After millions of migrant workers and labourers left for their hometowns, the vegetable markets in the national capital wear a deserted look. The crowd that earlier included both vendors and customers began moving back to their hometown during the country-wide lockdown, which was announced on March 24.
The Darya Ganj vegetable market is on normal days overflowing with vendors, buyers, trucks and carts carrying vegetables. But now, the market is covered with a blanket of emptiness.
"The number of people coming to the market to buy vegetables and fruits has drastically decreased. Many locals have left for their hometowns. What else can they do? There is little to no work here," Mohd Shaquil, a vendor, stated while interacting with the media on Sunday.
"We try to maintain a fair distance from the customers and urge others to wear masks and observe social distancing as well. However, people are not used to this, so many don't follow it," he added.
Another vendor named Mohd Arif, also stated that proper precautions should be taken to reduce crowd at the market at any given time and also ensure social distancing among people.
"We have to understand this lockdown in totality. Everyone has to eat. While there is awareness among everyone. What they can do about it or the precautions they can take depends on the resources they have," said a man, who was in the market to buy vegetables.
Amid the rising Coronavirus cases in India, PM Modi on March 24 announced a 21-day lockdown in the country starting at midnight on Tuesday. He said that 21 days were necessary for breaking the transmission cycle of the pandemic. The 21-day curfew applies to all states, districts, and villages - irrespective of whether they are currently under curfew or not.
"From midnight across the country, there will be countrywide lockdown in India. Complete restriction of leaving out from the residence. All districts, villages will be locked down. This is curfew only -a stricter curfew than Janta curfew. We have to bear economic consequences because of this. But to save every Indian's life at this time is my and the government's responsibility," said PM Modi.
(With inputs from ANI)