Lawn owners are hard hit with the second wave of Covid.
Jaipur: Due to lockdown, and restrictions in events, wedding lawn owners are facing a loss in their business. Om Sodhani, director of Sodhani Farms Banquet and Garden said, “Our lawn has been shut since the lockdown started. As per the government guidelines, we have not been organizing any events. We got a good number of bookings for April and May but had to cancel them due to lockdown. Ninety percent of our business has been affected.”
Furthermore, Ratan Sharma, owner of Highness Lawn said, “We are unable to take any bookings of events due to the lockdown. Before the lockdown, our business was running fine. The bookings for May have been postponed. Looking at the situation, I think the business will continue to be down post unlock, too. After July, it will be an off-season for weddings, so from November only it might go back to normal. People are doing alternative jobs to sustain.”
Some lawn owners have started alternative jobs to earn a living. Akshat Patni, owner of V2 Lawns said “The government has reduced the number of people from 500 to 200 then 100. And now only 11 people are allowed to attend a wedding. So nobody is interested in doing events with just 11 people. We have opened a departmental store in our area as an alternative. In our area, there wasn’t a store so we thought of helping out the people by providing basic groceries.”
“We gave salaries to our employees in the starting few months of the lockdown. Later some employees found other jobs. Last year’s lockdown was different and we had some savings during that time. But this year it’s not the same. The loss is more this year. We have lost lakhs of rupees in this business due to the pandemic. The government has not helped us in any way,” added Akshat.
Janaki Ram, retired professor and Head of Department, Master of Business Administration at MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology said, “Life is more important than earning. The livelihood of people surely has been affected including migrant laborers and teachers. People are not allowed to congregate and thus their business has been affected.”
Janaki suggested that the open lawns could be used for treating the Covid patients. When people go to hospitals, there is a higher risk of contamination which can be avoided in open spaces. The lawns can also be used for vaccinating people.
While business for such lawn owners remains shut, the people who were planning to get married this year are also in flux. Shikhar said, “I think restrictions on gatherings like marriages are necessary but at the same time options like registered marriages should be made available as it is not possible for everyone to wait for the next suitable date to get married.”