikode, Kerala.
Opened on January 1, this ‘self-service’ shop is a pioneering initiative spearheaded by the Janashakti Charitable Trust, an NGO engaged in welfare activities for the differently-abled in the region.
All the products in the shop, ranging from soaps and hand-wash to candles and cloth bags, have been created by four differently-abled individuals and students of the Asraya Special school in Kannur, and it manages to rake in a minimum of Rs 1000 every day!
Sugunan PM, the Convener of the Trust says, “We have been working with the differently-abled community in Azhikode and are very well aware of their lives and struggles. One of our beneficiaries, who is physically impaired from the waist below, used to make utility products and pencils from paper but seldom found buyers. And because of his disability, the possibility of marketing or finding bulk orders seemed bleak. We wanted to change that and give a chance to all such enterprising entrepreneurs. That’s how the idea of the self-service shop came up.”
“Although it was our idea, the initiative has found great support from people across Azhikode. The shop is opened every day at 6 am by the shopkeeper selling vegetables in the adjacent shop and remains open throughout the day. It shuts down at 10 pm. While we have installed a CCTV camera to prevent any untoward activities, the physical presence and support of nearby shopkeepers has been central for the stall’s success,” explains Suganan.