Onions -- big and small -- are being sold at prices upwards of Rs 140 per kilogram in Tamil Nadu as on Saturday.

Saravana Kumar giving the new phone and a pack of onions to customer
news Price rise Saturday, December 07, 2019 - 13:07

At a time when the country reeling with exorbitant onion prices, a small mobile shop in Tamil Nadu has rolled up its sleeves up to come up with an interesting offer. An announcement by STR Mobiles in Thanjavur district has not only piqued the interest of onlookers but also has spread amusement among people. 

STR Mobiles, a mobile sales and service centre in Thalayari Street in Pattukottai, has announced that whoever purchases a smartphone from the shop will be given one kilogram of onions as a freebie. 

Presently, one kilogram of big onions is being sold at prices upwards of Rs 140 in Tamil Nadu. Small onions or shallots are being sold at a price starting at Rs 160 in the state.

Speaking to TNM, Saravana Kumar, the proprietor of STR Mobiles, says that the reception of this offer has been great. “Nobody in Pattukottai has ever heard of such offers. So people are curious. I have been observing more footfall at the shop since the advertisement was put up,” he says.


The ad poster in front of the shop

35-year-old Saravana Kumar opened STR Mobiles around eight years ago in Pattukottai. On an average, the shop sells two mobile phones per day. 

“However, on Thursday and Friday, I sold eight phones a day. So I think people like this offer,” Saravana says. He adds that the customers who buy phones in his shop can choose between small onions and big onions for the freebie. 


One kg onion packs lined up in the shop

When asked about how his family is dealing with the unprecedented increase in the price of onions, Saravana Kumar, the sole breadwinner of the family, says that buying steeply priced onions has meant he takes lesser money back to the household. “It is a tough thing to do. But food is important for us too, and hence I am okay with taking back less money for some time, till the prices come back to normal. That’s all I can do to ensure my family is happy with decent food,” he says. 

Meanwhile, R Kamaraj, the Tamil Nadu minister for Food and Civil Supplies told a Tamil news channel that onion prices will reduce in 45 days, and that steps are being taken by the state government to import onions and sell them for lower prices.

Also read: At Rs 120 per kg for onions, TN turns to rationing, abstinence and more

Also read: From tiffin centres to the supply chain, Hyderabad in tears over onion prices