Unorganised sector reels from negligible income

new delhi: Stationery shops in the Capital have seen negligible sale in stationery products in the last one month. This reporter visited 20 stationery shops spread across Lajpat Nagar Market, Sarojini Nagar market, and Karol Bagh. As schools have remained shut for over three months and are likely to remain closed in the present month, small stationery shop keepers are worried about their survival.

Deen Sethi would start business in Karol Bagh area at 8 am everyday and pull down shutters at 9 pm but is now working from 4 pm till 7 pm. "I have not sold a single pen or notebook all of May. Most students who were staying in the PGs nearby have gone back home and the small children do not come anymore as their classes have become online," he said.

A 45-year-old Arun would make Rs. 200-300 per day at his shop in Sarojini Nagar, is struggling to make ends meet as his per day sales have reduced to Rs 50 on lucky days, though most days its zero sales. He said, "No school and college-goers have been coming in, my shop is dependent on them. I am struggling to pay for rent, I have to provide for my family." Arun hails from UP but did not go back as there is no source of income there either.

Javed has been a full time tailor sewing schools uniforms and other clothes for the past eight years in Karol Bagh area but he lost his job during the lockdown. "Last year this time business was good, it is usually peak season for stitching school uniforms and other clothes. I used to earn around 12,000 but now I somehow manage to make Rs 100 a day by mending clothes on the pavement," said Javed. Having lost a job in a shop to now working under a tree, with a makeshift table and sewing machine, has been an emotional setback for him. "I use to take pride in going to work but now days just pass by" he added.

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