Column Return of COVID takes away Holi colours from Traders

Return of COVID takes away Holi colours from Traders

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (ILNS) The festival of colours, which otherwise brings a smile on the lips of the trading community, has failed to liven up their spirits this year, as the guidelines to prevent the second wave of Novel Coronavirus pandemic have played spoilsport for the businessmen, who were looking forward to the festival of Holi to revive their businesses after the COVID-induced lockdown, which led to huge losses in the retail sector across the country.

The retail sector was looking forward to the festival of Holi to revive their businesses. Holi marks the beginning of the biggest festival of the year and people shop fiercely during this time. Every year, about 10,000 crore goods are imported from China on Holi to be sold in India, including Holi colors and toys.

But last year, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT)’s call for a Chinese  boycott on the festival of lights Deepawali got huge support across the country and as this campaign is still going on, Indian traders have given a big thumbs down to Chinese products. The traders bought Indian goods in bulk to sell on Holi, while preparations were underway to supply similar items in the market also.

After the COVID guidelines issued on Holi in all the states including Delhi, traders all over the country are a worried lot, as they have got a huge stock, which is currently difficult to sell due to the COVIN-19 outbreak.

Amidst a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, Holi festival will remain silent this year. The Central Government has already asked the States and Union Territories to take adequate measures to check the rise in the number of Covid cases happening just before the festive season. 

National President of CAIT BC Bhartia and National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the practice of celebrating Holi through congregational meetings, Holi Milan celebrations and street hangings has been going on for centuries. Small traders also benefit from such programmes, which have now been curbed.

Every year in Delhi alone, on the occasion of Holi, about 3000 big and small events are organised. The number of such big and small celebrations is around 40 thousand all over the country, but now neither Holi will be stirred nor the fun of colors will be experienced. Apart from this, when there is no social program this year, people will prefer to stay in their homes. This is the reason that there is a decline in shopping that takes place a week before Holi and the market is deserted. This year, shopkeepers may have to suffer a lot in the purchase of toys of Rang, Gulal and Holi, but there is little some hope in the sell of sweets, namkeen, herbal gulal, flowers and puja items.

According to the guidelines issued by the Delhi government, ban has been imposed on organising any kind of social gathering or celebration on Holi this year. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority also ordered on Tuesday that on Holi, Shab-e-Baaraat or Navratri, there will be no public celebration in the city. On the other hand, after the advice of the Central Government, similar Covid Guidelines have been issued in almost all major states of the country, which will have a direct impact on business.

Due to the increase in Covid cases this year, people are scared and have also decided to celebrate Holi at home, due to which there has been a tremendous decline in the business of Holi. According to an estimate, Holi accounts for a business of about Rs 25,000 crore across the country, out of which, around Rs 1500 crores worth business takes place in Delhi alone. But this year, the business is going to be severely affected, disappointing the traders. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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