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Carrom board sale soars as many homebound try to pass time

Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: Sales of the carrom board have smashed records as millions are stuck at home after the entire city was locked down in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The carrom board, one of the oldest indoor games, that had been supplanted by digital video rage, is now back in vogue.

“COVID-19 has ultimately helped boost sales as more people are under lockdown. Playing indoor games like carrom board is the safe and low cost of entertainment,” said shop owner M Krishna.

Since the first day of lockdown till the date, over 50,000 carrom boards of various sizes have been sold in Hyderabad giving a huge business to the manufacturers. Each carrom board costs around Rs. 1500, according to carrom board manufacturers located in Troop Bazaar.

One of the largest makers of carrom boards is in AG Colony, Erragadda.

The manufacturer also said that he supplies carrom boards to all the stores in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. As the city is going through lockdown, the manufacturers are even doing business through various online E-commerce portals.

Troop Bazaar is one of the major centers where carrom boards are sold. There are around 200 stores in this Bazaar selling sports material and other game equipment.

According to the buyers are from all over the city, especially the Old City,  Hitech City, and Hafeezpet, etc. They come to the front gates of the closed shop, place the order and give their address.

The manufacturer says that people are placing online orders on Flipkart, Amazon and other online shopping sites. 

The board is then delivered directly to the customer’s residence. Some of the customers collect the boards from the shops directly. 

This reporter has seen a person came to the shop riding a bike and went away with a board that was carried by the pillion rider, his son. On their way, it was learned later, they were stopped at a police checkpoint. The policemen apparently understood the situation and allowed them to go away. 

Shop owners attributed this spike in sale to the lockdown.

“The carrom board is the game which can be played at home along with all family members. That is the reason a large number of people are purchasing carrom boards,” said Mohammed Khalid, a board maker.

When this reporter contacted some of the shop owners, they agreed that the coronavirus outbreak had a part in soaring sales.

Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Goshamahal, said that the carrom board is not the only game that people are resorting to.  Multiple indoor games like chess, teen pattiSath Patti, and Rummy are being played by people who all restricted at their homes. “I don’t know for sure.  But I have heard the people are losing lots of money on card games,” he said in a whisper.  

Some people are even resorting to poker, he said still quietly.

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