Meet the MA English Chaiwali of Bengal

It has been well said that no work is big or small. A young woman from West Bengal has proved it right by opening a tea stall on a railway station despite having an MA degree in English. Read the article to know more about her.

Tuktuki Das who was looking for a job till over a month ago is now a celebrity in social media thanks to the quirky name of her new business.

The 26-year-old lives at Habra city in North 24 parganas district of West Bengal, around 45 kilometres from Kolkata, the state capital. She has embarked on an unusual career of running a tea stall at the Habra railway station despite holding a Masters Degree in English.

MA English Chaiwali
The gutsy woman has named her stall as MA English Chaiwali drawing inspiration from Prafull Billore, the founder of Ahmedabad based startup MBA Chaiwalla who also started his entrepreneurial journey by selling a tea from a roadside stall.

Tuktuki has become the talk of the town with people expressing surprise of a highly educated girl starting a tea stall with majority of them praising the move while some also terming it as a failure of the government to offer livelihood opportunities to its citizens.

Unable to secure a job
Unfazed with the reaction of the society, Tuktuki says that the situation of her family coupled with the failure to land a job after hectic search left her with no option but to open a tea stall, “I was born in a lower middle class family. My father used to sell vegetables in the market and the business was pretty good. But he suffered massive losses in his business and the financial condition of the family was severely affected. He did several menial jobs like working as a labour and even pulling a rickshaw to feed his three children and wife,” she says as her voice gets choked with emotion.

“Despite the financial turbulence, he ensured that his children get good education. He wanted me to get a government job and settle in life. After completing my graduation, I began appearing for competitive exams but couldn’t find any job. I completed Masters in English last year and decided to start my business rather than further looking for job,” she says.

Why Tea stall?
Why opening up a tea stall? Tuktuki says that she was always interested to know about entrepreneurs across the country and read a lot about them, “One fine day, I came across Prafull Billore and was inspired by his journey. I decided to open up a tea stall as tea is it is most consumed brew in the country,” she says.

Soon, she shared her plan with her parents who were dejected about her educated daughter deciding to run a tea stall, “It took time for me to convince them and they finally acquiesced. I chose railway station because it remains busy across the day and footfall is good for tea stall,” she chuckles.

Good response
“I bought utensils and other items with my savings and started the tea stall on November 1. I uploaded a post on my Facebook page on the eve of inauguration offering a free tea to the customers for the first two hours on the opening day. The post went viral and people flocked to the counter for the tea. They not only praised my effort but also liked the quality of tea. Most of them have become my regular customers. I make around 10 varieties of tea and sell around 400 cups every day. The price of each cup is from Rs 5 to Rs 10. I am able to support my family with my income.”

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