Luck runs out for lottery vendors in Kannur

ഇനിയെങ്കിലും തുണയ്ക്കുമോ ഭാഗ്യം: ലോക്ക്ഡൗണ്‍മൂലം എടുത്തുവെച്ച ടിക്കറ്റുകള്‍ വില്‍ക്കാനോ തിരിച്ചുകൊടുക്കാനോ ആകാതെ ലക്ഷങ്ങളുടെ നഷ്ടമാണ് ലോട്ടറി കച്ചവടക്കാര്‍ക്കുണ്ടായത്. കുറേ നാളുകള്‍ക്ക് ശേഷം ലോട്ടറി വില്‍പ്പനയ്ക്ക് അനുമതി ലഭിച്ചതോടെ ദിവസങ്ങൾക്ക് മുന്പുണ്ടായ കാറ്റിലും മഴയും മരകൊമ്പ് വീണ് തകർന്ന തന്റെ കട തുറക്കാനുള്ള ശ്രമത്തിലാണ് ഈ ലോട്ടറി വില്‍പ്പനക്കാരന്‍. തൃശൂര്‍ വടക്കേ ബസ് സ്റ്റാന്റിന് സമീപത്ത് നിന്നുള്ള ദൃശ്യം. ഫോട്ടോ: കെ.കെ.നജീബ്.   | Photo Credit: K.K.NAJEEB

The relaxation of the pandemic-induced lockdown has come as a relief for T. Ramdas, 58, a lottery ticket vendor in Kannur.

The lockdown restrictions had made life difficult for people like him, with many struggling to make ends meet.

A native of Salem in Tamil Nadu, he came to Kannur to work as labourer in 2003. After he suffered a serious leg injury in an accident in 2013, he started selling lottery tickets to make a living.

“I used to earn ₹200 a day selling lottery. It was never sufficient but that too stopped during the pandemic,” he says. It was then a shop owner offered him the job of a watchman.

“A lot of money has been spent on the leg surgery and for conducting the accident case, which is still pending in court,” says Ramdas.

The little money he saved from selling lottery and working as watchman, helped him manage his expenses during the lockdown. He fears he may not be able to hold on in case of another lockdown.

The hotel he used to stay downed shutters following the outbreak of COVID-19. Now he stays in the shop, where he works as the watchman. “I search for places where food is served free and depend on hotels whenever I had money,” he says.

He is quite apprehensive. “How long can they pay me with the shop remaining shut,” he asks.

The case of Ramkumar, 35, another lottery ticket vendor, is no different. A native of Kannur, he says he survived with the support of people, who gave him money and food during the lockdown.

Ramkumar, who is differently abled, says though the government has relaxed the lockdown, people are not purchasing tickets. “People complain they have no money to spare. I will lose money if there are no takers for tickets. It will take some more time for things to be back to normal,” he says.

Ramkumar says the government should take the initiative for providing relief to poor people like him who have borne the brunt of the restrictions imposed to check the spread of the pandemic.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 8:43:49 PM |

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