Apart from the Sunday Vegetable Market, Damphu town in Tsirang also has a space to sell clothes and garments on Sunday. This has helped some small-scale business owners earn a living. Tsirang District Administration constructed the structures a few years ago to help uplift the livelihoods of low-income families in the district.
Located just above the Damphu Sunday Vegetable Market, the shopping area has over 40 cloth vendors putting up sales every Sunday.
40-year-old Choden from Tsholingkhar Gewog is one of the vendors. She has been making a living out of it since 2015. The arrangement has helped the mother of two raise her two daughters and her younger sister after her husband passed away in 2014.
Vegetable vendors and customers visiting the Sunday Vegetable Market are their regular customers. The vendors say when things go well, they can make around Nu 30,000 a day.
“I keep on saving the little income I get from this business for my children’s school expenditures. My elder daughter has completed class twelve. But I still have my younger daughter and my younger sister studying in class twelve. I have to continue to depend on this business to provide education for them,” said Choden, a cloth vendor.
Similarly, Aita Maya Tamang from Patshaling Gewog is another beneficiary of the market. The business has become the sole income source to run her family.
“The income from the business is crucial for my kids. It is very difficult to raise and meet school expenses for my children without any other income source. The business at least has helped to meet daily expenses and other necessities for my family,” she said.
However, the cloth vendors say, having a separate store or a lock system for their stalls and allowing them to do business at least three days a week will help them maximise their income.
“It would be of great benefit if our stalls are enclosed with walls with plyboard or with CGI sheets like that of Thimphu. For me, I have a small car but it is very difficult for those who don’t own cars,” said Choden, a cloth vendor.
“The stalls have benefited us immensely. But it is a challenge without a lock system or a separate store because we have to carry things to and fro as our homes are located a bit far from here. The problem is more severe when we don’t get vehicles on time,” said Dil Bdr Darlami, another cloth vendor.
However, an official from the Damphu Municipal Office said, for now, the office doesn’t have any plans to construct a separate store or develop a lock system for the stalls. The official said there is no adequate space at the site to construct a separate store.
Today, each cloth vendor has to pay Nu 600 per month for the space.