May 28, 2022

Missing social distancing at the flower market

The rush to the Gudimalkapur flower market was not surprising as flowers make up a large part of the Dasara celebrations in Telangana

It was business as usual at the Gudimalkapur Flower Market on Monday morning as hundreds of farmers, traders and buyers descended to shop for Dasara. The COVID-19 lockdown came as a distant memory as men and women scrambled to bid, negotiate and buy mostly marigolds, chrysanthemums and roses.

“I was worried that business would be affected due to fears of COVID-19, but for the past three days it was like the good old days,” Jagannath Reddy, a flower wholesaler, said while adjusting his mask. While some traders wore masks and gloves, the majority of shoppers could be seen without masks and standards of social distancing were observed more. Hyderabad has seen the closure of several wholesale markets including Osman Gunj, Begum Bazar and even Laad Bazaar due to the COVID-19 super-spill events.

The Durga Puja celebrations in the city were low-key events where the size of idols was limited to 2.5 feet, worshipers to 50, and the distribution of bhog (food) among worshipers was prohibited. The rush to the flower market was not surprising as flowers make up a large part of the Dasara celebrations in Telangana where they are used for the 9 day Bathukamma festival, as offerings for the goddesses, and also to decorate vehicles and machines for Ayudha Puja. “We sold the chrysanthemums for 300 yen per kg for two days and now the price has dropped to 140 yen as the festival shopping is almost complete,” said Venkatesh Reddy, who buys the flowers in bulk and sells them in different parts. from town to retailers. .

At the retail level, chrysanthemums were selling for 20 for 50g (chatak) in the city as people made last minute purchases before the puja.