Bhopal: As nation observes the first anniversary of lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday, the business community in state capital still yearning for some miracle to recover from the loss they suffered due to the nationwide shutdown. The lockdown has claimed many lives, left many people jobless and numerable businessman under heavy debt.
Businesses related to parties, functions, events, schools, colleges and other institutes were some of the worst affected as they remained shut almost throughout the year. Even today, there are no sign of growth in these sectors. Free Press talked to some of the affected entrepreneurs on the eve of first anniversary of lockdown.
Ratan Soni, a glow-signboard firm owner says the orders he had received were cancelled and no new orders were received even during Diwali and New Year celebrations. “I was unable to pay fee of my children as I had ran out of money and somehow they completed this school academic year,” he says. Soni lives in Bawadia Kala with his family and says the customers who received his services have also not paid their amount, as they too were under loss. “The situation has not changed yet and there are restrictions on inter-state travel and it is also affecting our sale,” he says. The 45-year-old trader says, “Now the Sunday lockdown has again created confusion and people are hesitating to initiating any new project.”
Sanjay Jain, a manufacturer of school bags says, “He had to use his savings to pay his workers as there is no sale. The shopkeepers who would buy his products are unable to run their businesses and a huge stock of products is piled up in my gowdown.” He says the institutes are yet to run in the city and until it happens, he will have to bear the loss.
Rakesh Agrawal, who sells school uniforms says, “The academic session this year was based on online classes and we lost all our regular customers. Still, the schools and colleges are not running with the traditional way and we are unlikely to get back on track in near future.”