Despite government loans and staff trickling back to work, the pandemic has made survival precarious for the city’s vendors

On a normal working day, Venkateshwara Rao would be ready by 4pm, stationed on the pavement waiting for office workers to emerge and order their favourite varieties of idli and dosa from his bandi, a food cart grandly named Kavyajyotika Tiffin Centre.

“When the lockdown was lifted, but with many restrictions still in place, the inflow of customers plummeted. However, the last few weeks have been good with a handful of workers back in offices and people lining up for takeaways at my bandi,” says Rao.

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