The informal economy in tatters
The pandemic has cut tea-stall sales by 80 percent
The informal economy of Bangladesh has been worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The city came to a halt on March 23 after the government announced the shutdowns leaving thousands of people who are employed in the informal sector with no or little income. Although the government kickstarted the economy of May 31, much did not improve.
In Dhaka, public transports have been getting only one-third of its usual passengers as most people are still working from home.
As a result, many rickshaw and auto-rickshaw pullers are struggling to survive. Moreover, less than 10 percent restaurants have opened but the low turnout of customers are now forcing eateries to close again. The drop in demand has hit every sector –furniture, clothing, footwear and accessories experienced sales drop by 75 to 90 percent, causing factories to cut on staff salaries or lay-off employees.
The pandemic has cut tea-stall sales by 80 percent. Although most malls have reopened, customers are unwilling to go there. Besides, sales on footpaths have also declined by 80 percent due to the pandemic.
Most of the hawkers have been forced to pack their little belongings and leave the city for their village home, leaving behind their dreams and hopes of a better tomorrow.