Covid forces people to look for alternative jobs

Small shop owners, daily wagers turn into vendors of masks and sanitisers to make ends meet

By Author  |  Published: 13th Jul 2020  12:41 am
A majority of the vendors are now stocking on masks and sanitisers which they believe are the most saleable items these days amid the Covid times. — Photo: Anand Dharmana

Hyderabad: The need to eke out a livelihood is forcing people to make drastic changes to their lives in Hyderabad during the unprecedented crisis that the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed.

A once upon a time welding shop owner has turned into a petty vendor selling masks and sanitisers, while a trader, who used to sell door curtains and pillow covers, is now selling masks, gloves and sanitisers.

These are some of those who have changed tracks to stay afloat, while there are many others who have lost jobs and are now struggling to make ends meet.

“Since the last two months, I have been selling masks and sanitisers to meet my domestic expenses. Initially, it was tough to manage things, but now, I am able to make some earnings,” says Mohammed Mateen, who used to run a welding shop at Rahmath Nagar in Yousufguda.

For many, relying on their regular businesses, has been not a fruitful idea anymore, forcing them to expand their repertoires, like Mallesh, who used to sell socks and handkerchiefs near the YMCA in Narayanguda.

“I am now selling hand sprays and masks also, otherwise it is difficult to survive,” says Mallesh.

A majority of these vendors, who source their stocks from Begum Bazaar, Inderbagh, General Bazar and other wholesale markets in the city, are now stocking on masks, hand gloves and sanitisers, which they believe are the most saleable items these days amid the pandemic. However, even that move, after an initial surge, is not yielding much results these days.

“Perhaps majority of the people have now started purchasing masks online. Only those who forget to carry their masks to work are purchasing masks from us,” says Sai Prasad, who used to sell door curtains and pillow covers at Srinagar Colony but is now offering masks and sanitisers in addition to the regular commodities in his stall.

“People are in no mood to purchase anything else other than essentials like groceries, medicines, gloves and masks. Sales are depressingly dull over the last one month,” adds Sai Prasad. The picture, he adds, is getting all the more grim by the day.


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