Pilgrim rush boosts trade, but eateries face slump - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pilgrim rush boosts trade, but eateries face slump

Pilgrim rush boosts trade, but eateries face slump

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Sultanpur Lodhi, November 4

Shopkeepers in the holy town have seen an upswing in their business ever since the footfall of sangat increased here in connection with the 550th Parkash Purb.

They said with lakhs of devotees visiting the town on a daily basis, their sales have gone up substantially.

Showpieces with rural connect like tractor miniatures, mini hand-operated butter churners, charkhas, small charpoys, traditional music instruments etc are selling the most. Besides, there are 550th Gurpurb T-shirts, key chains with khanda symbol, scarves, stoles and kada (steel bangle for Sikhs) that are in high demand.

“Almost everyone likes to take along some souvenir. They especially like to buy something for their children back home, which is why we have increased the variety of gift items,” said Amandeep Kaur, who has joined her husband in their gift shop to help him with rising footfall.

Pardeep Kumar, who runs a shop of rumalas in front of Gurdwara Ber Sahib, said, “Earlier I used to have just 3-4 buyers a day, but there has been a constant rise in the sales, especially since the last month.”

There has been a spurt in the number of roadside hawkers selling eatables and pottery items.

Some shopkeepers are, however, not quite upbeat. Baljit Singh, who runs a fruit shop, said since vehicles were not allowed in the town, people could not walk and carry back fruit in larger quantities. “They buy from us only a limited amount that too for immediate consumption. We have even lost our local customers since the past one week.”

Owners of food joints too say that their business had taken a hit as there were over 70 langar halls serving wide variety of food.

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