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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Street vendors in peril as heatwave hammers sales

  • The streets remain deserted, as people avoid venturing out unnecessarily
  • This lack of pedestrian traffic has severely impacted the vendors' earnings

 

Update : 24 Apr 2024, 01:00 PM

In the midst of a raging heat wave sweeping across Bangladesh, the relentless fury of nature is disrupting lives and routines. People are refraining from unnecessary movement, with the government ordering schools and colleges closed for a week. 

Despite this, people from various walks of life, including street hawkers, are braving such conditions in pursuit of income.

Despite the scorching sun, many hawkers have set up shop by the roadside, hoping for customers. 

However, the streets remain deserted, as people avoid venturing out unnecessarily. This lack of pedestrian traffic has severely impacted the vendors' earnings, paralleling the drought-like conditions plaguing the land.

Maruf Hussain, who sells children's clothes in Gulistan, said sales have dropped a lot this summer.

He said: “People are reluctant to leave their homes due to excessive heat. We have to get out because this is our source of food. Otherwise, we would do the same.”

Similarly, Md Harun, a vendor on Bangabandhu Avenue, said that there is a lack of customers, with sales picking up only in the cooler afternoon hours. At this time, foot traffic increases as people head back home after a long day of work.

To cope with the intense heat, vendors resort to makeshift solutions like umbrellas or cloth coverings for shade. 

Sujan, a street vendor, said: “I did not have an umbrella before. Now I have to use it because of the scorching sun. Due to this umbrella, both me and my customers get a little shade from the relentless heat.”

There are many vendors who have left their shops and taken refuge under some shade on the roadside as they do not have cloth or umbrellas to protect themselves. 

As sales numbers are low, many are seen chatting with fellow traders. There are even many vendors who open their shops in the afternoon to escape the sun’s battering.

Monir, a clothes trader, said: “I used to open the shop before 9:30am. But now we start after 1pm. There is no use coming in the morning. If there were customers, I would open earlier.” 

Despite the challenges, vendors like Goni Mia remain resolute, determined to support their families amidst the adversity. 

He expressed his hope for relief with the arrival of rain, anticipating a surge in customers once the oppressive heat subsides.

Hawker Sabuj said: “This heat is unbearable. When the rain comes, we will get some relief. If the heat goes down, our customer numbers will also go up.”

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