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Dhaka Tribune

Degrees in hand, veggies in cart: Meet the PhD sabzi wala in India

  • Holds four master’s degrees in different subjects 
  • Quits his job as a professor due to frequent pay cuts 
Update : 06 Jan 2024, 12:07 AM

In India’s Punjab, the cart is brimming with an array of fresh vegetables—tomatoes, eggplants, cabbage, and more. 

However, it is not the vibrant produce that steals the spotlight but the veggie vendor himself. The sign proudly proclaiming “PhD sabzi wala” catches the attention of passersby.

Dr Sandeep Singh, the 39-year-old PhD sabzi wala from Punjab, is a PhD degree holder. Also, he has four master's degrees including Punjabi, journalism and political science In fact, he had been a contractual professor at Punjabi University in Patiala for 11 years. But his role as a veggie vendor has made a sensation on the internet as the question pops into the mind of netizens, ‘Why does he sell vegetables?’

Dr Singh explained why he ended up leaving academia, blaming frequent deductions and inconsistent paychecks as the main obstacles. "The job couldn't sustain my family due to delayed and reduced paychecks," he said. He asked, "What good is a job if it can't meet your basic needs?"

“I have worked as a professor at Patiala’s Punjabi University for 11 years. however, the government did not approve me despite my years of hard work. I still want to be a professor, but things aren't working out right now,” he added. 

Singh further disclosed that his income from selling vegetables is higher than his income from his position as a professor. When he gets back home after the day’s work, he studies for his upcoming exam.

He also dreams of starting his own tutoring house from the earnings of a vegetable vendor. 

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