Mysore/Mysuru: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise in numbers in city, Rakhi sales witnessed massive drop on ‘Raksha Bandhan Day’, a festival that celebrates sibling bonds.
Raksha Bandhan is celebrated by sisters who tie a sacred thread on the hands of their brothers on this auspicious day, promising that they will always protect each other. Days ahead of the Rakhi festival, female folks, in particular youngsters used to purchase Rakhi, a sacred thread, in advance. If one walks across the busy market place like one near Chikka Gadiyara Circle in city, one can see thousands of Rakhis, made of variety of materials, from cotton and silk threads to precious metals, which ranges from as low as Rs. 5 to Rs. 600 or sometimes to the tune of thousands of rupees.
“Sales of Rakhis is not even 25 percent of what we sell every year. I have incurred huge loss this year,” said Shravan, who sells Rakhis in the market place near Chikka Gadiyara Circle in city. Shravan sells whatever product that has huge demand depending on the festive season, such as fire crackers during Diwali festival and bangles during Gowri festival.
“Probably, this pandemic has created a sense of fear among people. Students were my major customers who used to buy ‘Rakhis’ and ‘Friendship Bands’ in large numbers. This year, as schools and colleges are closed, very few youngsters are here to buy them. There used be huge demand for Friendship Bands, but this year, I have not even sold 5 percent of what I sold last year,” he added.
There might be some celebrations at home, but the zing is missing, leading to a joyless season for vendors like Shravan and small businesses that were hoping to make some money during the festive season.
“Earlier, women would come to us to buy ‘Rakhis’, but sales are dull this year. This disease has ruined us completely,” added another vendor, who has been selling ‘Rakhis’ for the last 10 years. After four months of lockdown, the fear of contracting the infection seems to run deeper than ever.