Ggm's street food vendors lug their wares & hopes for better business

GURUGRAM: While migrant workers were among the hardest hit sections of the society by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, street food vendors in Gurugram were somewhat equally hit by the nearly three-month lockdown, during which time they had no option but to survive on whatever savings they might have had. While some had left the city to go back to their villages, some stayed back in the hopes that their business would pick up.

Those who stayed back are still left with nothing more than hope, two months after they resumed business.

When the first phase of Unlock was announced by the Centre on June 1, given that many industries and workplaces had opened in the city, many street food vendors also started stepping out once again, hoping to somehow get back on their feet but the business has been slow.

"I would not say that the business has completely died but yes the footfall has declined. Having started my business in the third week of June, I can say on a positive note that from July onwards the number of customers is gradually increasing," said Faizan, a street food vendor who sells egg frankies at MG Road Gurugram.

Many like Faizan step out every day, in the hopes that more people would step out as the country gradually starts learning how to live with the virus until a vaccine is available. As for now, street food vendors take their wares and their hopes to prominent city centre areas like Udyog Vihar, Manesar, Golf Course Road and Sohna Road.

Besides, street food vendors are also having to fight their stigmatisation as people indulging in unhygienic practices as the pandemic continues to rage on, despite which most have ensured disposable plates and cups, mask-wearing and as much social distancing as possible. Many also have hand sanitisers with them at all times and wash their hands at regular intervals.

The popularity of street food had also given rise to a number of food trucks in the city. Prior to the lockdown, it was estimated that there were over 20 such trucks that were functioning in several parts of the city. During the Unlock period, most of them have now begun to resume their operations.

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