Food-o-nomics behind Jantar Mantar protests: Street vendors welcome the ban

The protesters are disappointed with National Green Tribunal’s order to change the location of protest site from Jantar Mantar to Ramlila Maidan, but those working at the food outlets near Jantar Mantar are happy with the move.

delhi Updated: Oct 09, 2017 23:12 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Jantra Mantar,NGT,Ramlila Maidan
This outlet near Jantar Mantar has been serving South-Indian food for 30 years. (Prabhas Roy/ HT Photo )

The recent order by National Green Tribunal to stop all protests, public gatherings and the use of loudspeakers at Jantar Mantar may have proven to be tough decision for the protestors but for the owners and workers of the food outlets in the area, it’s time to rejoice. “The decision will not just bring down the noise pollution but will also help us regain our business,” says Mani, one of the workers at the renowned South-Indian food outlet at Jantar Mantar. The well-known shop came into existence in 1987.

But don’t all the protests and protesters add to their sales? “Absolutely not,” rues Mani, adding, “The protesters hardly contributed to one’s business. In fact, they brought in more trouble. Due to them, routes were often diverted and there were blockages on the roads, which lead to a number of problems for our regular customers who’d like to come and eat here. Once the decision will be implemented, we are hopeful that are business will be back on track.”

“There were days when not a single customer would come and visit us because of all the unwanted protests.” — Rakesh, a worker at Baba Ka Dhaba

Other shopkeepers in the area also share similar sentiments. Rakesh (name changed), a worker at Baba Ka Dhaba that is popular for selling rajma-chawal, says, “There were days when not a single customer would come and visit us because of all the unwanted protests. I believe, not just a few but many in the crowd of thousands used to be unaware of the cause of gathering, they were here just for the sake of it. The crowd left the place dirty, adding more chaos to our problems. Unki vajah se kabhi-kabhi ek paisa ka kaam bhi nahi hota tha (Due to them, there were days when we were completely out of business)!”

However, it’s also believed that the number of protesters will also reduce once the location will change to Ramlila Maidan (ground). “The protesters could manage to stay here for long hours and several days because of the shade and the gurudwara nearby. They would have their food at the gurudwara, and therefore it was manageable for them to sustain. Once the location is changed, it wouldn’t be easy to stage a protest for long,” says Ramdas, a local tea vendor.

Follow @htTweets for more

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 20:53 IST