They never shut their shops, neither on Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanti nor on Republic day. But the traders at the City Market, Ajmeri Gate, primarily an industrial tools market, shut all shops for Anna Hazare on Saturday.
“I have been running a shop here since 1990. Never have we closed for the day completely. This is for the first time that I am seeing the whole market empty. Everyone is supporting Anna wholeheartedly,” said Ramesh Singhal, member of the City Market Association, Ajmeri Gate.
It was not just this one market that was closed. A majority of shops in Kamla Market were also shut. “This is the centre of the city. It is usually bustling with people but today it seems like all roads are leading to Ramlila Maidan,” said PK Sanyal, a resident of Gali Arya Samaj, which is adjacent to the ground.
The members of the market association have not just closed down shops; they are also supplying food items to the cooks at the venue. “Since morning we have provided more than 300 kilograms of potatoes, 100 kilograms of rice and 200 kilograms of flour. If the need arises, we will provide more,” Singhal said.
But most traders are not aware of what Hazare and his team are fighting for. “We are businessmen and don’t have the time to read things. I have heard of the Jan Lokpal Bill, of course, but I don’t know what it says. I trust Anna and I support him regardless,” said a trader from Kamla Market who did not want to be named.