KOLKATA: Small eateries in north and central Kolkata, which cater to a large population of workers in the wholesale and retail markets, have started opening in the past few days.
Owners of several such eateries that either operate from mobile carts or pavements in Posta, Burrabazar, Jorabagan, Rabindra Sarani and Ganesh Chandra Avenue have resumed their business in the past few days. They serve staple items like puri sabzi, idli, tea, rice, dal, vegetables and eggs and mainly cater to the workers in the markets, drivers and helpers of goods vehicles.
This has come as a relief to the labourers and traders who had been struggling to provide meals to their workers in the absence of resources and following social distancing norms.
Ganesh Singh, who sells puri sabzi for breakfast and dal, rice and vegetables for lunch from his mobile cart in Posta, said many workers in the market pleaded with him to reopen his eatery. “Even I have to pay my workers and run my family. So, I decided to open the shop,” he added. Singh has been selling food at the same spot for the last 17 years. According to Posta Bazar Merchants’ Association, almost 90% of the labourers had returned to their villages after the lockdown. “It is difficult to run the market without the workers who help in assortment, packaging, loading and transportation of essential commodities. Only a few labourers are working now,” said Biswanath Agarwal, secretary of the association.
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