Sunder Singh had studied only up to high school. He was 32-years of age, lived alone in a rented room, and worked eight-hour shift at one petrol pump, then went to the other one for another eight-hour shift. He had a girl friend and was planning to marry.
One day when he returned from work, he got a note from his girl friend that she was getting married to someone else and he need not bother her. This was a terrible shock to Sunder Singh and he fell apart. He stopped going to work, spent sleepless nights, and was very depressed. After a month, he was running Iowan his savings and approached his earlier employers to get back his job, but they would not give him a second chance. He had to quit his rented room, and sold few things that he had. He would do some odd jobs at the railway station or the bus terminal.
One day, nearly two years ago, he was very hungry and did not have any money and saw a young man selling newspapers. He asked him what he was selling and he told him about Guzara (an independent, non-profit, independent newspaper sold by the homeless, and economically disadvantaged men and women of this metro city). Sunder Singh approached the office and started selling the newspaper. He did not make a lot of money, but was good at saving it. He started saving money for a warm jacket for next winter.
He was reasonably happy; he had money to buy food, and no longer homeless and shared a room with two others. One day, with his savings he bought a pair of second-hand Nike shoes from flea market.
Sunder Singh is not unique among low-income consumers, especially in large cities, in wanting and buying Nike shoes. Some experts believe that low-income consumers too want the same products and service that other consumers want.
The working poor are forced to spend a disproportionate percent of their income on food, housing, utilities, and healthcare. They solely rely on public transportation, spend very little on entertainment...