Monday, 30th October 2017

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Corona dampens Holi 2020 mood

Sales dip in Guwahati markets

By Debananda Medak in Guwahati
  • Published 9.03.20, 12:08 AM
  • Updated 9.03.20, 12:08 AM
  • a min read
  •  
A vendor sells colours on the eve of Holi in Guwahati on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Residents were not seen enthusiastic enough to shop for this year’s Holi till Sunday following widespread fear of novel coronavirus.

Moreover, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s (GMC) sudden eviction of a number of unlicenced street vendors at Fancy Bazar also turned the atmosphere quite gloomy on Sunday. According to a GMC source, the seized items also included some Chinese imports.

Varun Mahatu, a vendor in Fancy Bazar, said: “In the previous years, I used to sell powders of different colours and herbal gulal packets, hair band, sprinklers and cap during Holi worth lakhs of rupees. This time, the footfall of customers is visibly less.”

Mahatu rued that there is no enthusiasm for Holi because of rumours of coronavirus infection this year. According to him, the varieties of items are also less in store and on display due to difficulties in import.

Prakash Ghose, a vendor of Panbazar, said purchase was limited to colours only. “This year, people are not interested to celebrate the festival wholeheartedly. Some residents are even afraid to come to market fearing coronavirus infection,” Ghose said.

Minakshi Borthakur, a resident of Khanapara, while purchasing Holi powder at Ganeshguri said: “This year we are afraid of large gatherings. Moreover, how can we play with colours wearing masks?”

A number of city vendors said this year the import of Holi items are limited to products manufactured in Calcutta and Delhi. “We used to sell Chinese items earlier,” a vendor said.

Criticising the GMC, an evicted vendor said: “We have been selling different items since years on the streets, especially during Holi. This year, the GMC has simply kicked our stomach and dampened the spirit of festivity.”