Shoppers throng markets as Puja fervour trumps virus fear
Kolkata: The pandemic failed to deter people as they thronged markets and malls for the last leg Durga Puja shopping on Sunday.
New Market, Gariahat Market, and other markets and malls across the city witnessed an unprecedented surge of footfall in the evening.
"Yes, the shopping is almost complete. Yes, we are scared of crowd at New Market. We have taken all the precautions from wearing mask to applying hand sanitiser at a regular interval,"
said Seema Ghosh, resident of College Street.
All the roads leading to the city's shopping destinations were busy. The markets, which less than a month ago wore a deserted look, witnessed a rush of shoppers after 5 pm. "I have come here (Quest mall) to buy my niece's Durga Puja dress. After buying the dress, we will go to food court and eat with my family members," said Purnima Acharya, a resident of North Kolkata.
She reiterated that shopping and dining with family members gives her the Durga Puja festive vibes.
"Every year, I come here and do Durga Puja shopping. We have taken all the necessary precautions and maintaining COVID-19 protocols," pointed out Acharya.Most people pointed out that their Durga Puja shopping budget was curtailed due to the financial crisis following the pandemic. "I did not get the Durga Puja bonus from my office this year. I have borrowed money from my friend to buy clothes for my children from New Market," said Sandip, a resident of Howrah.
Almost all the shops have come up with lucrative offers to attract more people. "We are happy that we achieved 70 percent of Durga Puja sales target on Sunday," said a shop owner at New Market.
Many road-side eateries and restaurants in Dharmatala area, Shyambazar and Gariahat also had their brisk business as people stepped into the stalls to have some food.