Business not as usual in violence-prone Old City
By Yunus Lasania | Published: 17th December 2012 10:39 AM |
Though citizens of the old city heaved a sigh of relief with last Friday having passed off peacefully, traders and shop owners are facing repercussions of the violence that took place near Charminar over the last few weeks.
With business severely hit and several shops running in losses, many daily wage workers are deserting their workplace to look for employment in other parts of the city such as Abids and Secunderabad.
“The customer base is undergoing a change. Many of them are now going to Abids or Secunderabad for shopping. And, for us, working in such a market will be rewarding,” says Aslam bin Ahmed, who works at Grand Shoes store at Pathergatti.
“I am the breadwinner for my family as my father cannot work. The Rs 300 I earn daily is all what our family gets. After next week, I will work at a cloth store in Secunderabad,” says Mohammed Qasim, another daily wage worker at Pathergatti.
Mohd Ali, who runs Nizam Shahi Libas, agrees that disturbances in the old city have affected the business which, in turn, affected employees and workers. “There was no business for eight days at a stretch, and a week or two before that. And one who has to earn every day can’t afford to stay at such violence-prone place,” Ali explains.
Abid Mohiuddin, managing director of Maqdoom Brothers at Pathergatti, said: “This year violence struck this part of the city twice, first during Diwali and now during wedding season, which has dented my business. Business here is divided into four quarters of the year and we have lost one entire quarter due to disturbances,” he rues.
“Sometimes, whenever such disturbances take place, workers take money from us to feed their families as they know there will be no business. Only those who have been working for decades are paid since they are loyal. But new workers are not so lucky, so they leave,” points out Farooq Ibrahim, who owns Farooq Footwear at Nayapul.
Aslam bin Ahmed adds to his observation that workers in other areas of the city are paid more. “I have 19 years of experience as a worker. Anyone having such long experience is paid about Rs 400 a day by establishments in Abids and Secunderabad. In the old city we are paid a paltry Rs 200, on an average, which hardly sufficient to make a decent living in these hard times,’’ he says.
Qasim concurs with the observation, justifying his decision to look for greener pastures beyond Musi river which divides the old and new cities.