DU has many micro-markets around its campus. July is the busiest month for all student-based shops. However, the year 2020 is different. The lethal coronavirus pandemic has not only sent students to their respective homes but also altered the economy of the area.
Mahavir’s famous photocopy shop near Patel Chest Clinic is now turned into a vegetable shop. D Kumar Book Store nearby is couriering books and notes.
The Rikshapullers no longer need to toil in the summer heats but they are penniless now. The landmark Tom Uncle Maggie Point and Sudama Tea Stall are closed from the past five months. The PGs near Kamla Nagar are now thinking about how to sustain themselves.
No Space for Profits
As Delhi University provides only 5% of students’ accommodation facilities. And more than 50% are outstation students. Due to this, paying guests’ dwelling is a prime business. Rooms, Food, and other stuff are always in great demand. But today almost all the PGs are closed with no source of income. Nivedita Sadan, a 100-bed capacity PG at Kamla Nagar, is in a bad condition. The manager said that many students did not return from Holi Break and many left in a hurry. Many students have left their belongings in the PGs but we cannot ask for the rent, he added.
Smaller PGs are run by landlords but the greater one takes building on lease to host students. Vikas Bansal of Circuit House PG revealed that he earned 2000 rupees per student. Now, there are no students but they have to pay electricity and other overhead bills.
Under the Delhi Disaster Management Act, PG owners have been prohibited from demanding rent for unused PGs. In this dry season, PG operators have formed a Delhi Students Housing Association. It aims to strive for a solution that can help them to sustain at least until December.
Turn over a new leaf or perish
Bookstores near the campuses are the verge of extinction? This might be a big question as they are already hard hit by e-commerce websites and the prevailing pandemic situation made it even worse.
Fast food, slow business
Jitendra Kashyap, known as JK to students, sat desultory at the counter of Chowringee Roll Shop, in Kamla Nagar.
JK revealed that in his seven years of existence, he hadn’t faced anything like this. Whenever an academic session ended, we always have a new set of students present. Today, he is suffering and even didn’t have money to pay rent.
Metro Fast Food, named due to its proximity to Vishwavidhalaya Metro Station, no more have queues of students.
Roadside stalls selling clothes and other menial stuff are now no more available. Gaming Parlor Owners are also at a great loss. There was my time when all my consoles were occupied but now only 10% does, Mahesh Kumar of NXGT revealed.
The wheels have stopped rolling
With Delhi Metro not running , the cluster outside Metro stations, public conveyance diminished. Many returned to their native places and the few left are in the great state of misery. It is difficult to earn even 20 rupees a day. Earlier, it was around 1000 every day.
Copy Print, Delete
Due to coronavirus pandemic, the admission procedure is completely online this year. Also, the students have to submit assignments electronically. This collapsed the photocopying businesses near the campuses. Earlier Mahavir Photocopying shop was in so much demand, that it needed to hire employees. But now, he has to sell vegetables to earn a living.
Dhanesh Printography owner revealed that he had zero business in the past 3 months. Although, he had to pay electricity expenditures.