The success of development in any particular state in India comes with a set of certain symbolic markers, such as the construction of bridges, growth in urbanisation, rise in employment of the youth, excellent educational facilities and many other such markers. One such symbol of development in a state lies in the number of shopping malls constructed across the state. The shopping mall culture significantly indicates how much and to what extent a state has progressed, so far as the investment made in catering to the multi-various demands of the people, starting from food to clothing, brought under one roof. The question to ask here is, in a developing paradigm that Haryana presents now, can it be said that the shopping mall culture has equally spread across each region of the state? Are there enough shopping malls in all districts of Haryana, or are they specifically concentrated in certain key regions like Gurgaon and Faridabad?
A look at the numbers will make the picture clear. While Gurgaon has at present, 4 shopping malls, Faridabad has been gifted with 5 shopping malls, and Kurukshetra has been blessed with one, named Kessel Mall, built in 2009. Out of the 4 in Gurgaon, the Ambience Mall built in 2007, has attracted global recognition for being one of the largest malls in India presently. Built on an area of 8,67,000 square feet, the Raj Singh Gahlot-owned Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, houses more than 300 premium shops, which cater to the demands of all sections of the society. This contrast in the spread of shopping malls in Haryana is revealing while Gurgaon has 4 malls and more are being built, places like Hisar and Rohtak, other major regions in the state, have to suffice with local shopping centres, since they are not blessed with any shopping mall. This stark abundance of malls in certain key places, and the absence of malls in other equally important regions, is very problematic. Interestingly, the last construction of a mall in Gurgaon was made in 2009, after which no shopping mall has come up in any quarter of the state. Why is there such a massive gap of 5 years time wherein no shopping mall has been built in the state?
Unlike stereotypical notions that shopping malls can be accessed only by the rich, it must be noted that a shopping mall's prime agenda is to bring all necessities and facilities of everyday living, under one roof food, clothing, accessories, movie theatres, beauty styling, interior doctor, children's shops, etc. are all found at one place. While it is true that certain things are exorbitantly priced in the malls compared to local shops, this rule does not universally hold true of all malls across Haryana. There are many malls in the state which are economical and low on the pocket, thus being accessed by more and more people from the region.
Haryana needs shopping malls not only in its urban areas, but also in the rural places. It is not fair to hope that those people in the villages who want to access shopping mall resources will have to travel hours to the city to visit a shopping mall. The purpose of the malls is exactly that it must be accessible easily, must be budget-friendly for a larger cross-section of the population and must provide entertainment to the people. Malls must also be built keeping the needs of the people in mind.
The rise of shopping malls in more numbers in Haryana, shared equitably across the state, will also ensure that more employment is generated in the region. It's remarkable how shopping malls have more and more youth making a living by working in the shops within the mall. Shopping malls are a great source of employment generation within a particular region. All efforts either by the government or private entrepreneurships must guarantee that each district in Haryana must be blessed with one or more number of malls.
On a final note, a Naya Haryana will ensure that the people across all classes are given equal opportunities to make their lives more convenient by gaining an access to all facilities under one roof.