Since the beginning of the pandemic, educational institutions were ordered to close down, however, they opened in March this year for the students of senior classes.
But with the surge in coronavirus cases, even they were directed to close.
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Mohamad Yasin, a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk said, “Only we know what we are facing. The business is completely down. Whatever little business we were able to operate has also ended due to the second wave. 50-70 per cent of the business that we relied upon, of selling school bags has come down to 0.”
Manzoor Ahmad, a shopkeeper who has been in the business for 30-35 years, shared the same sentiments.
“90 per cent of our business is dependent on schools. Out of the 100 percent, only 2-3 per cent of business is functioning. 50 per cent of business in Lal Chowk is of school bags. Not only that, there are stationery and school uniform shops also. A lot of this market is dependent on educational institutes. We are incurring a lot of losses. We need to take care of our households and children also,” Ahmad said.
Speaking to ANI, Sameer, a student, said, “We purchase bags mostly for school. Since they are closed, nobody is interested in buying them.”
Bashir Ahmad, General Secretary Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) said, “Every market has more than one shop that sells school bags. Even the manufacturing of school bags is huge here. Consequently, even they are facing losses. Only when there is demand here, will they be able to manufacture.”
Moreover, last week, the government ordered that markets in Srinagar city, including La Chowk, should open on a rotational basis. This has added to the problems of those in the business even more.