Mumbai, June 25
Saddened to lose their favourite pani-puriwala to Covid-19, people from south Mumbai have joined hands to collect money and help his family, through a crowd-funding platform, raising over Rs 2.50 lakh so far, with a target of Rs 5 lakh.
Bhagvati Yadav, who ran a small pani-puri stall at the Rungta Lane near the posh Napean Sea Road, travelled from his tiny home in Mata Parvati Nagar at nearby Walkeshwar daily since the past nearly 46 years.
Known for his lipsmacking pani-puris, one of Mumbai's favourite street snacks, Yadav was a stickler for cleanliness who used only bottled mineral water, earning him the nickname of 'Bisleri Panipuriwala'.
"He was very popular in the area. We have all been savouring his pani-puris and other snacks since years," said a resident Girish Agarwal, who launched the crowd-funding drive to Yadav's family comprising wife and a daughter who is a Maths teacher.
"So far, there are contributions of around Rs 2.53 lakh from some 125 plus of his patrons in India and abroad, on the platform, www.ketto.org fundraiser for the panipuriwala," Agarwal told IANS.
"While we can try to find another snacking spot, his family will gravely miss a loving father, husband, and provider. They need our support. That's why we've created this page to contribute whatever you feel fit. And will make sure your generosity reaches his wife and his daughter Kusum," he said in the appeal.
Another resident A. Shah said that he had been frequenting Yadav's stall for over three decades for the hygiene and "unchanged taste" he always maintained, and he was sad to learn of his passing.
Many of his regular patrons were not even aware of his name, but over a couple of months ago, started missing him when his stall did not open for days in the evening.
Enquiries revealed that he was a diabetic and had been admitted to a hospital and in the third week of May, succumbed to Covid-19, shocking the local residents.
It also transpired that he was the sole breadwinner for his family and the crowd-funding initiative is intended to help them after his sudden demise, added Agarwal.
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