‘Treat kirana workers as frontline warriors’

METRO Cash & Carry India made a proposal to the State government to include the Kirana community under the frontline vaccination programme.

Arvind Mediratta, MD of the German wholesale chain in India, had a meeting with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday. He said there are close to 12 million kiranas in the country and 90% of India’s $700 billion annual food and grocery market is dominated by these small retailers and kiranas. After agriculture, kiranas are the largest source of employment and livelihood for millions of local entrepreneurs. “During the lockdown, it was these neighbourhood stores that stood out with their supply of essentials to every household. They were the only ones that stayed open throughout the lockdown when the rest of the country had come to a standstill,” he told the CM.

He told him that neither e-commerce players nor modern trade could match the competency of kiranas in last-mile delivery, and that they have been in true sense COVID-19 warriors. “It is pertinent to consider these workers as frontline warriors and ensure their safety as they are most vulnerable and majorly in the informal and unorganised sector,” he urged.

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