Last week, Raisa Ansari, a woman fruit vendor made headlines when a video of her went viral on social media. In the video, Raisa was seen speaking in fluent english, protesting the repeated lockdowns in Indore. She later identified herself as a former research scholar of Devi Ahilya University, Indore. Turns out, that the 36-year-old woman had been offered an opportunity to join a research project in Belgium at a time while she was doing research at IISER Kolkata on CSIR fellowship.
"A senior of mine from the university was working on the project from Belgium. Their research head offered me to join them and sent an offer letter. I required the permission of my PhD guide to accept the offer, however he refused to sign the document. Once I lost the opportunity to go to Belgium for the research project, I lost all hope and returned from Kolkata," she told Jagran.com.
Ansari, who lives at Bakery Street in Pardeshipura with her family said she wanted to be a scientist but did not get a job anywhere.
Speaking to ANI, Ansari said, “I have done PhD in Materials Science and wanted to be a scientist but did not get job anywhere. I sell fruit here but the municipal officials are bothering us. We are being forced to move from here to there like cattle. Our religion may be the reason why we are not getting jobs but we are proud to be Indian. I am still looking for a job.”
Ansari in the video is protesting against the Municipal Corporation for its partial lockdowns and curbs on the marketplaces in Indore, which has been affecting the incomes of fruit vendors and vegetable sellers. They apparently also removed her mango cart.
Ansari said that she is from a “heritage family” that has sold fruits for approximately 55-65 years now. She has inherited the fruit shop from her father, who is now 75-years of age, and in the current scenario, she is compelled to take on the family business.
News18 reported that Ansari’s professors from the university remember her as a bright student. Dr Rajkumar Chauhan from the Physics department said, “I remember that Raeesa had given a decked up fruit basket for my daughter’s engagement. She was a bright student and used to study hard but I am am not sure what prompted her to start working at her family’s shop.”