Holiday market not for the poor any moreSadia Afrin
Increase in goods prices have made holiday markets, meant for low-income group people, places for even the well-off to buy goods before Eid.
A large number of middle-class and upper middle-class people on Friday roamed about the holiday market at Segun Bagicha to buy saris, shalwar-kameez, panjabis, shirts, T-shirts, jeans, baby items, cosmetics, ornaments, bed sheets, curtains and other household objects.
Shop owners said that many from the low-income group such as apparel workers, auto-rickshaw drivers, bus drivers, domestic helps and rickshaw-pullers also visited the market and roamed about but could not buy anything as the price of almost all the goods on offer went up by 50 per cent before Eid.
The sellers at the market on Friday said that a large number of middle- and upper middle-class people had visited the place as they could buy things of their choice for the price they could afford.
‘Our business is going very well. We are receiving a large number of customers,’ Akram Hossain, who sells clothes for women and children at the market, said.
‘I now earn between Tk 12,000 and Tk 14,000 in view of Eid but usually I earn between Tk 4,000 and Tk 6,000 by selling goods at the market that sits Fridays,’ he said.
Shumon, a bed sheet seller, said that people of all classes, especially the middle- and the upper middle-class went shopping at the place. He said that his his sales had increased three times before Eid.
Saiful Huq, who sells shoes, said that he was getting a large number of customers and he could sell goods worth between Tk 5,000 and Tk 7,000. The figure usually ranged between Tk 2,000 and Tk 3,000 on a normal day.
Asad, who sells ornaments, said that his sale had also increased before Eid. He expected his sales to go up as Eid would be nearing.
In early 2007, the government decided to allow hawkers to hold a market in front of the Shilpakala Academy Fridays and keep the footpaths clear for pedestrians.
More than 200 makeshift shops are set up in the place, selling apparel, utensils, household objects, cosmetics and ornaments.
Rumana Begum, a banker, told New Age that she had frequented the place to buy things such as bed sheets, curtains and household items since the market was set up in 2007 because the goods on offer there were cheaper.
Rabiul Islam, a managing director of a multi-national company, said that he was there to buy gifts and goods for domestic helps.
Ruksana Begum, an apparel worker, who went to the place from Lalbagh to buy things for her husband and children, said that the sellers were charging high prices for almost all the items this year.
‘Increase in prices has forced met to cut short my shopping list for Eid, she added.
Bellal Hosain, a rickshaw-puller, said that the ‘footpath is the only place for shopping for us. But we prices have gone up even in these places.’
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