Published on : Wednesday, October 21, 2020
After remaining closed from March 15th, preventing the entry of people in wake of the pandemic, the Sun Temple at Konark reopened on September, 2020, by strictly following Unlock 4 guidelines of the Centre. However, the tourism workers associated with this famous landmark like photographers and tour guides are yet to get over their hardship as very few tourists are flocking to these areas post reopening.
Lack of visitors in Konark Temple has actually added to the troubles of hundreds of shutterbugs, tour guides and other traders to make their ends meet.
To quote Pradeep Behera, a photographer at Konark Temple for 10 years, “I have been a photographer since 2010 and it has been seven years since I have been working at Sun Temple. The lockdown has affected my income very badly. While earlier I used to earn Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 daily, now it would be great even if I make Rs. 1500 a week. I have never seen anything like this before.”
Loss of income has immensely affected the mental health of people working in tourism sector for over seven months.
Pradeep also accepted the fact that he had considered of taking his own life fearing his incapability of providing for his family.
A local tour guide, Suranjan Das, has the same story to share. He is from Rourkela and works in Sun Temple. He has survived on water and rice with zero bank balance. He said that he couldn’t even leave for his home town and stayed in Puri. With no income, it became kind of intolerable to sustain during lockdown.
Tags: Konark Temple