Yearning for more visitors

'Bangalore Santhe'

Yearning for more visitors

The concept of returning to the traditional markets is good for a rapidly growing city like Bangalore. However, Bangalore santhe, located on SV Road, has not been seeing much footfalls, probably due to lack of proper publicity.

A hub for small-scale entrepreneurs, the santhe has vendors and entrepreneurs from various parts of the states like Shimoga, Hubli etc, selling a variety of products. Though it is located on the main road, people do not seem to know what is being sold inside the santhe.

Rajamani, a shopkeeper, points out that the santhe needs to have an opening to the main road so that people, who cross this busy stretch, can have a look inside. Right now, there is a wall that blocks the view of the shops from the main road. “It would be good if there was an arch-like structure facing the road, which can enhance the visibility of the shops. Many customers have complained that they can hardly see the shops from outside,” he points out.

There are around 12 stalls in the santhe that have been given to vendors and entrepreneurs, many of whom are small-scale women entrepreneurs. The rent is minimal for a spot such as this, which is why the products here are sold at very reasonable prices. Most shop-owners say that there is hardly any crowd on the weekdays. Weekends, however, are better.

Prashanth, a shopkeeper, points out that the number of buses between the santhe and distant parts of the City should also be increased. “Someone who is travelling to Majestic has to wait for at least half-an-hour outside the santhe for a bus to arrive. Unless the connectivity is increased, people will not come. More number of buses should be introduced  from different places to santhe and back,” he adds.

He points out that since the rent is low, many shopkeepers take their own time to come to the santhe. “There have been times when customers had been coming in but the shopkeepers had not turned up. That discourages the customers and the word spreads,” he adds.

The peaceful and homely ambience at the santhe is a huge plus point and many say that if promotions are conducted for a few days, more people will visit the place.
Rajesh Jain sells home-made chocolates here and the poor footfalls have dampened his spirits.

He feels that showing a video of the santhe in the Metro stations can be instrumental in bringing in more people. Word-of-mouth publicity is also important. “Banners and posters of the santhe should be put up at all Metro stations. That might help to a great
extent,” he adds.

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