From India with Love: Episode 6; the Irony of Our ‘Simple Life’


The Irony of Our ‘Simple Life’

Folks, this is an issue that i’ve been wondering of for couple of weeks now. I often buy stuffs from shops and food joints in India. So in Ghana, can you actually visit about 3 three different shops in the same area, and these shops will have same price for a product? How about from region to region? I think that will even be worse, hahaha!

In India, you enter a local shop or a supermarket to buy something and the prices are actually printed on the covers of most of the products. Who did it? Not you, not me and obviously not the shop owner, but the producing company. The ordinary food joint seller in India or “check check” seller as they are called in Ghana has a card which has the prices foods printed on it. And every food seller has at least two for customers to choose the food they want and even know the price before they order.

However, in Ghana, menu is seen only in well established restaurants and mostly hotels. In fact, they are seen as exclusive to provide to customers. Also, prices are not printed on the covers of products. You enter a shop today to buy a thin of milk and the next day, the price is changed. The only excuse is that, “oh, the prices had increased when i went to Makola market” Who increased it? Is it the producer or the distributer? And this was done over night without any announcements. Because price increments should be communicated to consumers! Hmmm.

The irony is that, most of these companies that are providing prices on their products in India are also operating in Africa and they are known companies too. So, why can’t they do same in our parts of the world? Is it because of governments’ legislations and economic policies? For Ghana, may be because fuels prices or utility fees are normally increased amidst public outcry. So an advantage for operators to do what they want. I enter a shop, pick the item, and check the price and pay. Sometimes, i don’t even have to talk to the shop owner. Why can’t this be done?

Each day, customers are fighting with sellers because the customer bought a tin of milk at 90p at Latebiokorshie and at Bubuashie, it costs GH¢1. It is as if the production companies sell the products at different prices to the whole sellers! Because, if for example, Nestle sells Milo at GHc3 to all its distributors, then, all distributors must sell at same price to shops and shops too same prices to retailers. At least, prices should be the same at regional levels!

You see, we don’t want to live a simple life. People laugh at the rickshaws as been rickety, but they are seriously making movements from one place to another easier in India. They are ready everywhere at moderate fare prices.

Almost everyone has a motor or bicycle so the ‘school child’ does not have to wait for his/her parents to drive him/her in that Limo to school, only to be late to receive some ‘hot’ lashes or a ‘90° angled’ knock from ‘Sir John’. Parents too will therefore not be in a rush to pick their kids from school. In such a society unnecessary pressure is not put on your brain and heart. Hence you live at peace.

Friends, i know someone reading this story may not be happy, but it is the ‘sweet’ truth. We all have a role to play in Africa’s development. When we live simple lives in Africa, we would develop at a faster rate than we are doing currently! Why should a 2-week old child dream of chewing bones in 2 days time? It is not possible because the child will bleed and have gum swellings! So should a citizen of a developing continent not think of buying a jaguar in two months time when your average monthly income is say $200 or less. We always think we live a simple life but seriously, we’re not!

And I saw the Flower Praying before God: Episode 7, soon on this blog…

Written by Prince Baah-Duodu for www.baahduodu.wordpress.com

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2 thoughts on “From India with Love: Episode 6; the Irony of Our ‘Simple Life’

  1. The funny thing is Prince, that prices are still debatable in India. However in a lot of European countries, there is no debate possible. Prices are fixed and predetermined by grocery stores and the likes. Monitoring authorities regulate profit margins on products to a certain extent. One main reason why more modernised countries have fixed prices for products, is transparency of the market galvanised by the internet revolution. Prices can easily be compared online, ensuring price competition among competitors!

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