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By Aparmita Das
Seventy-year-old Bibha Rani Ghosh, a tea and snacks vendor in Khyndailad (Police Bazaar), Shillong came to the limelight when a Facebook post (by Sudarshana Bisharad) calling and seeking support for her during the pandemic went viral.
The post was a picture of her in a small shop selling kwai (betel quid), mineral water and other items outside Krishna Emporium.
Soon enough, makeSomeoneSMILE - a team of like-minded individuals who plan, contribute, organise, collect funds and invest towards environmental benefits and preservation including communities in need - received multiple texts and recommendations concerning the lady after her business was affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The sharp decline in business led her to set up a kwai shop to earn her daily living.
The initial response the social media post garnered became slightly discomforting and a little irritating for her, as according to her, there were too many people visiting her for pictures.
Hence mS2 team approached her with very patient proceedings, to understand her life story, the reason behind her struggle and the support they could offer her.
After visiting her home and interacting with her family members, the team learned that Ghosh is a woman of principle who supports herself with the income she generates from her shop.
She has a strong bond with her family, but it is a life she chooses to live and is happy with.
The mS2 team also expressed its gratitude to Ashwil Dey (her grandson), who had spent the time to understand her lifestyle, emotions, and daily meaning of life.
After several requests, she agreed to accept help from the team in the form of a few items for her shop.
The mS2 team, along with the support of few members, handed over all the items she desired and also gifted her with new clothing, a table rack and winter wear, which she initially refused to accept.
She is now planning to re-establish her tea business and is hoping for the pandemic to end.
Meanwhile, the mS2 team assured her the necessary support and lauded her spirit and determination, given her age.
The team also requested all citizens to buy from her shop if or when they pass by Krishna Emporium.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)