22.06.2021, 10:02

‘Zero markets’ of Can Tho women

Seeing that many poor workers are facing difficulties due to loss of income during the epidemic, Ms. Duong Thanh Ha opened a “0-dong market” to help them get better meals.

For nearly a month now, Ha and her husband have called each other to wake up before dawn to go to the garden to pick vegetables, then bring them to the “0 Dong Market” behind Phuoc Long Pagoda, Le Binh Ward, Cai Rang District. It’s called “market” but it’s actually just a small stall, displaying all kinds of vegetables, tubers and fruits picked from the garden or brought by other relatives to contribute.

While she was cleaning the goods, the merchants in the nearby market also brought some vegetables. Every once in a while, a driver comes, carries bags of rice, instant noodles, bags of sugar or even just a bottle of cooking oil, drops into the “market” to put in the gaps on the shelves and then hastily leaves.

At the same time, poor workers such as picking up bottles, selling lottery tickets or poor motorbike taxi drivers began to “go to the market”. They enter the booth, automatically take the bag and then choose for themselves the necessary foods. Seeing the timid old woman selling lottery tickets, taking only a handful of vegetables, Mrs. Ha encouraged: “You just need to get more for your family to eat. If there’s a shortage of dinner, just come and get more.”

‘Zero markets’ of Can Tho women
The 0-dong stall is located behind Phuoc Long pagoda, Tran Hung Dao street is full of vegetables, noodles, eggs like a stall in the market. Photo: Ngoc Tram.

Ms. Ha, 60 years old, formerly worked as a trader, about two years ago she handed over to her children, officially retired. At the end of May, many households growing sweet potatoes in Tan Luoc commune, Binh Tan district, Vinh Long could not sell potatoes because of the disease, they offered to give them to Mrs. Ha so that she could deliver them to the needy.

After a few days of renting a car to transport potatoes from Vinh Long to Can Tho to give to those in need, many people confided: “I’m so happy when I receive a few kilograms of potatoes. Boiled these potatoes for breakfast and then bring lunch is always a little less food to pay for accommodation.”

From that time, Ms. Ha realized that many poor workers are facing difficulties during the pandemic. They also yearn for more food for their meals, but less and less income makes them “helpless”. The 60-year-old woman came up with an idea to open a 0-dong stall. At first, Mrs. Ha only put on the shelves the vegetables and fruits available in the garden. But a few days later, when she learned of her work, many sponsors everywhere also brought food, people from far away contributed money to Mrs. Ha to buy more vegetables. Every day, Ms. Ha also deducts her accumulated money or her children’s money for each month to buy more foods to add to the stall.

“If I wanted to help others, a chili or a lemon would help. At first, I only counted to help, but thanks to sponsors near and far, I have been able to maintain it for nearly a month now.” Ha shared.

Instead of staying at home to rest, Ms. Ha spends more time on volunteer work, which has been associated with more than 20 years. Since the day she had a stall of 0 dong, she went out every day to choose vegetables and refill them when she was short. Photo: Ngoc Tram.

The first few days, Mrs. Ha just put the goods on the shelves and then asked her foster daughter to sell a nearby shop to take care of them. But many people came, saw no one, so they were afraid to get in. Since then, Mrs. Ha has been present almost all day at the stall, only returning for a short break at noon, then staying out until 6pm in the afternoon. It’s not just about picking vegetables and stocking up on the shelves, but also talking to customers to make them less shy.

In addition to those who really have difficulty coming to pick up the goods, there are many times when Mrs. Ha sees people wearing gold and driving in luxury cars, she is still open and happy to guide them to pick up the goods and advises to take only enough to give way to the next person. .

“If they have a need to use it, I’m willing to share it. It looks like they might not make money today, having difficulties. If because of such a small number of people, they close their stalls, many people are poor. Others will no longer be helped. If you calculate too much, you will not be able to do good deeds,” she said.

Ms. Do Thi Phuong Dao, 44 ​​years old, selling rolls near the “0-dong Market” said: “Miss Ha’s stall opened for a few days, then saw less and less because the vegetables in the garden would probably run out, I thought it wouldn’t exist. But after a few days, I saw many people bring food to contribute, so now every day hundreds of people come to receive it. I have witnessed Ms. Ha when picking up vegetables, she chooses the fresh part to put on the shelf, the leaves are left. If you’re older, you can save it and bring it back to eat.”

Ms. Ha said that after being supported by sponsors with food, she was “so happy that I couldn’t sleep”. “Only the community’s cooperation can help this stall survive for a long time. I’m sure my joy is like those who are having to ‘tighten their belts’ to receive 0 dong goods,” said Mrs. Ha.

In addition to opening a 0-dong booth, when she was supported by sponsors with necessities, she made votes and organized hundreds of gifts for needy people in Cai Rang district. Photo: Ngoc Tram.

At more than 6pm, knowing that the stall was about to close, Ms. Chau Thi Chi, 67 years old, who works as a lottery ticket seller, rushed over to grab a bunch of broccoli to cook soup with a pound of pork she bought on the way home.

“Before the epidemic, I sold more than 200 tickets a day, but now I can only sell half if I go early and return late. People have a hard time, so they rarely buy lottery tickets. Since the day there was a stall, I visited every day. so it doesn’t cost money to buy. The vegetables here are still very fresh in the afternoon and have a variety to choose from,” the woman said. Follow vnexpress