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Partial lockdown: Daily wage earners, petty traders a worried lot

Partial lockdown: Daily wage earners, petty traders a worried lot
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Partial lockdown: Daily wage earners, petty traders a worried lot

Highlights

  • Fear that it may push them into deeper crisis
  • Yet another blow to the construction sector which is already in doldrums
  • Workers express concern over losing their livelihood

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Anantapur: The commencement of State-wide curfew from 12 noon to 6 am for a period of two weeks to check the spread of coronavirus, casts its dark shadow on the poor and daily wage labourers whose livelihood is dependent on their earnings.

The partial lockdown is dreaded by the vulnerable sections for whom it brings memories of the previous lockdown during the first wave of coronavirus which landed them in total economic dismay.

During the lockdown period, humanity blossomed and manifested itself in a thousand ways by helping the vulnerable, last year.

Sarojini Devi, a pushcart trader, selling fruits and cool drinks, sobs at the very thought of even partial lockdown. Speaking to The Hans India, she says last year's total lockdown landed her family in financial doldrums. Her small business takes care of her family besides helping her to pay monthly loan instalment and meet other weekly payment obligations. Even before they could recover from last year's financial crisis, they will have to face another partial lockdown. They fear that it will further worsen their plight. Sarojini Devi's son and daughter in-law too earn as a car driver and as a helper in a photocopy shop. This partial lockdown will now lock their daily earnings, as it starts from 12 noon. Cool drinks business will start picking up only from 11 am but with the lockdown imposition from 12 pm there is no chance for business as none will buy drinks from 6 am.

"My son and daughter too will have no work as business starts from 10 am onwards," she points out. She sees bleak prospects with a family of 7 to take care. Traders who open their shops at 9 or 10 am will have to close in a couple of hours.

The JNTU area is considered an education zone with a Central University, JNTU, a host of other educational institutions and several student hostels dotting the area.Total lockdown of the area already started two weeks ago with all educational institutions and universities going for online teaching and downing its shutters. Now the partial lockdown further collapses business in the area.

Eateries, which are always lively with the presence of students, are now wearing a deserted look as students are returning to their homes. The traders are virtually in tears with the government announcing a partial lockdown.

Many construction labourers are in tears with no prospects for earning their wages. Already the construction sector is in doldrums and even before it showed signs of recovery, the semi lockdown is a severe jolt to the workers, says a daily wage labourer Rama Krishna who bemoans the return of coronavirus.

One trader Siva Reddy commented that if the government does not impose lockdown or partial lockdown, hundreds will die or already dying but if it does then there might be suicides by the poverty-stricken people.

Even as semi-lockdown is coming into force from Wednesday, all concerned are agitated at the economic ramifications of even semi-lockdown which amounts to almost complete lockdown atleast for certain sections of the society.

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