In pictures: Annual Kailash festival badly hit for second year in a row

Many going out of business; some on the brink of 'starvation'

Our Correspondent October 24, 2020
Locals criticise the government for not taking steps to ease their situation amid Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The annual Kailash festival has been badly affected for the second consecutive year as women handmade craft shops witnessed no visitors at the end of festive year.

75-year-old Daimi Begum, who runs a Kailash outfits and souvenir shops in Karakar village in Chitral, told The Express Tribune that despite the dire situation, no support was provided by the district administration.

"We have been near to starvation," she pleads, saying that about 25 other women, indirectly associated with her business, have become jobless in the past two years.

Daimi Begum also said that the tourism industry was badly impacted as coronavirus pandemic struck countries around the globe. "With such harsh recession and with lack of interest from the government, the situation is getting worse," she added.

The hotel owner's association told The Express Tribune that they were anxiously waiting for the two major festivals, but from the last two years, they have been forced to pay rents and other utilities from their own pocket.

Similarly, the gemstones business of the area was also severely affected. Hidayatullah of Rehan Kot told media that they were at the brink of shutting down their business due to severe measures against Covid-19.

Additional deputy commissioner disaster Abdul Wali Khan said that Chitral was bearing billions of losses in a number of sectors and the government should announce a relief package to give a breathing space to all in the district to review their economy.


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