Holi, the festival of colours is around the corner but the sales of colours and water guns in the markets across the country have been hit hard due to the Coronavirus outbreak. People refrain from buying colours and Holi materials to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Markets in northern regions such as Jammu and Ludhiana have been greatly affected as people believe that the materials have been imported from Coronavirus-hit China.
One of the shopkeeers facing heavy loss said, “The season is tardy this time because of the rumours of coronavirus. We have no Chinese items this year. People have a false notion that we are selling Chinese colours but this is not true, we are selling colours purely made in India. Political views also affected the Holi market.”
While markets have been largely marred ahead of Holi due to Coronavirus scare, some people are still willing to celebrate the festival with enthusiasm. At many places, the Holi celebrations have been cancelled as a precautionary measure in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
As the Coronavirus outbreak continues to dampen the international trade, it has also affected Holi celebrations as prices of sprinklers and water guns have witnessed a rise by 20 per cent due to lack of supply from China. India imports 90 per cent of Holi related water toys from China.
“Manufacturers are planning to increase the price of products by 15-20 per cent as demand is more than supply. Small traders will stick to selling last year stock to insulate themselves from losses,” said Sandip Chhettri, chief operating officer of TradeIndia.com, an online B2B portal for small businesses based in India.
Chhettri said the portal has seen a 127 per cent increase in enquiries related to Holi products from small scale traders since the outbreak of the virus. The demand for organic colours has also seen a rise of about 23 per cent, especially from Metropolitan cities.
A few days ago, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal also announced that they will not participate in Holi celebration in wake of growing cases of coronavirus.
The death toll has risen to 3,282 worldwide, as per reported by WHO. The nation will celebrate Holi on March 9-10, this year. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday said that there are 43 cases of coronavirus in the country.
(With inputs from ANI)