The sugarcane crisis

-M Mashungmi
The price of sugarcane is  soaring high with time. Earlier, a dozen of sugarcane stick costs around 130-150 rupees (select ones). Now the price falls within the range of 250-300 rupees per dozen. As a result, sugarcane juicers charge more than they charged earlier. Under all weathers; wettest to driest  & coldest to hottest, they work tirelessly serving the people to give them a refreshing energy. After giving much labour and working so hard, they earn 400-800 rupees per day(depending on the number of customers). The service they provide is applaudable. As people stopped by and take a short rest under the shade umbrella provides, we serve them with this soul refreshing juice. With refreshed mind and body, they smile and nod their head with appreciation and thankfulness. They quench  their thirst as sugarcane juice is one of the most effective juices to fight against hot weather and an instant energy booster with many other health benefits in it. They appreciate the work we do, encourage and support us. They willingly pay twenty rupees for a cup ( about 220 -250ml) of sugarcane juice. Some even refused to take back change and insist us to keep them( which I think is a kind and an encouraging gesture).
Unfortunately, there are some people who argued with us for 20 rupees, which is the price for a cup of sugarcane juice (about 220-250 ml). We explain them the reasons for the rise in the price of sugarcane juice. Whatsoever, they refused to accept. Some of them unwillingly pay 15 rupees. Some with harsh words and angry face pay 10 rupees!. Further to our surprise, there are also some group of people who ask three cups for 20 rupees!! So, some  questions remains: Is twenty rupees for a cup(about 220 - 250ml) of sugarcane juice  way too costly for them? Are they being selfish about the money sugarcane juicers would gain? Or, do they just complain because they have been drinking it for years with 10 rupees? If the above questions be their reasons of complaining, then why don’t they just ask for a lesser quantity in a more polite way? If they are being selfish, then why don’t they start juicing sugarcane and serve people like us? Or, have they ever complaint about the prices of various commodities which earlier were cheaper and now costlier?
Think, a plate of momo(a kind of fast food) costs around 50-80 rupees, a cup of coffee costs 30-50rupees & a cup of tea costs 20 rupees in restaurants. But who have ever complaint? A cup of tea( about 120 ml) cost 10 rupees, a piece of bread cost 10 rupees in tea hotels.  Then, why can’t a cup ( 220 - 250ml) of sugarcane juice which  has a multiple health benefits costs 20 rupees? Is there a law that prohibits sugarcane juice from rising price?? Without any complain, we spend hundreds lavishly in restaurants but we  hesitate to spend 20 rupees for a cup of sugarcane juice and rose argument for the price. Should we consider sugarcane juicers to be inferior being than the  others?
Regardless of the price of raw sugarcane in the market( cheap or costly), 20 rupees for a cup of it’s juice is acceptable and reasonable for me. We need to change our way of  thinking. All legal work are equal, equally important and deserve equal respect.
* Contains no simple sugar. Thus, diabetics can consume it without risking their health.
* Helps in the treatment of jaundice.
* Treats sore throat, cold and flu.
*Helps in restoring the protein lost during febrile conditions like fever.
*Helps in treating kidney disorders and facilitates smooth functioning of excretory system.
*Helps the body to fight against cancer, specially prostrate and breast cancer.
* Helps in weight management.
Helps reduce burning sensation or dysuria associated with urinary tract infections, STDS, kidney stones etc
The writer is from Phange Village, Kamjong (presently staying at  Chingmeirong)