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Staring at huge losses, Kashmir gym owners send SOS to Govt for help

Salman Bukhari, a well renowned fitness trainer in Kashmir (File Photo)

Srinagar: Hundreds of fitness trainers are on the verge of losing jobs as COVID 19 lockdown has forced the gym owners to shut down operations to prevent the spread of infection.

Staring at huge losses, owners of the gyms have sent an SOS to the government seeking help to tide over the crisis.

“Gyms across Jammu and Kashmir have suspended operations since the lockdown. The fitness industry is crumbling,” said Asif Rashid, Owner of Golden Brands Supplement.

Smaller gyms are the worst hit with most of them closing down permanently. Larger chains are incurring huge losses with salaries and maintenance costs becoming too huge to sustain.

The owner of the ‘Fast Fit chain of Gyms’ has already sent some of his staff on unpaid leave. With losses piling up, he said he has no other option but to take this drastic measure.

“Our losses are mounting. We have not earned anything since March.  We have no other option but to send staff on unpaid leave,” he said.

Salman Bukhari, a well renowned fitness trainer who runs ‘Salman Bukhari Fitness Centre’ in Srinagar, appealed to the government to open fitness centres across Kashmir.

“It is need of the hour to open gymnasiums and fitness centres as most of the people are locked down inside their homes. Doing daily exercise is must to strengthen once immune system,” he said.

Representational picture

Asif Rashid, the owner of Golden Brands, said since gyms require large space, and they have to shell out hefty rent every month to keep up with it. “In addition, the salaries of trainers and other support staff are bleeding us financially,” he said.

Conservative estimates reveal that there are over 500 fitness training centers in Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the gyms have invested huge money to attract high-end customers. 

“We are planning to meet Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar. We will apprise him about our problems. We hope he will help us to tide over the crisis,” said a top-end gym owner.