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Hotels and restaurants across Maharashtra hold silent protests over closure of operations


Hospitality associations across Maharashtra including the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), Hotel and Restaurant Asscoiation of Western India (HRAWI),National Restaurant Association of India(NRAI) andIndian Hotel and Restaurant Association(AHAR) and other local associations organized statewidesilent protestson Thursday against the Maharashtra government’s recent ‘Break the chain’ order.

Organized under the United Hospitality Forum of Maharashtra (UHF), the associations initiated campaign #MissionRoziRoti to highlight the hospitality industry’s ‘bid for survival’. HRAWI said lakhs of restaurants participated in the silent protest with their employees standing outside the establishments holding placards.

The campaign #MissionRoziRoti has gained momentum on social media, the association said, with several restaurateurs and hoteliers in the state posting pictures, messages, and videos showing support and solidarity to the campaign.

“The hospitality industry demands fair play and justice. We request the government to either allow us to continue regular operations with the mandated SOPs or permanently shut us down, rather than keep us half alive and in a state of misery. Whenever there is a rise in Covid-19 cases, the hospitality industry is targeted and victimized,” said Sherry Bhatia, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).

“A majority of the establishments have mounting debts and face threats of insolvency along with millions of job losses. With the fear of losing jobs like last year, many workers have begun to leave for their homes again. Through our silent protests today, we are requesting the government to allow us to resume our work and if not, the government must take care of our incomes. The industry should get a complete waiver on all statutory fees and taxes, and establishments should not be billed for water and electricity for the duration of the curbs,” he added.

Pradeep Shetty, joint honorary secretary, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said the latest ‘Break The Chain’ order is equivalent to another complete lockdown. “We assure the government that the industry is committed to following all the health and safety protocols and has our unwavering support towards the various efforts to combat the pandemic. We humbly request the government to look into this genuine request of the hospitality industry and extend support in our fight for survival,” he added.

Hospitality associations across the state including Poona Hoteliers Association, United Hotel Association Pune, Nagpur Hotel and Restaurant Association, Aurangabad Hotel and Restaurant Association, Vasai Taluka Hotel Association,Hotel Owners’ association of Thane, Navi Mumbai Hotel Association, Palghar Hotel Association are rallying against the latest lockdown imposed in the state. HRAWI said the protest was also supported by various city and district level hospitality associations from Beed, Amaravati, Nanded, Hingoli, Jalna, Parbhani, Aurangabad, Satara, Osmanabad, and Vasind among others.

The United Hospitality Forum of Maharashtra has launched a campaign on social media with hashtags such as #MissionRoziRoti #MajheKutumbhkonachiJababdari #Saveourkutumbh #saverestaurants #saveourfamilies, #feedouremployeesfamilies #payouremployeessalaries #Myfamilymyresponsibility #Feedmystaff.

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