Bhutan Lockdown impacts Darangamela Market traders in Assam's Baksa, many shops closed

Bhutan Lockdown impacts Darangamela Market traders in Assam's Baksa, many shops closed


BAKSA: A waltz through the historic Drrangamel Market adjacent to Samdrup Jhankhar town of Eastern Bhutan will reveal many drawn shutters. The traders of this market, which is more than a 100 years old, is yet to recover from the double whammy of the COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown. The Bhutan Lockdown has made thing worse.

People on the Assam side of the border have lamented that the re-imposition of a Bhutan Lockdown has snapped off ties with the neighboring country, on which the market is largely dependent for its survival. Locals, who are staring at bankruptcy due to the plummeting demand for non-essential commodities, have implored the Government to provide them with financial aid to tide them over the tough times.

The market was set up over a 100 years back and Bhutanese people have been transacting with the Assamese locals for many years. However, the Indo-Bhutan border was shut down after the COVID-19 landed on our shores, snapping connections. The re-imposition of Lockdown over fears of the new infectious strain of the COVID-19 has again caused the local traders to incur losses.

In fact, the situation is so bleak right now that the children of these traders have been sent to other states to eke out a living. "We are unable to fend for our families, so some of our children have left their schools and are now going to other states to find employment," lamented a guardian.

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"Although we did not receive a lot of aid during the Lockdown as the BTC Government's tenure had ended, the Governor sent food items for the impoverished lot during his Rule," a local informed Inside Northeast.

"First of all, we would like to appeal to the BTC Government. I hope that that the new Government headed by Promod Boro looks favourably upon the Darranga Mela Market and helps us financially. Since we have been transacting with Bhutan for over a hundred years, the Governments both at the Centre and the State must make provisions to dig us out of this rut," said a local businessman.

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