Lunch-Box Tales – Auto Drivers Kumar, Marghan and Kopendra Talk About Tasty & Pocket-Friendly Street Food

Kumar has been working as an autorickshaw-driver for the past nine years. “I feel everything is polluted in Bangalore, from the air we breathe to the food we eat!” he says. In his eyes, village life is the best life to live and he is thinking of getting back to his native village and leading a happier life there.
Meanwhile, in the city, Kumar usually eats his breakfast at home and his lunch outside. His favourite places to have lunch are hotels near the KEB offices where ragi ball, subji and sambar are available. “I know of four to five places where they cook food using firewood. So, if I am near them, I make sure I have my lunch there.” For about INR 40, he gets rice, sambar, papad and pickle. “This doesn’t fill the stomach but we have to make do with it to save some money.”


Marghan feels very lucky to be an autorickshaw driver. “My auto is god’s gift to me!” There are close to 600 auto drivers in the union he heads, and he tries to help every one of them.
Marghan’s typical day begins at 7:30 am. He drinks his morning coffee from any coffee point. As he is in charge of the union, he can’t stick to one location for lunch or breakfast; if he gets a call, he would have to rush to any point in the city. Usually, his expenses for lunch amount to INR 50. For him, food on wheels are the best places as the food fills the stomach and is tasty as well.
“As an auto driver, I can earn enough to give my children an education, but not a lot more than that. I also lend my support to the children of other auto drivers.”
Kopendra has been an autorickshaw driver for 25 years. He had shifted from auto to car driving but then had come back to auto. His auto was purchased on a loan and he pays INR 6,000 every month for its repayment.

Kopendra’s day starts at around 8.00 am and he comes back home for breakfast or lunch if he is near home. His daily expenses for food stay within INR 50. He comes back home at 8:30 pm where he has his dinner.


Listen in…


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