The deadly coronavirus-induced lockdown has affected almost all sections of the society, but the fitness sector has undoubtedly been the hardest hit of them all.
While gymnasiums and fitness centers are terribly out of shape, the trainers and instructors, many of them body-builders of repute, are struggling to make ends meet.
33-year-old Mira Road resident-Ajay Rawat is one of them. For about a decade, Rawat has been working as a personal fitness trainer in Mira Road with a monthly income of Rs 25,000 before the lockdown ruined his life. A recipient of several medals at local fitness competitions, Rawat is now working as a delivery-boy at a local grocery store and earns Rs.7,500 per month, which is neither enough to sustain his family, nor to repay EMI’s of loans he has availed from financial institutions on the virtue of his decent monthly salary, before the lockdown.
However, instead of seeking help, Rawat who still prefers to work hard to earn a living, maintains that no job is big or small. Working for nearly 12 hours a day, he is also thankful to the owner of the grocery store -Budget Market for employing him. “Although, I am unmarried, my family, including parents , are dependent on me to an extent. Apart from an acute financial crunch, my fitness has also taken a hit. From 70 kg, my weight has come down to 64 kg in the last six months due to the lack of protein intake. I am not alone; several of my colleagues are facing a similar fate. All we want is to get back to our original job of keeping others fit and healthy.” says Rawat while urging the government to re-open gyms in the state as soon as possible.
There are more than 100 gymnasiums and fitness centers in the twin-city which employ thousands of people including male and female trainers who are left jobless since the imposition of the lockdown.
Further easing into the Unlock-5, the state government has assured that gyms and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen from Dussehra, which falls on 25, October, this year.