A long six-month after losing her job during the pandemic and going through economic hardship, gym instructor Priti (not real name) finally returned to her workplace as the country's economy started turning around slowly.
However, she had at least 40% pay cut during this time.
Priti was drawing a monthly salary of Tk25,000 before the coronavirus hit the country, but now she is getting only Tk15,000 as her employer is unable to pay like the pre-pandemic level.
This is how the coronavirus pandemic downgraded the living standard of small earners like Priti.
"I joined the work at a low salary since I think it is a better offer for now instead of remaining jobless," Priti said when sharing her experience with The Business Standard.
She said her employer assured her of giving her a raise as the pre-pandemic level within two to three months.
The fitness centre where Priti works still offers a discount to its members to encourage them to resume physical exercise. As a result, the employer's earning did not return to the pre-pandemic level.
"My employer showed me documents that he is in debt of around Tk10 lakh due to business loss amid the pandemic," said the woman.
The Business Standard ran a story titled "How a pandemic can turn a life upside down" when sufferings of low income groups were focused.
As the economy restarted to rebound after Covid-19 vaccine had arrived, The Business Standard talked to some small earners like Priti to fathom the recovery experience of their lives.
Priti's father a tea seller on roadside has restarted his business.
"Though my father resumed his business after a long break, but sales are yet to come back to pre-pandemic level," she said.
"We had a miserable life with four family members during the pandemic since we had no income. Now at least we could survive since I have got back my job."
The 25-year-old girl who was always busy instructing clients during workouts at different fitness centres lost her job in July.
With no option left, she even went to the extent of considering resorting to prostitution for a living.
Though Priti returned to her job, she had not got her dues of four months before she was furloughed.
Priti used to earn a good sum of money per month as a fitness trainer, but the Covid-19 situation put her situation upside down.
As people have overcome Covid fear, Priti hopes that she will see her income at the pre-pandemic level soon.
Priti's return to workplace was also reflected in the study of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem).
About 16% of entrepreneurs are confident that the country will see a strong economic recovery in January-March of the current fiscal, which was only 4% in October-December last year, says a survey of Sanem.
Moreover, about 15% of entrepreneurs are anticipating a weak recovery during January-March period, which was 26% in October-December period, according to the survey.
Sanem compiled the report based on a study on more than 500 businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The survey conducted in January found that 71% of entrepreneurs were confident about some sort of recovery and the rate remains unchanged compared to the October study.