Bhubaneswar (SunstarTVBureau): During festive season of Sabitri Brata, one of the major festivals celebrated by married women in Odisha, people thronged the markets amid lockdown to carry out last minute shopping.
However, the usual excitement was missing owing to the second wave of Covid-19. Traders said business is down by more than half as people are buying for the sake of following rituals only. Last year also the festival was marred by Covid.
“This is not the time to celebrate given that there is so much pain and despair all round. I came to buy the bare minimum to keep the custom alive,” said Raj Kishore Panda, a banker on Tuesday.
“The markets used to be packed with buyers every year before Sabitri Brata. But this year sale is down by over 50%. People generally buy fruits to send it to the home of their daughters and sisters. But due to lockdown, people are not able to visit each other’s house so there are no bulk buyers,” said Kartika, a fruit vendor at Ashok Nagar.
“Due to the lockdown saree shops are closed, so we won’t be able to wear new clothes. As the temples are also shut, everyone will worship at home. It is a matter of faith and we will do the bare minimum to observe the rituals at home,” said Tapaswini Swain, a home-maker.
Traders lamented the loss of business due to lockdown. “Sabitri and Raja are major festivals when we do brisk business. Last year also it got washed away due to Covid lockdown and this year too it is the same story,” said Ranjit Kumar Prusty, a trader.