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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Tent house owners and members of catering, flower, light and sound associations staged a protest at the Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar on Monday demanding relaxation of restrictions imposed on social events like marriages and thread ceremony due to the second wave of Covid-19

The members hit the streets with utensils loaded in vehicles and shouted slogans urging the State Government to give their livelihood back at the earliest.

"Though Covid restrictions have been relaxed to a great extent in the August guidelines, curbs on social events like marriage, sacred thread ceremony and other social functions are still continuing. It is hitting the livelihood of the people associated with tent house, catering, flower, light and sound services, hard," said a protestor.

"Since the outbreak of the pandemic we have lost our livelihood and finding it difficult to make our ends meet," he added.

The protestors demanded that the restrictions imposed on social events should be relaxed as soon as possible.

"According to the current Covid guidelines, only 25 people are allowed to participate in a social event. We request the State Government to increase the number of people and allow participation of at least 300 people in ceremonial events," another protestor said.

The protestor also warned to intensify their stir if their demands were not met at the earliest.

"The number of cases has dipped in the State and the government has allowed opening of malls, cinema halls and parks. Around 10 lakh people associated with the catering industry across the State are going through a harrowing time. Considering the situation, the government should take steps to restore our livelihood," said president of the Odisha Catering Association, BInay Bhusan Patnaik.

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