Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Street hawkers bear the brunt of hartal in Ctg

Earning of livelihoods of street hawkers in Chittagong city has become uncertain and difficult due to the ongoing spate of hartals, like elsewhere in the country.
Visiting major thoroughfares of the port city yesterday, The Daily Star found that several makeshift shops of the hawkers, mainly garment sellers, remained closed.
Talking to The Daily Star, many hawkers and street vendors described their sufferings, and urged the political parties not to enforce hartals.
Mohammad Bashir, a roadside vendor of betel leaves and tea at Prabartak intersection, said his income falls drastically on hartal days, causing much suffering to him to lead his family.
“I have earned Tk 400 till 2:00pm today (yesterday) while on regular days I would have earned upto Tk 1,200 by this time,” said Bashir, who is the sole bread earner of a six-member family.
Md Jashim Uddin, a hawker who sells T-shirt in the city’s Number-2 Gate area, said on an average regular day he earns more than Tk 2,000, while on hartal days he can earn only Tk 400 to Tk 500.
Lower presence of people on the streets during hartal hours is a common reason for such low business, he said.
Besides, many hawkers keep their shops closed during hartal hours because of low sales, he added.
According to Chittagong Sammilto Hawkers Federation General Secretary Masud Rana, there are nearly 16,000 hawkers and street vendors in the port city.