The events industry has been urging the government to help unlock the sector and allow events to be held while following all the safety and hygiene protocols. With a cap on attendance at weddings, many ancillary industries dependent on the wedding industry, like catering, decoration, banquets, florists, beauticians, event managers, jewellers, bands and music party organisers, photographers, invitation card manufacturers, clothing, sweet shops and fast food suppliers, have also been suffering.
Joining the events industry in their call to open the sector for business, Bombay Caterers Association (BCA) has now sought guidelines from the government for the survival of the wedding industry that has been severely impacted by Covid-19. In a letter to the authorities, BCA rues that with no business for the last five months, the industry has been completely crippled and hence expects the government to chart out a roadmap for further course of action.
The letter states that while the wedding industry has a bearing on other industries, including tourism and farming, it also provides large scale employment opportunities for women and youth.
The association states that while most of the industries are now on their path to revival through the various phases of unlock, initiated by the Centre and state governments, the wedding industry is still lagging behind. Restrictions imposed by the government and the cap on the number of people attending a wedding or an event, has proved to be detrimental for the sector. With this restriction, most of the wedding venues cannot operate due to their size and operational cost.
Providing alternative solutions, Yogesh Chandarana, President, Bombay Caterers Association, says, “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.”
Talking about enquiries coming their way, Lalit Jain, spokesperson, Bombay Caterers Association, says, “People have started enquiring for their wedding events scheduled in November and December 2020, but we are unable to give them an answer as we ourselves have no information. As there is hardly any auspicious period after January 15, 2021 most of the weddings would take place in November-December. 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 this wedding season.”
The association is ready to educate the caterers and try to take all precautions regarding sanitisation, 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.