Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 20:
The Lower PMG square in Bhubaneswar has become the hub of all protesters since the monsoon session of Odisha assembly began Tuesday. With the arrival of thousands of protesters, the area has also turned into a mini market.
Given the wide range of protesters across the spectrum, the goods on offer also offer a staggering variety. There are vendors selling everything from food items, clothes and cosmetics at their shops on wheels that run round the clock.
The shop owners are seen shouting in various interesting ways to draw the attention of the crowd of protesters towards their shops while the salesmen and their helpers are seen having a really busy day. Owners of the heavily crowded gupchup, dahibara-aludam and ice cream stalls, in particular, are having a real tough time handling the customers.
While women are seen queueing up in front of cosmetics shops and buying bangles, hair clips and other such items, many others are seen buying clothes from the dress vendors for themselves and their family members back home.
Food stalls wear a festive look with dozens of hungry protesters and cops surrounding them waiting for their turn to take a bite while agitating and guarding. Even the fruit stalls that sell bananas and cucumbers are seen making good business. Shop owners are seen selling three cucumbers for Rs 10 and apples at Rs 70 a kilogram. Some other protesters are seen enjoying the ice cream and gupchups to satiate their taste buds amidst the severe humid conditions.
“Thousands gather here to protest so long as the assembly session is on. It happens only a few times in a year. This is good business opportunity for us. Can’t ignore it,” said an ice cream vendor.