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Covid fear takes colour off Holi business

Covid fear takes colour off Holi business
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KOLKATA: Shopkeepers selling herbal colours are in a fix as sales have significantly dipped ahead of Holi in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

"The sales, this year, have dipped by 95 per cent due to the prevailing pandemic condition and fear of the virus among people," said Vikash Sonkar, a shopkeeper at Park Circus market selling colours for Holi.

He reiterated that every year eight special stalls are set up in the market for selling 'abir', herbal colour and water guns for Dol and Holi. However, this year only three stalls had been set up.

The story narrated by Vikash is not an isolated one as everyone selling colours in different markets (Bagri market, Old China Bazar and others) in the city are stating the same scenario after Coronavirus scare engulfed almost every nook and corner of the nation.

"We are suffering huge losses since last year. This year, due to COVID- 19 pandemic the situation turned worse. Earlier, three days before Holi our stalls used to brim with customers. This year, our stall and the whole market is wearing a deserted look," said Md Salam, a shopkeeper at Bagri market.

The price of one kg of herbal colour varies between Rs 150 and Rs 250. The price of 100 gm herbal colour varies between Rs 20 and Rs 30."We have opened the stall early in the morning. It is 3 pm now. We have sold only two packets," said Naina, another shopkeeper.

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