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Daryaganj Book Market Demands Previous Timings: Doors to Remain Closed

The booksellers at the Sunday Book Bazaar of Daryaganj went on a strike in demand for changing the market timings to their previous set-up, i.e. from 7AM-5PM. 

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In the Book Bazaar of Daryaganj, located at Mahila Haat near Delhi Gate, the sellers declined the prospects of business transactions by keeping their stalls closed on Sunday as a mark of protest in demand of changing the market timings. The sellers want to bring back the old timings of 7AM to 5PM as was the case before the pandemic; later which was changed to 4PM-10PM by the administration for weekly markets. 

The book market whose location was shifted from the pavements to Mahila Haat in 2019, has been judiciously following the above timing since directed.

Numerous appeals have been made by the vendors of the book market to revert to its previous timings and have even approached and written to the district administration with the most recent request being made on 4th of February.These timings are not good for us or our customers, who are largely students coming from far-off places at times. Not only are they not allowing poor people like us to conduct our business properly when the cases are going down, but this is also affecting the education of these students, who don’t have the money to shop at expensive places.

Qamar Sayeed, the president of Daryaganj Bazaar’s vendor welfare association as reported by The Indian Express.

We have approached the administration many times… We follow all social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Asharfilal Verma, the association’s Vice President, as reported by The Indian Express.

This had largely affected the student community who often reach out to Mahila Haat for their required books. Students were disappointed to return empty handed on Sundays without the books that they seeked after tedious journeys of often over 3 hours. The new timings attributed to the evening hours have also given birth to issues for students who do not have the permission from their families to go out in the evening hours and hence, cannot have access to their share of affordable and quality books. 

I used to visit the Darya often earlier as it was convenient for me within the day time. With the new timings in place, it’s difficult as my parents are a bit hesitant to allow me to travel alone in the evening hours.

Sania Soni, a student at DU.

Daryaganj is far off from my place of residence but always has been my source of books for college at an affordable price. If the shops remain closed every week from now on as a form of protest till the timings are changed, it will create problems for the students.

W. Rolin Singh, a student at DU. 

Sub Divisional magistrate Arvind Rana stated the following as reported by The Indian Express, “A joint inspection was done by a team Sunday to assess if a change of timing is feasible. They will submit a report and a decision shall be taken then.”

Only time beholds the answer where the prayers of the vendors of Daryaganj will be heard by the district administration. If it does, it will be beneficial to both the vendors and student community altogether. 

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Himasweeta Sarma

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.