AASIM BASHIR BHAT
SRINAGAR: The vendors along northern Foreshore road on Habak-Nishat stretch have been hit by continuous shutdown, which has diminished their earnings and forced many to change the trade.
The vegetable and fish vendors say that a shorter schedule of operating their business has impacted on their earnings. Fish and corn sellers have been forced to close their business as their sales
have dropped in wake of odd working hours, and said they have been forced to find alternatives.
“We presently operate from 6 am onwards to 9:30 am, and this is the time slot we get to sell our produce,” said Mukhta Begum, who has been selling vegetables for more than two decades.
“It is getting harder for us to sell all the vegetables. The perishable food, which is not sold, is fed to the animals or dumped,” she said.
A fish-seller, Ghulam Muhammad said that selling stock in just a few hours is difficult, and whatever is left, he carries it to his neighborhood to seek customers.
“If the catch is not sold by 9:30 am, I have to carry it to my neighborhood to look for customers,” he said, adding that he used to sell the catch to non-locals and tourists, who would throng to Mughal
gardens in normal days.
The worst hit by shutdown have been corn vendors, who say that their sales have drastically declined, forcing them to sell either vegetables or find labour work in the vicinity.
“Too many people selling vegetables disrupt the whole market,” said Wali Mohammad, who used to sell both corn and vegetables.
For many women along this stretch, vending is their source of income and without it, they would be left to fend for themselves.
Mala Begum, a vendor, said that her husband would catch fish and even harvest nadru (Lotus stems) in the vicinity, and her job was to sell the produce along this stretch. According to her, she would
earn 400 rupees a day, “but due to shutdown, my earnings have declined”.