Roadside vendors make a killing during protests | Pakistan Today

Roadside vendors make a killing during protests

LAHORE – They yelled their guts out chanting slogans, carried banners in scorching sunlight and discussed and then discussed again about the issues that require solutions, and now they are hungry and thirsty. They are protestors and need something that could satisfy their hunger; anything that could be regarded as food. The market demand for food, calls in for food, and soon eateries stalls are established on the road where protests are held most commonly.
This is Charing Cross, The Mall. A place where more than 40 protests take place in a month and a place which has now become more like a partying point than a protesting spot. At least one protest is launched in this vicinity daily and at times more than two. The protests’ regular occurrence has made this spot the most suitable for vendors to just come and sell whatever they have. The hungry protesters after protesting for their respective demands turn to such roadside mobile stalls. “We just got free from a protest, a little refreshment doesn’t hurt,” said Dr Usman, who came to protest for the salary raise.
SALES INCREASED: Riaz, a vender who sells Chaat on the back of his bicycle said that he visited Charing Cross for business every day. “I come here every day without inquiring. I just know that someone must be protesting here,” said Riaz. He said that his sales increased by 50 percent since he started coming to the Chairing Cross to sell Chaat during the protests. He said, “It’s a bad day for me when there is no protest. At days when there are no protests, I turn to schools.”
‘JI PROTESTORS EAT LIKE
MACHINES’: Ijaz, an ice-cream seller, said that after selling ice-cream to a healthy protest he does not have to roam elsewhere to finish his ice-cream. “I go straight back home after a healthy protest comes my way. I sell the entire day’s stock in 3 hours and don’t need to roam around the city,” said Ijaz. He added that he disliked weak protests. “Firstly, there is a probability of less sales in a weak protest and secondly, who likes a protest with only 20 people shouting?” he added. He said that his favourite protesters are from Jamat-e-Islami. “The Jamat-e-Islami people eat like a horse,” said Ijaz.
WHO CLEANS THE AFTER PARTY MESS? Luqman, a worker of Lahore Solid Waste Management Company, said that he is ordered to tidy up the Charing Cross after every protest. He said that the protesters that arrive here create a lot of mess as they roam around eating and throwing all sorts of wrappers on the road. “I’m ordered to clean this area after every protest, that means every day,” said Luqman. He said that small vendors, who sell Chaat or ice-cream, visit this point on regular basis. Luqman said that he had been working with the LSWMC for a year now and he observed that the number of protests per day is only increasing.



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