Syed Nadeem Mashwani

NOWSHERA: I buy facemasks by taking loan from someone and then return the money to the lender after selling facemasks to customers and have a little margin of profit.

This is the current state of Ghulam Hussain, hailing from Nowshera Cantt area, whose life has been changed after the lockdowns due to coronavirus pandemic. Ghulam Hussain is a hawker by profession and is associated with it for the last 30 years. However, after lockdown, the newspaper sales witnessed a massive decline as all kinds of movement was restricted. The situation went from bad to worse day by day and finally he ran out of money and he had nothing to feed his family.

Circumstance forced Ghulam Hussain to go for alternative means of earning and he decided to start selling facemasks to make ends meet. Ghulam Hussain said the prices of newspapers have increased after which it has become difficult for him to sale it as customers now prefer other media available with less or no price. Nowadays Ghulam Hussain is seen selling facemasks at the entrance gate of the District Courts Nowshera. He told TNN that there was no other option with him to support his family and no one came forward to support him in this difficult time. He said it was under great compulsion of circumstances that he decided to quit his 30-year-old profession and now he is selling facemasks.

The elderly hawker said the lockdown impacted almost every sector of life. He said he and his family were confined to the home and he soon ran out of money as there were no much savings with him.

Ghulam Hussain said he has four children and he is not getting any younger. He said he also have some health problems and unable to do physical labour to earn money to support his family.

He said there is no fund with the Hawkers Union from which he could be supported. He said many other hawkers have also been affected and they are also facing difficult time. He appealed to the government to help him during this difficult time.