In view of the upcoming festive season, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya stressed the importance of public awareness campaigns regarding adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour.
Delhi’ites will have to adopt a new way of life. That is what closure of several city markets for violation of Covid-appropriate behaviour indicates. The authorities had to close Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Gaffar Market, Sarojini Nagar’s export market and parts of Sadar Bazar for a few days because of overcrowding and disregard for Covid-safety norms.
Some of these shopping centres are open again and bustling with attractions. That does not mean that people can rush there all the time, and do shopping altogether. Delhi will have to restrain itself and get slow with life. The Lockdowns have reduced the need for buying many things, like new clothes.
Agreed, Lajpat Nagar has mouth-watering attractions of kachoris, pani-puri and chole-bhature, while shopping for wedding saris, lehengas or electronics. One can take a few minutes off from selecting creamy-golden kurta sets, bandannas and jutis for bridegrooms, and enjoy big pakoras with tea.
The heart-ofSouth Delhi shopping centre has a full street of silver payals and other jewellery needed for weddings and other special occasions. Even walking around its different parts, one can find something useful, like large bags to carry shopping or colourful covers for TV sets or washing machines. That does not mean the market should have a festival-fair look on all days.
The other markets, like Sarojini Nagar, too have made a name for themselves, and meet your expectations for essentials and cheap bargains. The Sarojini Market and its Babu Market section continue to serve their customers from far flung areas, although Sarojini Nagar where they are located, is under demolition for redevelopment. The market continues to attract young and old for its varied fare.
One can find virtual truck-loads of jeanwear, shirts and ladies purses on the road-sides, while other parts of the market meet your demands for gastronomy. Laxmi Nagar, Vikas Marg, Vijay Chowk and Subhash Chowk are trans-Yamuna’s popular markets and offer branded and cheap electronics, readymades and furniture to visitors. Ghaffar Market in the vicinity of Karol Bagh is known for its narrow lanes full of “imported” and popular electronic items.
Most of these markets faced short duration closures because of Covid-norm violations. In every part of the metropolis, there are markets which offer a dream shopping experience. But times have changed. Delhi will have to accept a few restrictions on its traditional way of life. Certainly revenge shopping should be avoided.
There has been a steady decline in the number of Covid cases. But uncontrolled crowds in the markets are scary and give fears of a sudden spike. The authorities will not accept this. They are empowered to take any decision to keep things under control, and this is what they did by ordering closure of markets. This is a painful decision. The markets protested and the customers were angry. They have had enough of the restrictions. But lives have to be saved, and the health system protected from undue strain.
Delhi’ites, it seems, will have to accept a few changes in their manner of living. Petrol too has crossed the Rs 100 a litre price milestone. This will also require a few adjustments. It would make the city an expensive place to travel. Residential complexes and commercial hubs are located miles apart and unless necessary absolutely, travel would be costly. Cabs and autos will be difficult to hire.
The Delhi’ites will need to learn to stay local and enjoy local. Cinemas and theatres have remained closed. There are too few district parks; the trans-Yamuna knows nothing about parks. Buses are seen only on a few routes, while the Metro has “rationed” entry into its stations. All this would require looking for relaxation near home. As far as the needs of people are concerned, online services are mushrooming.
They are offering items ranging from groceries to cooked food, and wedding essentials to casual wear. Stay at home, experts are suggesting, and indulge in physical exercise or yoga, seek spiritual solace, and consume healthy nutritious food!