Madurai

A dull Deepavali for sweet makers

Sale of sweets for Deepavali is yet to catch up in in Madurai.  

Madurai

A week ahead of Deepavali festival, people usually throng the sweet shops across the city as it is customary to buy sweets and savouries for the festival. However, there has been a major dip in sales this year, mainly owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, say sweet makers.

S. Ganaga Ram Singh, manager of Prema Vilas, says that sales have reduced by at least 30% this year.

"Usually, industries, corporates and big companies place bulk orders for Deepavali festival to distribute sweet boxes to their employees. But, we have received very few orders this year from the companies," he says.

Many organisations have not paid the Deepavali bonus for their employees and some companies have paid only half the amount of the salary, says M. Ramar, owner of a sweet stall in Karimedu. "This has reduced the purchasing capacity of the public. Every year, people used to buy many sweet and snacks packets for their friends and families during Deepavali. But, this year people buy very limited quantities of sweets and savouries," he says.

S. Narasimhan, owner of Aathi Kalathu Original Nei Mittai Kadai on East Aavani Moola Street, which is functioning for the past four generations, says, "This has been a very dull Deepavali for us. The floating population around Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple has drastically reduced and this has directly impacted our sales," he says.

The sales have been poor for nearly the past eight months since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, says M. Vijayaraghavan, a partner of Jayaram Bakery. "The closure of schools and colleges has also impacted the business," he says.

With the limited income, the sweet stall owners have to pay the wages for the staff, rent for the shops and electricity charges, says Mr. Raman.

The labour cost and the raw material cost have also risen after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, says Mr. Vijayaraghavan. "But, the shops have not increased the prices of sweets and savouries as the demand from the people is lower," he says.

Due to reduced demand, the quantity of sweets and savouries produced by sweet makers has also been scaled down by 50%, says S. Azar, a staff at Sri Lakshmi Vilas on Netaji Road.

M. Sailesh, owner of Sumangali stall on Netaji Road, says that he is hopeful for a swift sale of sweets in the next few days ahead of Deepavali.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:58:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/a-dull-deepavali-for-sweet-makers/article33048554.ece

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