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This X-Mas, no joy for street vendors

The Christmas weekend may have provided an opportunity for many to enjoy their holidays and 
also make plans for celebrating New Year.

However, not so fortunate are the street-side hawkers in the city who are hugely dependent on these few days for earning enough money to sustain themselves not only for days but for months.

Already financially weak, the street-side hawkers have further been affected by the cash shortage due to demonetisation drive.

Most of the hawkers mentioned that they expected that sales would pick pace with Christmas in town which would have been enough to feed their families but there was no sign of betterment. 

On Sunday, when there were huge number of people visiting the churches of the city, there were also various hawkers present trying to urge the people to buy their goods.

Most of the hawkers sold items like balloons, Christmas trees, Santa caps, candles and decorative beads. The prices of these items ranged from Rs 10 to 50.

The hawkers included not only the elders but also children as young as 7-years-old who braved the cold weather to sell their items.

While the hawkers near the Sacred Heart Cathedral church on the Ashoka Road were lucky to get customers, most of the other hawkers stationed around other churches in the city struggled getting customers.

“I have had a very difficult time in these one-and-a half months due to the cash shortage. I am homeless and have to struggle for even getting a proper meal. I am hugely dependent on the sales which I will be doing during this holiday season. As of now, I am struggling to do enough sales,” said Raghubir, a vendor who was selling Santa caps and candles near the the Central Baptist church in Chandini Chowk, Old Delhi.

Rani, a single mother of two children who was selling items outside Sacred Heart Cathedral, the church that witnesses maximum number of visitors during Christmas said: “I am a single mother who is also asking my children to sell items as there will be not enough earning opportunities that will be available to us after this.”
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