A view of the Covid19 lockdown in North Lakhimpur. Image credit - Northeast Now

The extended Covid19 lockdown in Assam’s Lakhimpur district has severely affected the business of the retail sector.

The loss is seen mostly in the retail garment shops, where prolonged closure of the shutters during the Covid19 lockdown has left many businesses to complete breakdown.

Outlets, both large and small selling garments in North Lakhimpur, have failed to open their shutters since the imposition of round-the-clock lockdown in the district from July 7, 2021.

For almost a month, these businesses are closed breaking down their economic activities and ruined the livelihood of many.

“The lockdown has completely ruined our business as many people are employed in my shop whom I should take care of,” said one garment retailer.

The shop owner also said he has CC loans in bank, room rent to pay and monthly electricity bills to pay during the lockdown besides paying the salaries of his employees.

With all these liabilities, the coming days seem to be very difficult to sustain for him if the lockdown is continued.

One young businessman, who runs a jewellery shop in North Lakhimpur, is seen selling vegetables in the neighbourhood of his residence.

The lockdown has forced him to change his occupation from being a goldsmith to a vegetable vendor.

The worst-hit sector during this lockdown in Lakhimpur district is street vending.

Most of the street vendors, who used to sell Momos, chops and other fast food in the evening time, are now deeply in debt to run their families living in rented houses in the urban areas.

Covid19 lockdown bandh Lakhimpur road

Every morning they are seen keenly looking at the roads in the hope of having the good news of relaxing the lockdown.

An important aspect of these sufferers of lockdown is that they mostly are not entitled to get free rice, BPL card and other welfare schemes as enjoyed by other beneficiaries.

The month-long round-the-clock lockdown in Lakhimpur has closed all types of shops except the groceries and pharmacies.

As other essential services like milk supply, vegetable sale and healthcare are exempted — people come out for these items in the district making the restrictions somewhat pointless.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com