Shortage of nat'l flags as demand increases under Centre's 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign
Kolkata: Ahead of the 75th Independence Day on August 15, the wholesalers in the city are facing shortage and difficulty in supply as the demand for national flags skyrockets.
The demand for flags rose up after the Central government announced the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. They insisted people hoist flags at their homes from August 13 to August 15.
Flags of all sizes are on sale as soon as they arrive from workshops. This sudden rise in demand has taken most wholesale shopkeepers by surprise who are unable to keep up with the demand.
The two major areas lacking are availability of 'karigars' (artisans) and material to make the national flag. During the two years of Covid, the sale of flags had dipped significantly. It forced many shop owners to relieve their 'karigars' from duty.
"I had 10 'karigars' and in the last two years, and I had to lay off five of them. Now, these five have joined other sectors because of lack of job availability in this sector. I cannot ask them to leave everything and work for me because the demand has risen. It will be unfair," Neo Paragon owner Prasun Chatterjee said. He added that considering the demand, he has even hired two temporary workers but even seven workers are failing to meet the demand. He sends the flags to other states like Uttar Pradesh, Assam, amongst others. Chatterjee also added that there is a shortage of orange, white and green cloth in the market.
Adjacent to Chatterjee's shop at Moti Sil Street, there is another outlet called Anand. The owner said that he is unable to get small sized flags — in the wholesale market at Burrabazar. These flags are ideally put up in residences.
Flag sellers at Burrabazar have hardly been able to sleep a wink considering the number of customers who keep approaching them at odd hours for flags. "There is a state of chaos and suddenly everyone wants 1000 to 2000 pieces. I am opening the shop in the morning and by night not a single product remains. More than shortage of material, there is shortage of labour. How do we suddenly assemble so many flags with limited resources in such a short span of time?" wholesale shopkeeper Sanjay Agarwal said.
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