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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Kolkata: Gym owners hit streets to protest closure, demand reopening

The protesters, numbering about 200, gathered near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue claiming there was no logic in keeping the gyms closed while bars, restaurants, parlours and salons were allowed to function at 50 per cent capacity.

Written by Sweety Kumari | Kolkata |
Updated: January 12, 2022 6:01:51 pm
"We fail to understand the logic behind allowing bars, restaurants, parlours and salons to operate at 50 percent capacity, while keeping the gyms shut,” Dasgupta added.

With gymnasiums in Kolkata ordered closed in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases, a section of gym owners and fitness enthusiasts on Tuesday gathered on Mayo Road demanding that the establishments be allowed to open.

The protesters, numbering about 200, gathered near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue claiming there was no logic in keeping the gyms closed while bars, restaurants, parlours and salons were allowed to function at 50 per cent capacity.

“It’s high time the government realised that gyms are about health and wellness,” Sayan Sengupta, owner of The SAS Fitness and five other gymnasiums in Kolkata and adjoining areas, said, adding that his colleagues who run similar establishments have also been hurting financially since the government ordered them closed in view of the prevailing Covid situation in the state.

“Gyms are for members and not for random people to walk in. It is not difficult for us to maintain social distancing and we have been complying with the protocols for quite some time now. We fail to understand the logic behind allowing bars, restaurants, parlours and salons to operate at 50 percent capacity, while keeping the gyms shut,” Dasgupta added.

Revising its earlier order, the government recently notified that salons and beauty parlours may operate at 50 per cent seating capacity up to 10pm.

The protesters on Tuesday also issued a statement saying, “It is with a deep sense of urgency that we again appeal to you to reconsider the decision of keeping the Health Clubs & Gyms closed further. The very survival of more than 5,000 such establishment with more than 2 lakh employees and other lower middleclass persons like vendors, trainers is dependent (on the day-to-day functioning of these establishments).”

Clinical exercise specialist and fitness expert Ranadeep Moitra, said, “While doctors suggest the course of treatment after detecting the symptoms, fitness and wellness are key to preventing diseases. If administration fails to understand this, what can we say? It is obvious that there are hidden interests behind allowing bars and parlours to operate.”

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