Small traders must also be saved

9 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The second wave of coronavirus has hit harder in Bangladesh. The country has been observing new records of infections and death tolls almost every day. A strictly implemented lockdown would have been the most effective measure to contain the spread of the deadly virus and face the new challenge. But, the government is not in the situation to do so due to several reasons. Given that, offices and industries are allowed to run their jobs. Bus and other public transportation are active also. Therefore, the only sufferers are the small traders, especially retail shop owners and the vendors who are among the most vulnerable groups of the society.

For these people, festivals in particular two Eids offer a huge potential to earn a mentionable amount of their yearly income. As a result, they usually try to invest in their tiny businesses ahead of Eids as much as possible. This year also, many of these traders have already invested all of their hard-earned savings to make a handsome profit after losing several business opportunities last year. They started breathing a sigh of relief, thinking of the probable business in the coming Eid-ul-Fitr. But the fresh lockdown has dashed their hope. Moreover, the restriction of doing business of these small traders has put the lower-economic-class people in a heartbreaking situation as the latter hardly afford to buy their children and family members new clothes from big shopping malls or online shopping places.

As public transports are plying the city streets and the book fair is open, then why these small business owners and vendors should be made to suffer? Therefore, the government should consider reopening the business of small traders, at least for some hours every day, of course, with the condition that they must abide by proper health guidelines.

As we were going to put this write-up on the page, it could be learnt that the government has allowed opening of all shops, shopping malls and market places. It is a welcome decision. Small traders, among others, can now go on with their business at ease but they must not forget the obligation of adhering to health instructions for their own safety and that of others.