Updated: November 20, 2020 12:17:29 pm
Come the holiday season and people flock to the markets in the old city of Ahmedabad, such as Teen Darwaza and Kalupur, to shop for clothes, jewelry and other household items. During Diwali, footfall touched several thousand, even amid the pandemic, as city police struggled with the sounds of traffic, encroachment from vendors and unruly crowds.
However, this is not the case with the “seasonal market” near Dilli Darwaza in the 600 year old walled city of Ahmedabad, where traders sell pishkari and colors during Holi, kites during Holi. ‘Uttarayan and firecrackers during Diwali.
Located just one kilometer from Teen Darwaza Market, the Seasonal Market refers to two dozen shops and carts selling items for the holiday season in Ahmedabad. This year, nearly a month before Diwali, shops were adorned with firecrackers, candles and Chinese lights as vendors eagerly awaited customers, especially children who are usually fascinated by the shimmering packaging and toy guns. that emit flashlights.
But this year, their products failed to attract the usual crowds, lament traders in the seasonal market.
Located one kilometer from Gandhi Bridge, the Old Town’s seasonal market is seeing an unprecedented drop in sales, with traders saying they could suffer a heavy loss this year by up to 75%. Here, salespeople attempt to lure four-wheeled passengers into their store, calling them “Seth” and asking them to visit the store once.
“Dekhne ke paise nahi lagte sahab”, they plead. The four wheels don’t stop.
Mahesh Udhvani, fifty, owner of JK Seasonal store, says he picked up merchandise (firecrackers, toy guns and candles) worth Rs 2.5 lakh a month ago, hoping to make good business. “Last year I sold all the items and this year I took ‘maal’ worth Rs 2.5 lakh. However, we have no clients this year. The cheapest firecracker in my shop is “PopPop” which is for Rs 10 each pack and the most expensive is the “Sky Shooter” which comes for Rs 200 per item. I couldn’t sell them at all this year, ”Udhvani said.
The same goes for Jimmy Patel, 33, who runs the seasonal shop Shri Krishna Enterprises, as he adds, “I still had firecrackers from last year and bought some this year as well. However, there have been less than 25% of sales this year. “
Police had limited the time to pop crackers on Diwali between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., while the burning of effigies was not allowed on Dussehra, which led to a drop in firecracker sales, the officials said. sellers.
Unsuspecting businessmen in the seasonal market complain that they cannot grasp the meaning of the market and sell other items before Diwali.
However, 2020 hasn’t been very kind to them.
“Teen Darwaza is the hub for home decor items that are sold before Diwali. Why would customers leave Teen Darwaza and come here to buy? We have seen days when only one customer would buy firecrackers worth Rs 20,000. Even small businesses would buy crackers from us in bulk. I bought firecrackers for my shop taking a loan of Rs 2 lakh and I can’t even afford to keep them in my warehouse. During Raksha Bandhan and Navratri, we had meager sales, but firecrackers were not even sold in Dussehra, ”said Kalpesh Jadwani, another retailer.
Traders claim that a few of them even moved to the Teen Darwaza market where the police allowed their carts to be installed with firecrackers outside the market premises for security reasons.
Kushiram Devani, 45, has his own cart on which he sells candles. He says he predicted the drop in sales and only bought products worth Rs 7,000. “Lockdown hit us hard this year, I tried to sell rakhis on rakshabandhan and I had a few clients, ”Devani said.
The seasonal market is now watching the next Uttarayan festival in January with hopes that they can say goodbye to 2020 and their bad luck.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay up to date with the latest headlines
For all the latest news from Ahmedabad, download the Indian Express app.
© The Indian Express (P) Ltd