Chennai: 75-year-old Gupta, a Telugu native who runs an idli-dosa batter store in Chennai, has initiated a plan to increase sales by offering a helping hand to others. He and his wife, Sreelatha, have put up a board outside their shop stating that customers can avail a bucket of water for free for every kilogram of idly or dosa batter purchased from the shop.

Gupta, who came to Chennai in 1952, has owned the store for 40 years. Gupta's wife Sreelatha said their workers arriving late to the store due to the water crisis sparked the idea of free water for batter

The initiative helps them sell their products and help others, including the store workers and natives, who struggle for water in the city. This couple buys 12,000 litres of water twice in a week to run the shop. Of the 12,000 litres of water, only 2,000 litres of water are consumed on a daily average for batter production and the balance 6,000 litres of water is distributed to customers.

The couple sells 1kg of batter for Rs 35 and obtain 25% profit from the business. They manage to sell over 200kg of batter every day.  The couple allows customers to retrieve water from the shop according to their convenience.

Tamil Nadu has been reeling under acute water crisis for the past several months as Chennai's Porur Lake, one of the main sources of water, has reached its lowest level. Moreover, scorching heat and delayed monsoon have further worsened the situation.