We don’t accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes,” a sign board reads at the annual winter Tibetan Refugee Handlooms and Buddhist Market on Old Gurgaon railway road. Open till February 15, the market has witnessed the all time worst footfall due to demonetisation, according to the shopkeepers.
The deserted market and decline in sales is leaving the shopkeepers worried, as for many the earnings from here is their sole source of income. Tibetan refugee, Lhakpa Dorji from Dehradun, says, “Market is down. Change is not an issue as the government has given us Rs 4500. The problem is when people come with Rs 500- Rs 1000 rupee notes.”
With no takers at her stall, Sangeeta Sharma, echoes similar sentiments.“People are busy queueing up at the banks. A few came up with old currency notes, but we didn’t accept it as that will only create more problems for us. And when some came with new Rs 2000 notes, giving them change becomes a problem.”
The pollution mask, has became a selling point at the market with woollen masks, available at Rs 20 onwards. The market boasts of traditional caps, sweaters, jackets with Jana Kchari work and also shawls in nominal rates from Leh, Manali, Nepal and Tibet.
“Not all products are from Tibet, some stuff is from Delhi and Ludhiana as well. The designs are readied by us. We keep casual clothes too. We visit Ludhiana during July, where the shop owners give us clothes on debt,” says Kalsang Dolma, from Dharamsala who sells anti-pollution mask.
A salesman, Satpal Singh from Himachal Pradesh, says, “Ab currency pe aur mausam pe depend karta hai ki kitni sale hogi. Thand padegi toh sale hoga.”