Bombay Caterers Association seeks guidelines from the government for the survival of the wedding industry
The BCA has stated that 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.
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. The association has informed that they had no business since the last five months, which has crippled the industry. Amidst this gloomy situation, they are expecting some direction from the government for the further course of action.
In the letter written to the government officials, BCA stated: “At the outset, we would like to thank the Authorities & the COVID Warriors for doing a remarkable job of containing this pandemic and thereby keeping us safe.”
They have assured the government that the catering industry has always welcomed all the measures taken by the government and followed them rigorously during this period. Additionally, during this unprecedented time of National Emergency, the caterers were actively involved in the distribution of food packets and other essentials to the needy.
The representative body also informed that the wedding industry will have a direct impact on the survival of many big and small industries such as catering, decoration, banquets, florists, beauticians, event managers, jewellers, bands & music party organisers, photographers, invitation card manufacturers, clothing, sweet shops, fast food suppliers etc. It will also indirectly affect many other industries such as travel, tourism and farming.
They further stated that 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 the initiation of Unlock from Central and State Governments, 90% of the industries have already started reviving. However, the wedding industry is still the one lagging due to restriction of 50 persons. It is owing to this, most of the wedding venues cannot operate due to their size and 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 an important point, 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 of 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,” added Satish Kamat, Secretary at Bombay Caterers Association.
Lalit Jain, spokesperson at Bombay Caterers Association states that “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 auspicious date (muhurta) post 15thJan 2021. Most of the weddings will happen in Nov-Dec span. 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 sanitisation, hygiene and social distancing. BCA is ready to educate the caterers to follow the norms made by the government and are willing to do everything for the survival of this industry.
“Looking at the current situation, we are not asking for any bailout package/concessions / financial help from the government. The only thing we need the permissions to work and earn our livelihood,” adds Lalit Jain, Spokesperson at Bombay Caterers Association.