Business may not resume until a vaccine comes
Hyderabad: Hawkers in weekly markets in Hyderabad’s Allapur division are eagerly waiting for them – the source of their livelihood – to reopen.
“We sold our gold to pay rent,” Satyanarayana and his wife Nagalakshmi, who sell snacks at a weekly market, informed The Observer.
The weekly Raythu Bazaars were started in 2015 to facilitate people to buy basic commodities near their homes. The markets have been of great benefit to the public, who buy grocery at reasonable prices, and to sellers, who can avoid middlemen.
Pilli Lavanya, who regularly buys from these markets, said she is forced to buy household commodities for a higher price because the Raythu Bazaars are not open. Her husband, who worked as a clerk, lost his job, making their life difficult.
The president of the Gayathri Nagar Colony committee, Badhipudi Ramulu, said they are not permitting the markets to reopen as hundreds of people visit them, making them unsafe in the Covid-19 situation. “I am answerable to the people if the virus spreads through the markets.”
Nagabushan (what are his initials?), an ex-supervisor of the markets, echoed Ramulu’s view. He said the markets should be closed until a Covid-19 vaccine is available. Even the committee lost money because the sellers are unable to pay the Rs 30- 50 they used to pay as development charge.
Daggupati Anitha who lost her job as a maid, said she and her husband – who earlier sold at Raythu Bazaars – now sell vegetables but are unable to earn enough.
Nagalakshmi said the division committee members should consider the sellers’ problems. The markets should be reopened by insisting on safety measures like social distancing, wearing masks and using sanitizers.
Allapur division president Nandu Pushpa Reddy said that to help the sellers, the committee, with the help of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, is granting Rs 10,000 loans at low-interest rates to eligible candidates. But the sellers said they don’t want to take these loans as it isn’t possible for them to pay back anytime soon.
Although many people will benefit by reopening the markets, they are likely to remain closed for some time. All the stakeholders – the sellers, the buyers and the committee members – are eagerly awaiting the same thing: A Covid-19 vaccine.