THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For Baiju A M, a small-scale spare part shop owner in Attingal, survival has been an ordeal ever since the pandemic struck. While his savings cushioned the effect of the first Covid induced lockdown during which he opened shop for only four days, the second wave along with the government imposed restrictions has brought his life to a near standstill. “By January, things were getting a better and back on track. But, now, the second wave has hit us harder.
There are no savings and I am unable to open my shop. The shifting TPRs and categories make it even more difficult. When the lockdown was lifted, we were in category B. I could open the shop three days a week. This continued for two weeks, soon after which our area was brought under category C. As the government keeps changing the category slab based on the TPR, everything is uncertain. And so is our livelihood,” says Baiju.
With Attingal being placed in category C, Baiju can open his spare part shop just on Fridays. Baiju says that life for small-scale traders has been hit hard by the pandemic. While there is no restriction to the movement of vehicles on the road, the very industry that caters to the automotive segment isn’t allowed to operate, says Baiju.
“These times are really scary for us and we do not know how to survive. Vehicles are allowed to ply and yet our sector isn’t allowed to operate on all days,” says Baiju. Baiju is the sole breadwinner of his six-member family and the shop is their only livelihood. For the past 20 years, Baiju has been running the shop and no crisis has ever affected him in this stature. “We are people who try to make ends meet on a daily basis.. We cannot survive by locking up for four months” says Baiju.
Life of small-scale traders hit hard
Baiju A M, a small-scale spare parts shop owner in Attingal, says that life for small-scale traders has been hit hard by the pandemic. While there is no restriction to the movement of vehicles on the road, the very industry that caters to the automotive segment isn’t allowed to operate, says Baiju.