Markets in Chandigarh report dip in sales of sweets, rakhis this Raksha Bandhan
There was almost no rush on the stalls and people were hesitant to touch anything laid out even though bottles of sanitisers were placed alongside for public use.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 01:15 IST
Raksha Bandhan will be celebrated in the city on Monday, but the markets in the city still wear a deserted look. There was almost no rush on the stalls and people were hesitant to touch anything laid out even though bottles of sanitisers were placed alongside for public use.
As per Diwakar Sahoonja, proprietor of Dewsun in Sector 11, sales this year have been lowest in the past few years owing to the pandemic. “Due to a cash crunch, many people are not buying gift baskets that brothers would usually get for their sisters. We would sell 5,000 rakhis a day in previous years, but now we are barely selling 2,000 pieces. The sale of greeting cards has also been affected. We have special mailers with a card and rakhi and normally we would sell about a 1,000 of them daily. Now, we have managed to sell only around 200 of them.”
Sahoonja also stocks high-end rakhi cards priced as high as ₹1,000 per card which in previous years, he said, some ministers and VIPs would buy from him, but he has not sold a single one this year.
Naresh Mahajan, president of the Sector 23 market welfare association (MWA), said that many people had embraced e-retailers this year due to which markets had seen a low footfall. “People are too afraid to come to the markets as so many new Covid cases are being reported everyday. Instead, people are ordering rakhis online.”
President of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, Anil Vohra, added that shopkeepers weren’t feeling the festive spirit associated with Raksha Bandhan. “The administration and police can be seen constantly patrolling the markets. Many times shopkeepers and their helpers are challaned even if they take off their masks for even washing their faces. Many shopkeepers are feeling harassed,” he said.
Vohra added that the traders’ body had also met UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nilambari Jagdale regarding this.
NOT TOO SWEET
In any normal year, the festival of Raksha Bandhan would be incomplete without sweets. This year, however, sales of sweets are on the lower side as many people are not celebrating the festival owing to the pandemic. Proprietor of Uttam Sweets and president of the Sector 46 MWA, Balwinder Singh, said, “Sales are only 50% of what they used to be in previous years. We used to get orders for laddoos mostly during Raksha Bandhan, but this time we are mostly getting orders for cashew barfis.”
They were hopeful the response will be better on Sunday although they won’t be preparing as many sweets as they did in previous years, Singh added.