No regard for health guidelines
Even amid the pandemic, Dhaka residents thronged shopping centres and markets yesterday for Eid shopping.
It was the second day of the eight-day easing of lockdown restrictions.
As it was a weekend, the day saw less traffic and public movement on city streets, with the exception of market areas, which were inundated with people from all walks of life.
However, public and vehicular movement increased in the evening, as many came out for shopping, leading to congestion and slow movement on Manik Mia Avenue, Satmasjid Road, and at Elephant Road and Mohammadpur.
Visiting different areas of the city, this correspondent found Dhaka's major shopping malls and markets -- including New Market, Chadni Chawk, Gausia Market, Noor Mansion, Chandrima Super Market -- and Elephant Road, crowded with shoppers from 10:30am.
There wasn't nearly enough space for maintaining social distancing inside shops. Many sellers and customers were also seen running around without masks or wearing them under the chin.
Clothing stores at New Market and Gausia saw heavy crowds, while many also came to buy crockery, kitchenware, and home décor items. During lunch hour, street food vendors in the area were busy serving all customers.
In Gausia and Noor Mansion markets, jewellery and accessory shops attracted the most customers. The thin alleys surrounding the markets were also packed with people.
Rozina Islam came to Noor Mansion from Mohammadpur. With her five-year-old son in tow, she said she was planning to buy dresses for her family. "Eid only comes twice a year. Everyone is obviously expecting gifts."
Shahriar Hossain, an apparel seller in Gausia, said, "The market has been closed for many days. We would be in deep trouble, if we could not open shops ahead of Eid."
Compared to regular Eid shopping seasons, Bashundhara City Mall and Jamuna Future Park saw relatively fewer shoppers. Sellers said they were still not getting enough customers.
The capital's kitchen markets also saw crowds, as people came to buy cooking essentials ahead of Eid. There were also crowds at fish, meat, and masala shops in Mohammadpur Town Hall Bazar and Karwan Bazar.