After remaining closed for some three months due to the repeated lockdowns enforced in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, markets in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are returning back to life. Increased number of vehicles, most of them private, have hit the previously deserted roads, giving a semblance of normalcy.
Although the district authorities have issued standard SOPs for the shopkeepers and business establishments, many can be seen openly flouting the rules. With little to no regard for guidelines to be adhered to, the shops open indifferent to the rotational schedule issued by the authorities.
Even though the authorities claimed of sensitising the shopkeepers about the preventive measures to be taken, many of them even don’t wear masks. Even though some customers are still hesitant and many others unable to visit due to non-availability of public transport, many of those who visit can be seen even without masks and no social-distancing norms. This gives an idea as to how insensitive people have got over during this long-drawn pandemic.
Muneeb Ul Islam is a freelance photojournalist based in South Kashmir. All photos are by him.