Like tourism, Shillong Teer business has been badly hit because of the intermittent curfews and law and order problems in eastern Meghalaya.
Otherwise, between 3.30 and 5 pm, from Monday to Saturday, life in almost the entire state of Meghalaya is focused on one target — the Shillong Teer result.
During the last few days, most of the Shillong Teer operators had to keep their counters closed because of the curfew and law and order problems.
Since Friday evening, curfew has been imposed in Shillong, and so far, three people have been killed in the conflict between tribal Khasi and the non-tribals.
A section of Shillong Teer counter owners are worried that if curfews continue in Shillong, there is business is going to suffer.
“If the situation continues like this for some more time, the Shillong Teer business is sure to collapse,” Robert Lyngdoh, a Teer counter owner at Iewduh, said.
And, lives of several lakh families of the state are directly or indirectly connected with the Shillong Teer result every day.
Bread earners of some families sell Shillong Teer tickets, while others make it a point to bet on their chosen numbers with the hope to win the “jackpot” of the day.
While the situation continues to be tense, the East Khasi Hills district administration extended curfew at several places across Shillong from 6 am on Tuesday.
Curfew continued to be imposed on Tuesday at the nerve centre of Shillong Teer business — Iewduh, Motphran, Police Bazaar and Iew Mawlong.
In addition to curfews, the Shillong Teer operators are also handicapped because the administration has blocked mobile internet connections in the eastern districts of Meghalaya.
Every day, Shillong Teer results generally spread the length and breadth of the state within seconds of declaration. And, WhatsApp is the best mode of dissemination of the information.
Though it may sound surprising, but it is true that even in the 21st century, when the world is shifting towards a digital era, people of Meghalaya are still focused on the traditional game — the Shillong Teer.
Shillong Teer is a highly popular traditional game of betting in Meghalaya, and thousands of people partake in the game every day.