The shop name reads Amax Tours and Travels yet a peek into the shop will tell a different story. 60-year-old Rakesh Narang who was in tour and travel business for the last 25 years has shifted to selling sanitisers for the last 20 days to earn a livelihood. Narang isn’t the only one who has been compelled to shift from the travel and tourism business to selling COVID-19 related products.

“As the crisis is going on since the last few months and the scenario will continue to be the same I was left with no other choice but to shift to selling sanitisers. I won’t say I’m doing very good but my only relief is I am earning something at the end of the day and most importantly I can feed my children, my family,” Narang said.

Other small businessmen have also shifted from their primary businesses. “Like me, many businessmen owing small businesses of travel and tourism lost hope. Nobody knows how long this situation will persist. I have to send money to my family in Bihar and I have to do something to earn. I haven’t earned anything for the last two months, I can’t even go back home,” said Kishan Kumar, 43, who is selling vegetables since last few weeks in Lajpat Nagar.

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In areas like Connaught Place, Paharganj, Lajpat Nagar most of the shops associated with travel and tour businesses have not opened after unlock. “We used to know our customers. They further used to recommend our name to other people they knew. Now in this new business, we have no contacts, no known faces I don’t know how to continue even with this business. Have only earned Rs 350 in the last three days,” told a businessman who recently started selling COVID-19 products in the area near to Paharganj.

Many of these businessmen pay a huge amount of rent. And most continued to pay the rent even when their business was facing hardship. A few from the travel and tourism sector are trying to revive their businesses, however, a large number is still thinking how to begin afresh. Though domestic travel has resumed, people are restricting themselves to essential travel, primarily due to an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Many of these businessmen pay a huge amount of rent. And most continued to pay the rent even when their business was facing hardship. A few from the travel and tourism sector are trying to revive their businesses, however, a large number is still thinking how to begin afresh. Though domestic travel has resumed, people are restricting themselves to essential travel, primarily due to an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

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