Hyderabad: Post COVID-19, festivals come as a boon for small traders

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a two-year break for festival celebrations and fairs due to restrictions, leading to a loss of income for many.

Hyderabad: There is renewed sense of happiness on the face of 15-year-old Razia, a native of Rajahmundry district in Andhra Pradesh. The teenager with a group of 20 people travelled to the city to sell some childrens’ toys at the fair held alongside the Bonalu. The temporary fairs and stalls help many like her to earn money.

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‘I came along with my neighbours. My parents stay in Rajahmundry. After three days we will go back to my native place,” she said while working at her stall in the Old City of Hyderabad during Bonalu. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a two-year break for festival celebrations and fairs due to restrictions. With life slowly coming back to normal, many like Razia are now relieved.

“Somehow we managed to do other work when there was no lockdown. After the restrictions were lifted we moved from fair to fair to sell our articles,” Razia told Siasat.com, while standing near her makeshift stall.  

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A little away from Razai’s stall, 50-year-old Mohd Rasool was selling plastic toys like guns, cars, scooters, and plastic balls. With a big smile on his face, Rasool thanked Allah for bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. “Lockdown was a big misery for us. I could not set up stalls for almost two years anywhere. To feed my family I was driving auto rickshaw,” said Rasool, who has three children.

Malan Bee, who is from Jhirra (Asifnagar) in Hyderabad, was another happy woman. With around 20 different toys arranged on a bamboo stick, she moved around selling her items to children. Siasat.com spotted her standing near the Akkanna Madanna temple waiting for customers. “We are happy that restrictions were lifted. Always we pray that such pandemics do not come to ruin lives,” said the 55-year-old woman.

She added, “I have been selling toys for around 30 years. Previously those were made of mud, later plastic became the norm.” The fairs are incomplete without small traders like Razia, Rasool and Malan Bee, who come a day in advance and set up their shops in Hyderabad every year.

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