Mangesh Ahiwale who sells vada pav in Mumbai was in the news earlier for donating a day of his earnings to a family that lost a member at a stampede at the city's Prabhadevi railway station. The stampede killed 23 people in the station in September, 2017. Also, in 2015, he made a donation of Rs 20,000 to Chief Minister's Relief Fund for the farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha who were hit by severe drought.
Recently, he chose a Tuesday to sell vada pav at only Rs 5, which is 60 percent lesser than his usual price of Rs 14. His thought was to donate the day's earnings to Indian soldiers, after he made a pledge to meet Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman and hand the amount over.
Speaking with ANI News, Mangesh said,
"This is just a small initiative so that people respect our soldiers. The amount is Rs 5, because I want that even a poor man is able to buy a vada pav. The whole collection will be sent to Nirmala Sitharaman. Every Indian respects the soldiers of the nation and I am also one of them. Except on January 26 and August 15, the remembrance for these soldiers is diminishing. This is just a small initiative so that people respect them every day."
The whole thought of this occurred to Mangesh when he realised that the people of India remember the soldiers only on days like the Independence Day and the Republic Day.
In 2015, when he donated for the drought-hit farmers, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis in a series of tweets said, "He announced that he will donate complete earnings from that day towards relief measures for drought-hit farmers. For this he sold Vada Pav for ₹5/-instead of ₹12/-that day. I appreciate his sensitivity towards society. Really touched by his kindness."