Contagion dampens Rakhi celebrations in Chandigarh

Contagion dampens Rakhi celebrations in Chandigarh

People buy rakhis at the Sector 22 market on Friday. Pradeep Tewari

Amarjot Kaur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31

The fear of Covid-19 has eclipsed the festive fervour of Rakshabandhan celebrations in the city this year. For seasonal vendors selling rakhis at stalls in the common marketplace, lesser footfall means lesser sales.

In Sector 32, Munni Devi, the sole breadwinner for a family of four, rues, “I have been setting up a rakhi stall here every year for 25 years, but the business has never been so slow. Earlier, I earned Rs25,000 from this stall. I have barely made Rs200 today.” Devi purchases rakhis at wholesale rates from Ambala. However, she fears that the investment may not yield any profit this year. At almost all stalls, a rakhi is priced between Rs10 and Rs100.

Jatin, who has been putting up a stall for 10 years with Devi, adds, “I haven’t sold more than 10 rakhis today.

Earlier, the business would reach a breakeven point five days before the festival. The MC, too, troubles us for encroachments if we don’t remove our stalls.”

In Sector 34, Noor Alam says, “I’ve been selling rakhis here for 20 years. Last year, I made a profit of about Rs50,000. Now, I got this stuff for Rs15,000 and I haven’t sold a single rakhi.” Sheru, a vendor in Sector 44, says, “Now, no one visits or touches the rakhis even though we have kept sanitisers. This is my third year into the business and I am already in loss,” he says.

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