Shirdi (Maharashtra) [India], October 14 (ANI): Shopkeepers outside Shirdi Sai Baba Temple incurred losses as the state government decided not to open religious places due to the ongoing pandemic.
Businesses in Shirdi was wholly depended on the functioning of temple. The shopkeepers are now earning only 10 per cent of what they used to during pre-COVID days. Currently, the business is driven by devotees coming from other states, who are unaware that the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple is still shut for the time being.
Dinesh Daneshwarm, one of the businessmen here said, "Devotees visiting Shirdi are unaware of the fact that temples have not reopened in Maharashtra, unlike other states. This is helping us earn around 10 per cent of what we used to earn before."
"Knowing that there is no other industry in Shirdi, which make the locals depend on Temple alone, the state government should reopen the temples," said Daneshwarm.
Bharat Sandore, a shopowner in Shirdi, said, "We had shut the shop after the temple was closed amid the coronavirus lockdown."
On reopening of shops, Sandore said, "Although, our business, which depends on Temple, is not as good as earlier but it is better than not earning a single penny."
The plight of the business owners remain unchanged even after uplifting lockdown as they have to pay the rents of their shops in the middle of the crisis.
"We are in the position to open the shop as it is owned by us but it is very difficult for those who have set up their businesses on a rented place," added Sandore.
Urging the Maharashtra government, Sandore said, "The temple trust is prepared with all the SOP (standard operating procesure) to reopen Shirdi Sai Baba Temple."
"The government should permit the temple authorities to re-open the temple," he added. (ANI)