Beedi – Poor man’s cigarette

Beedi, Indian cigarette
Man lighting a beedi

This man is about to light his beedi, a thin Indian cigarette. It is made of tobacco leaves or flakes wrapped in tendu leaves and tied with a string. It is inexpensive and is popular among the poor smokers. It could be more harmful than the cigarette. However, there is little effort to curb bidi smoking. Bidis rolling is a cottage industry providing employment for several people from the weaker sections.


2 thoughts on “Beedi – Poor man’s cigarette

  1. One of my best friends in AC Tech was the owner of Kajah Beedi. Living in Mangalore (albeit briefly), I could see the impact of Beedi on the lives of many rollers. It is an amazing cottage industry that elevated many a poor family. My driver’s family- all of them rolled Beedi in their spare time.. In Cuba, a nice Churchill rolled on a nubile lady’s thighs fetches a fortune. Holy Smokes!


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