The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the Indian Wedding Industry, estimated around $50 billion, which has come to a virtual halt. Bombay Caterers Association (BCA) has sought guidelines from the government for the survival of the wedding industry that has been severely impacted by Covid-19. According to BCA since there has been no business since the last 5 months, the industry has been completely crippled and hence everyone is expecting some direction from the Government for the further course of action.
In the letter written to the government officials, BCA stated that the Wedding industry directly impacts many big and small industries like Catering, Decoration, Banquets, Florists, Beauticians, Event Managers, Jewellers, Bands & Music Party Organisers, Photographers, Invitation Card Manufacturers, Clothing, Sweet Shops, Fast Food Suppliers etc. It indirectly also affects many other industries including Travel and Tourism and Farming.
The industry provides large scale employment on a daily basis to uneducated and unskilled people majorly coming from lower class including women and widows where they work for merely 60-70 days to earn their livelihood for the whole year. If they don’t get any employment for the upcoming season, they will be forced to move towards anti-social activities as they won’t get easy employment elsewhere. The industry also provides large scale employment to women and youth from various colleges. It is pertinent to note that the number of college youth involved in the wedding industry has raised manifold in the previous 10 years.
Since Unlock has been initiated from Central and State Governments, 90% of the industries have already started reviving. While the wedding industry is still the one lagging behind due to restriction of 50 persons. With the restriction of 50 persons, most of the Wedding Venues cannot operate due to their size & operational cost. Everyone has been struggling to keep their businesses up and running during this unprecedented time. However, they highlighted several important pointers in their letter for the survival of the wedding industry.
Highlighting some important points, Yogesh Chandarana, President, Bombay Caterers Association, said, “In normal situations, the parameters for crowd movement are 8 to 10 square feet per person. Taking into consideration the pandemic situation we propose to raise this limit to 20 square feet per person and accordingly raise the total number of guests directly proportional to the area of the premises which we feel will serve the purpose of social distancing.”
“As per the current guidelines, wedding events are not allowed in A/C premises. We wish to inform the authorities that most of the A/C premises have AHU units which provide fresh air circulation. Currently, public movement is allowed in hospitals, aeroplanes, Malls, gyms and other A/C premises. We request them to allow the same for conducting wedding events.”further added by Satish Kamat, Secretary at Bombay Caterers Association.
Lalit Jain, Spokesperson at Bombay Caterers Association says, “the biggest problem for us is that the people have started enquiring for their wedding events scheduled in November and December 2020 but we are unable to answer them due to lack of information. And there is hardly any muhurat post 15th Jan 2021 and most of the weddings will happen in Nov-Dec. If the government provides us with the guidelines immediately, only then we will be able to get this business in the coming season and our clients will be able to plan their weddings. If we do not get the guidelines, we will miss the coming wedding season.”
With support from the Government authorities, Bombay Caterers Association is ready to educate the caterers and try to take all precautions regarding sanitization, hygiene and social distancing.
“Looking at the current situation, we are not asking for any bailout package / concessions / financial help from the government. We just need the permission to work and earn our livelihood.” adds Jain, Spokesperson at Bombay Caterers Association