Mysuru: Driving down the Ideal Jawa Railway underbridge, a curious sight greets the drivers from a distance, of a bunch tied together hung on a railing and some laid on the ground. On closer look, it is revealed that they are crabs.
A man wearing a cap and squatting holds them. He is Shivakumar Gowda, resident of Metagalli who sells crabs, which he has been doing for a number of years. Speaking to Star of Mysore, a hesitant Gowda said, “I have been in this profession for a long time and I sell crabs, prawns, jelebi fish (Tilapia), fresh water crabs. I have supplied these items during Bengaluru Ahara Mela and even during the recent Dasara Ahara Mela. I sold 500 kg fresh water crabs during that time.”
The crabs bunched together in a dozen are sold at Rs.250 a dozen. Gowda said that eating crabs is good for health and hence many doctors, engineers come to him for purchase.
He sources it from the villagers near Kere Tonnuru and surrounding places where they catch the crabs and sell it to him. “The demand for crabs picks up on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays and on Sundays I sell as many as 50 dozens. The other two days I sell 35 to 40 dozens. I do not work on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays as they are lean days,” he said.
Gowda has hired an assistant to clean the crabs for which he charges Rs.20 extra for a dozen. “The same crabs are sold in the market for anywhere between Rs.300 to Rs. 350 a dozen. Eating crabs is good for post natal mothers, obese people to lose weight and generally it is considered a medicinal diet,” he said.
There are nearly 6,793 species of crabs spread across oceans, rivers, water and even on land.