There are millions of little ‘shops’ like the ones that these three women are carrying on their heads. They’ll find a spot where lots of people pass by, sit down on the ground and spread out their wares on a cloth, and they are in business. Another example of jugarh, making do with what’s available.
This photo was taken in the holy city of Haridwar on the banks of the Ganges. Since there are a lot of people coming to this ghat every day, they probably make a relatively decent living—enough to feed their families and send their children to school. In many places, though, sidewalk merchants barely scrape by.