AFTER 11 years of selling vegetables at the Labasa Market, Gulshan Bi still patiently sits at the Babasiga market - for the sake of financially supporting her family.
She has not changed her mind about her business on any given day - whether it be a good or bad day - selling vegetables is her lifeline.
Mrs Bi, a resident of Lajonia, outside Labasa Town is the sole breadwinner for her small family of two as she continues to support her husband who had his arms and legs amputated 15 years ago.
Her husband, 63-year-old Safih Mohammed, suffers from diabetes and lives at home - depending on his wife for support.
The couple have four children - two are married and reside in Suva while the other two live and work in Labasa.
"I have decided to do something worthwhile like selling vegetables at the Labasa Market.
"On a productive day, I can make a profit of $30 whereas when business is dull, I would take home a profit of $10," she said.
Eleven years of selling vegetables at the market has taught Mrs Bi a lot.
She says every day has new challenges and her secret is to take each one as it comes.
"I talk my way through with farmers who come to the market to sell their vegetables and always find my ways to bargain with them."
Mrs Bi is one of a few market vendors at the market who receives her supply from middlemen before stocking them in piles for sale.
She said profit from sales allow her to meet their daily expenses including her husband's needs.
Her old age has certainly not dampened her spirits of survival - to look after her husband who in his own way offers to assist in any way he can.
"People often tell me that for my age I should stay at home and look after my husband instead of standing at the vegetable stalls every day to sell the produce," she said.
"People talk but little do they know that we are humans too and we have our own needs and wants.
"Vegetable prices are low for the time being as supplies from farmers continue to increase especially during this cool weather period.
"I have 13 grandchildren and my husband and I sometimes travel to visit them and our children.
"In a way, selling vegetables has allowed my husband and I to keep in touch with my children and grandchildren."
Considering her husband's condition, Mrs Bi says meeting medical expenses is not easy but it's all possible through her determination to earn a living.
"I have a belief that as long as I am breathing, I will make it my priority to work as I've tasted the sweet fruits of hard labour - there is nothing like it," said the 55-year-old vendor.
"My word of advice to other women in the same situation as me is to keep on living their lives and do what they do best; age does not have to be a barrier."