HYDERABAD: Covid-19 has impacted businesses negatively; more so in the Old City because of the restrictions being imposed on public activities in the holy month of Ramzan. The night curfew will hurt their earnings the worst as this is the time a lot of business usually took place at night.
“The people of the Old City prefer to shop in the night hours, particularly in the month of Ramzan. Usually in this season, Muslims would come out at night and do shopping with all the family members. They avoid shopping in the daytime and come out of homes after the Taraweeh prayers,” the faithful said.
A reason for shopping at night is that women are busy during the day with preparations for the Iftar and dinner meals. “Muslims deck their homes with new furniture and accessories for the Id and spend more on home décor, buying a lot of things from carpets to kitchen appliances apart from clothes and shoes. The night curfew restrains people from spending more time on shopping,” they say.
Dress material trader Mohammed Abdul Fazil of the Mustafa Designer outlet at Pathergatti said the pandemic has changed the way Muslims here observed Ramzan and celebrated Id.
“With many people remaining tight at home for fear of the pandemic, we doubt any good business will happen this season. With the imposition of nightly curfew, the situation has further worsened.”
Mohammed Suhail of Fiza Exclusive, Lad Bazaar said the peak shopping season normally starts by the middle of Ramzan. “This is an enormous opportunity for the bangles business to woo shoppers by offering affordable, unique and fresh stock. However, the situation in this Ramzan will not be different from the last year’s, and could be worse than that of the previous year due to the night curfew.”
Women spend much time on purchases and they have time for shopping at nights only.
Mohammed Ashfaq, a hawker who sold ornaments on a cart, said. “We were hoping that this Ramzan, we will make up for the losses we suffered last year this season and be able to clear the debts. The sudden lockdown last year was terrible for us. But, the night curfew during this season would wash away all our hopes. We will simply starve now.”
Minhaj Kousar of Moghalpura said: “Last year, we could not celebrate Id and avoided purchasing clothes. There was no furnishing due to the lockdown. We had planned to celebrate Id this year with fervour and gaiety. Ladies prefer to shop at night hours. The night curfew has disappointed them.”