This 'Berozgar Chaiwala' of Patna is serving tea along with a social message

08:20 AM May 31, 2024 | PTI |

Patna: Patna native Sahil Kumar, a graduate from a city-based college, has channelised his frustration about not getting a job into a tea-selling venture with a quirky name, ‘Berozgar Chaiwala’, more to serve a social message than the popular beverage.


His brother Suraj Kumar, a partner in the small business, laughs at himself and quips, calling the venture a ‘start-up’. Pointing out the irony of the situation, he says loudspeaker-mounted campaign vehicles run by various candidates blare out their list of promises including jobs.

These vehicles pass daily by their pushcart stationed along a roadside near the popular Dak Bungalow Chouraha in the heart of the city.

Many others like the Kumar brothers continue to stay in the ancient city under strained circumstances due to family compulsions.

‘The candidates, while campaigning in the streets, make tall promises. But they back out when they are in a position to do something for the students,’ Suraj, 24, told PTI.


He said the idea of the business and naming of the venture came from his brother Sahil, a year younger than him.

Sahil has a BCom degree from a college located in Mithapur where their family, comprising his homemaker mother and three brothers, also lives. His father died a few years ago.

‘Even after getting education and trying hard for jobs, we could not succeed. Some hurdles from somewhere kept coming. I missed qualifying for competitive exams by a whisker,’ he said.

Despite hard work the brothers did not get the right opportunity or proper salary. So, they started the tea stall to show the society that a person is jobless despite education.

‘And we opened this ‘Berogzar Chaiwala’ (unemployed tea-seller) tea stall,’ Suraj said, in between attending to his customers.

The name was chosen by his brother out of ‘sheer frustration and anger’ as he could not get a job, he said.

‘Many in our neighbourhood told him that people will make fun of them if he chose such a name for the venture. But he was determined and wanted to send this message to the society,’ Suraj recalled.

The story of Kumar brothers is not a one-off case in Patna, but not many have the courage to use self-deprecating humour.

A poster mounted on the front side of the mobile tea-stall also poetically extols tea consumption by stating ‘Ye chai ki mohabbat tum kya jaano, har ek ghoont mein heen nasha hai’ (What will you know of the love for tea, there is intoxication in every sip) while the tagline of the business which started last year reads ‘Fikr mat kar, chai try kar’ (Do not worry, try tea).

The poster put up on the stall also reads that there are two kinds of rates for tea — Rs 15 for the employed (Rozgar rate) and Rs 10 for the jobless (Berozgar rate).

“People who have a job also want to have tea at the ‘berozgar rate’ of Rs 10 most of the times. When we ask them, they say they are also jobless,” Suraj said with a smile.

Around late evening, people can be seen collecting around the stall, sipping on hot cup of tea and chit-chatting, at times discussing the elections too.

A clutch of old childhood friends of Suraj and Sahil often visit them to extend moral support, and make it a point to pay.

Asked what is the biggest issue for youths in this election, Suraj said, ‘The student should be empowered and they should get jobs. The government should support those who work hard.’

He informed that the venture has been registered under a government scheme so that in future ‘we can get aid from the government’.

The Bihar capital has two parliamentary constituencies — Patna Sahib and Pataliputra — both of which have sitting MPs from the ruling BJP. The elections for these two seats will take place on June 1, the last round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections. The campaigning came to an end on Thursday after reaching a feverish pitch.

Education, health and jobs are among the primary issues, especially for the young electorate of Patna, a large number of whom leave the city and migrate to bigger cities seeking better education and jobs.


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