GUWAHATI, Oct 12: Ramesh has been a hawker for 40 years now. He is 52-years-old and has been continuing his father’s business in the popular SS Road market at Fancy Bazar. His whole life is about selling clothes to people who come from all walks of life. The festive season brings joy and excitement as it is the main earning season.
But this year, in April, after the hawkers were asked to vacate the SS Road by Guwahati Municipality Corporation things have changed in this stretch of the market. The High Court order which was against them left the hawkers high and dry. They could not do much against the forces against them.
“Now we are like peddlers of clothes. We run when the GMC and the police chase us. This is so bad for business. Due to the eviction we have lost area. We sell only in small quantities as we have to be ready to run with our goods when the officials come. There is no variety, we sell less stock. It is the worst puja business in my whole life,” said Hari, who has been in the business for over 20 years.
“There is no proper settlement. We feel so cheated. The municipality suddenly told us we have just 15 days to change our location. Nothing could be done. On the day of eviction things were ugly but we had to give up as it was a court order,” said Ramesh.
“The last six months have been very tiring for us. We had to let go our spots, we lost our customers due to the uncertainty and now there seems very less hope that anything good might happen. Post Bihu this is the festive season, but we are not getting the kind of response as there is too much of uncertainty,” lamented Kishore, who deals in ladies items.