Why just us? Delhi gyms seek relief amid

Published on Jan 21, 2022 05:18 PM IST

Delhi gym owners and trainers are requesting some relief from the state to have the gyms reopened with Covid-19-appropriate restrictions

Delhi gym owners and trainers protested outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday
Delhi gym owners and trainers protested outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday
BySanchita Kalra

Following the Maharashtra government’s decision to allow gyms to reopen at 50% capacity with safety protocols, Delhi gym owners and trainers are requesting some relief from the state to have the gyms reopened with Covid-19-appropriate restrictions. They also protested outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, demanding the same.

“We staged a symbolic protest to request that gyms reopen at 50% capacity for double-vaccinated members,” shares Bhupender Sharma, president of the Delhi Gym Association, who also mentions that this trade anyway suffers during this season, due to winters and exams, but this adds another blow to the business of gym owners.

“Keeping this in mind, we have submitted a letter mentioning approximately one lakh people in the fitness industry who are on the verge of going bankrupt,” he adds.

The closure of gyms was announced in the last week of December, and no decision on reopening has been made. Sharma continues, “Weekly markets are open, malls are allowed on odd-even, liquor shops are open with such long queues, so why can’t gyms be open?” Nikhil Kakkar, COO, Gold’s Gym India, rues, “The industry has been struggling. We were already operating at 50% capacity because the full capacity advisory never came to us. The better decision would have been to follow the same 50% advisory even now.”

Dr Prateek Chaudhary, who owns Club 4 Gym, says, “During the first lockdown, we were closed for seven months. We had to shut down for three months again in 2021. And now, we’re closed again. We also have rent, employee salaries, and electricity bills to pay.”

Fitness enthusiasts have similar concerns. “If gyms can open in Haryana and Maharashtra with Covid-19 safety protocols, why can’t we resume our fitness activities?” wonders entrepreneur Anuj Khera, 29, from Malviya Nagar.

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