During the four-hour lockdown relaxation period, several markets and stores are crowded by the public, resulting in a good income for the business owners. But the business of streetside hawkers has been badly hit.
On May 2, after the state government announced lockdown, the income of more than 2 lakh hawkers across the Greater Hyderabad region has gone down drastically. Through the relaxation period, from 6 AM to 10 AM, people rush to purchase essentials such as dairy, meat, vegetables, medicines and other essential items, while hawkers' stalls wear a deserted look.
The reports suggest that it would be tough for these street hawkers to manage their finances next month, as they are already facing trouble in buying essentials. Many of them worry that starting next month, they wouldn't be able to pay their house rents.
The Telangana Vendors and Hawkers Trade Union (TVHTU) says that people are not buying anything much other than essentials during the lockdown. Hawkers selling cosmetics, household items, footwear, imitation jewellery, clothing for children have been doing almost zero business. Many of the hawkers are returning home without selling a single item in a day. S Venkat Mohan, TVHTU president, has urged the State government to come to the rescue of hawkers in safeguarding their livelihoods.
Under Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors' Atma Nirbhar Nidhi scheme, the Hawkers Trade Union has requested the Centre to waive off loans. After the lockdown last year, the Centre provided loans up to Rs 10,000 to street vendors to restart their activities and earn their livelihood through this scheme.
One of the hawkers in the Ameerpet area said that there are more than 350 hawkers in the area whose earnings have been badly affected due to the lockdown. Many of those, who used to earn Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000, are now earning less than Rs 1,000 a day, with a profit of less than Rs 100. Currently, they are opening shops only to keep the business flowing.