It is important to not overlook the impact that the pandemic has had on the lives of not only workers in the industry but businessmen and women as well. For this edition of Indian perspectives, I have interviewed Krishna Gopal Bhayya, a salesman of ceramic tiles, living in Gujrat, in the country of India.
Bhayya’s business deals specifically with human interaction, as he specializes in sales, and claims that the pandemic has “effectively dismantled the foundation,” of his work, stating customers to have been at an “all-time low when lockdown became more severe,” back in April.
When asked about how he has readjusted to life under COVID-19, Bhayya stated that “we cannot readjust because life will continue to change, but we can accept it, and move forward.” It seems fitting that he has recently reopened his business, and has set up a safe way to conduct sales with customers, by only allowing one in at a time, and setting up a plastic and transparent barrier, to prevent the spread of germs. Additionally, Bhayya has hand sanitizer and extra masks for all customers, saying that “you can never be too safe with individuals who may not be taking this as seriously as they should.”
Bhayya has observed the maturity of the Indian public, at least in his state, as he has noticed almost everyone wearing a mask, and everyone maintaining a distance. Even so, there are many who refuse to “acknowledge the dangers of the pandemic,” as he has also noticed many individuals still smoking, which is also a very easy way to spread the virus, and infect many in the surrounding areas.
Finally, when discussing which job sector has been hit the hardest, Bhayya responded, stating that the service sector has been severely deterred, which has left many without pay for months. However, Bhayya also acknowledged how small business owners, like himself, have been impacted heavily, as “customers are still not comfortable even leaving their homes.”
Regardless of if it is worse for his business, Bhayya regards this apprehension as a positive, showing tremendous concern for the pandemic. Perhaps this is why India, with such a booming population, has kept its numbers relatively low.
Amit Krishna Kallakuri is an honors student at Holmdel High School and a journalist intern with TAPinto Holmdel, reporting on the pandemic from the Indian perspective.