Not allowed to open business, gym owners, trainers stage protest - Hindustan Times
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Not allowed to open business, gym owners, trainers stage protest

Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By, Ludhiana
Jun 05, 2020 01:36 AM IST

Say the government has not provided any relief against the losses during the lockdown period and so the owners are forced to beg

Out of business for over two months and struggling to pay the rent and salaries of their employees, various associations of gym owners and body builders staged a protest against the government, in Ludhiana on Thursday.

Gym owners begging from commuters, in a symbolic protest, on Jagroan bridge in Ludhiana on Thursday.(GURPREET SINGH/HT)
Gym owners begging from commuters, in a symbolic protest, on Jagroan bridge in Ludhiana on Thursday.(GURPREET SINGH/HT)

Members of the Natural Bodybuilders Union International (NBBUI) staged a symbolic protest by begging on the Jagraon bridge while members of the Gym Ekta Welfare Association exercised in the open near Jalandhar bypass on Thursday evening.

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NBBUI’s Punjab president Jolly Singh said the government has forced the gym owners to come out on roads by not providing any relief against the losses during the lockdown period. “I have to pay Rs 25,000 rent for my gym in Chander Nagar. I also have to pay the loans, EMIs and salaries to three trainers and staff members. How does the government expect us to bear all these expenses in addition to other household expenses when gyms have been closed for over two-and-a-half months now,” he asked, adding that they will continue their agitation if the government does not allow the gyms to open now.

They also stated that they will ensure all precautionary measures are taken to control the spread of the virus.

Gym Ekta welfare association director Ramesh Bangar and chief advisor Navneet Singh said, “The government has allowed the markets and transport sector to operate, where the fear of virus spread is much higher. Even the liquor and street food vends have been allowed to open. But the gyms, where people can improve their immunity by exercising, are not being allowed to open.”

They further added, “There are over 1,000 gyms in the city and many gym owners pay rent in lakhs. Our staff, including the trainers and housekeeping staff, are even struggling to cater to their daily needs. We have to pay electricity bills, rent, bank EMIs, and school fees of our children and this cannot be done when our business is closed. We are ready to follow all the guidelines and are even ready to allow the entry of customers in phases for maintaining social distancing.”

“The future of the fitness industry is in dark. Bodybuilders are also not being able to prepare for different championships,” said Navneet Singh.

Tirlok, a gym trainer, said, “Gyms are the only source of income for trainers and we have been jobless for over two months. The owners are also not being able to pay full salaries as there is no business. We urge the government to allow gyms to operate at the earliest. Otherwise, many families will suffer due to its bad policies.”

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