Kannur: Ever heard of a shop without a shopkeeper? A shop where you can just pick up what you need, check the price by yourself and leave the money in the box?
The Self-Help Shop run by the Janashakti Charitable Trust at Azheekode in Kannur district offers not just this space to help yourselves to quality products, but also a chance to extend a supporting hand to the differently abled community. The shop, opened on the New Year's Day, is drawing an increasing number of customers every day.
The Trust came up with the idea of a Self-Help Shop realizing the fact that the differently abled persons were finding it difficult to buyers for the products they were making. The shop offers products including soap, soap powder, phenol, toilet cleaner, hand washing solution, candles and cloth bags made by differently abled persons including the Special School students. LED bulbs and baskets will be added to the list shortly.
Instead of the shop keeper, the shop displays a board – This shop has no shop keeper or sales persons. You can pick up what you want, check the price tags and deposit the money in the cash box. However, the absence of a shop keeper has not affected the sales in the shop located conveniently near the bus stop and the high school. There is an average revenue of Rs 1000 minimum per day. The products are purchased outright from the manufacturers to ensure financial support to them.
The most heartening fact behind this shop's success story is the support given by the neighbouring shop keepers. They open the shop and close it in the morning. The neighbouring shop keepers have also put up CCTV cameras so as to keep an eye upon the shop.
The Trust members are elated over the success that surpassed their expectations. They also have plans to open a new branch in Kannur if the Corporation would provide the space.