Shillong: Over a month after a coronavirus-induced lockdown, the iconic Iewduh market in Shillong finally reopened on Friday.

This was after the Meghalaya government conducted a two-day COVID-19 vaccination drive for the shopkeepers and hawkers at the otherwise busy market on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ensuring that the COVID-19 protocols are followed, officials were on their toes manning the narrow bylanes of the market, also known as Bara Bazaar. Not to miss out on a single person entering the market, the guards ensured that everyone washed hands and got body temperatures checked.

In a nifty initiative, the management of Iewduh market had issued special identity (ID) cards with various categories marked on them. On the first day of reopening on Friday, group ‘A’ hawkers were allowed to sell their wares.

They will be able to do business every Friday and Tuesday. The hawkers have been grouped in an alphabet manner. Each day, a total of 184 hawkers will be allowed to sell their goods at Iewduh market.

Police officers and district administration officials keeping an eye on Iewduh market in Shillong as it reopened after over a month on Friday

Since the market opened after over a month, several attendants of shops selling non-essential items were seen dusting their goods on Friday.

Many shop owners seemed to be happy that the authorities have finally decided to allow them to reopen their shops. They were nhopeful that in the coming days, once inter-district movement is allowed, they will be able to get more customers.

Iewduh is one of the oldest markets of the state which caters to all kinds of customers. Many people opt to buy their goods from Iewduh as they are sold at affordable prices. Customers of vegetables also get a variety of options to choose from.

Also read: Meghalaya agriculture minister visits makeshift farmers’ market in Shillong

Meanwhile, EastMojo spoke with some hawkers to get their reaction on the East Khasi Hills district administration’s decision that only those who have taken vaccines will be allowed to open their shops.

B Majaw, a hawker at Iewduh, said she had not taken the vaccine as yet but intended to take it in the coming days. She added that they have not been forced to take the vaccine but felt it would be wise for them to take it since they have to deal with customers every day, which is a risky affair.

According to reports, the two-day vaccination drive at Iewduh, which started on Wednesday, will now continue for a week. The traditional heads said that they have been getting a good response and people are coming forward to get themselves vaccinated.

On Wednesday, as many as 245 people were vaccinated at the market. The figure for Thursday was 350.

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