The Tea Vendors’ Association in Bhubaneswar on Monday took to streets and held a unique demonstration urging the Odisha government to allow them to do business during the lockdown.
Keeping tea kettles on the road near Jeydev Bhawan, the vendors kneeled on the ground holding placards to press for their demands. The placards carried lines like ‘I maintain my family by selling tea, so the government should allow opening of tea stalls and selling of tea with adherence to social distancing norms.’
The association members said that they are facing acute financial constraints due to restrictions on the opening of their shops during the ongoing Covid-induced lockdown.
They appealed to the State government to allow them to open their outlets and sell tea by following social distancing and other Covid-19 guidelines in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“We are reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic for almost two years. During the first wave of the pandemic, we tea sellers had to bring our shutters down for five to six months which has broken our backbone. It has also left us in dire straits,” said Surya Narayan Jena, member of Odisha Tea Sellers’ Association.
“Now again the shops are shut for two months. It is difficult for us to maintain our families. Therefore, we urge the State government to make some relaxation for us while framing the norms for the month of July and allow us to do business,” he added.