Teenagers, women dominate Eid shoppers
Young people and women customers are mostly seen in the Dhaka city markets and shopping malls for Eid shopping amid the deadly Covid-19 virus pandemic situation.
Dhaka city dwellers rank highest among the coronavirus infected patients in the country. Day by day the infection rate in the country is getting higher dangerously. This infection rate has got speed after the relaxation of the countrywide lockdown. The government has given permission to markets and shopping malls to remain open on a limited scale from May 10 for doing Eid shopping. But, the shop owners as well as the customers do not maintain the rules of health safety.
Visiting most of the markets of Old Dhaka it has been seen that young men and women are the major customers of the shops and they are very indifferent to maintain social distancing and other health issues essential for preventing the Covid-19 virus from spreading. The shop owners and salesmen are also careless about coronavirus.
Though, the markets of old Dhaka are not as crowded as in other Eid season. But, the shopkeepers are not dissatisfied with the presence of the buyers.
Wholesalers of panjabi and payjama in Urdu road, shops of Chawkbazar, Bangabazar and wholesalers of garments and fabrics of Islampur are getting enough customers during this crisis period.
Though, Islampur wholesale markets have been closed from Thursday till after Eid vacation.
Shamsul Alam, president of Islampur Market Business Association, told the Daily Observer, "Our market is closed from today (Thursday). The transport system is shut for coronavirus and we cannot deliver our products to different districts because of transportation problem. So, this year we decided to keep our businesses shut during the Eid vacation.
This correspondent found some markets in the city as crowded as during normal time on Thursday.
Although, there are no shops in Chawkbazar's Iftar Bazar like before, but, many people are sitting on the side of the road with Iftar items for sale.
Hawkers on three wheeler vans were seen selling different readymade garments and Iftar items on the roads of these markets and customers were seen surrounding these vans without maintaining rules of social distancing and endangering themselves to the contagion.
Hridoy Ahmed, a businessman of Chawkbazar, said, "A few customers are coming and we are keeping our shops open for these customers."
"Maximum number of customers are either women or teenagers," he added.
Hasan Mahmud, a hawker of garments said, "We are satisfied with the number of customers in this crisis period. Our main customers are women and youths."
When asked, why they came out for shopping in this pandemic situation? Sanjida Khanam replied, "We, especially the women come out of home to buy essentials for our household chores."
Harun-or-Rashid, a shop owner of Bangabazar, talked about maintaining social distancing.
He said, "We always want to maintain the rules of social distancing but the customers are very reluctant to abide by it. We tell them to stand by keeping minimum two meter gap from one another."
"Sometimes some customers get angry if we repeatedly remind them of this," he added.
Shihab Masum, who came to buy a pair of trousers from Bangabazar, said, "I will not buy anything but a jeans pant. I always try to maintain social distance. But, most are reluctant to maintain it and that is dangerous."