Weavers in Varanasi facing huge loss due to COVID-19 lockdown in UP

By ANI
VARANASI: After second extesion of lockdown-like curfew in Uttar Pradesh on Monday amid rising COVD-19 cases and deaths in the state, weavers in Varanasi said they are facing financial loss due to the pandemic.

A weaver said, “Since last month there is no work, the power loom is closed, and handloom is also in the same condition, weavers are out of money.”

Banarasi saari weavers said they are now planning to cease the production of saaris as they feel there is no demand for their production since all weddings and other functions which triggered demand for their product shall now remain suspended due to the disease.

“We are unhappy with the fact that when there was an election, all the people gathered around and rallied. Not only this, lakhs of people were allowed to bathe during the Kumbh mela in Haridwar. But now that the wedding season has come, the government is trying to impose a full curfew,” said a weaver.

He further said, “Marriages and and other such celebrations were our sole source of income. But now for the past one year, the country has been struggling with the Corona crisis and the government has ordered to limit social ceremonies including marriages. COVID-induced lockdown has ruined our businesses. It is very difficult for us now to make our ends meet.”

Amid the spike in the COVID-19 cases across the state, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday announced the extension of the partial lockdown till May 7.

According to an order issued by Additional Chief Secretary Navneet Sehgal, the partial ‘corona curfew’ imposed in Uttar Pradesh has been extended till 7 am on May 6.

The restrictions were slated to be lifted on Tuesday (May 4) morning. This is the second extension of lockdown-like curfew in the country’s most populous state.

The restrictions will continue as earlier and markets, shopping malls, and restaurants will remain shut.

The government has advised people to remain indoors and only those involved in essential services will be exempted from the restrictions. Medical shops and hospitals will remain open during the lockdown. Religious places will also remain closed, as per the order.

According to official data, Uttar Pradesh reported 30,857 new COVID cases and 288 deaths on Sunday while the number of active cases stood at 2,95,752.