News/City Updates

COVID-19: Street vendors in Vizag share how life has come to standstill

The worst-hit from the impact of the COVID-19 are people whose lives depend upon their day to day earnings. With city life coming to a standstill, these street vendors in Vizag aren’t able to set up their stalls and make their daily earnings. We spoke to three street vendors in Vizag, who understand the importance of health over wealth, as they stand skeptical about where their future earnings will come from.

Rambabu, Pani puri seller

“I saw my pani puri sales dwindle, even before the coronavirus had hit the city. I initially thought it was due to exams as most of my customers are college-goers. It was only after the announcement of the lockdown, that I came to realise the gravity of the situation. My earnings have now dropped from Rs 800/- to absolutely nothing per day, and I’m making ends meet with meagre savings. Fortunately, all the essential commodities are available. These days, I’m playing with my daughter and helping my wife with the chores. As for the future of his business, I’m not worried about it right now. After all, health is more precious than wealth.”

Ramu, Madugula Halwa seller

“The outbreak followed by the lockdown has brought my life to a standstill. With the temporary shut-down of business, my family is now left with essential supplies that would probably last for ten days. My wife has entered the third trimester of pregnancy. She’s terribly missing her parents. But staying home is the safest, for her and the baby inside. Though I’m clueless of how I should tend to her, I’m trying to do the best I can. I’m hopeful that we will win over this deadly virus soon, and I wish that by the time my child is born, the world will become a better place, and we would have found a cure.”

Bujji Amma, Muri Mixture Stall

“We are a family of four. My father started the muri mixture stall 18 years ago and now my sister and I mostly take care of it. We manage to earn Rs. 5000- 6000 every month as profits from our business. Due to the lockdown, we have been closed since March 23, 2019. It has been difficult to manage, but there is no choice. Apart from this income, my father earns Rs. 5000 per month as a watchman, in the building where my family lives. We have been managing with this and cutting down on our expenses too. There is ambiguity if we will be allowed to put up the stall immediately after lockdown gets over. The Muri mixture stalls has its own association and until our President hears from the Municipality, we will have to keep our business shut.”

This post was last modified on 10/04/2020 6:12 pm

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