Rooster market in Dingi Khoi hit by COVID-19

July 11, 2020

Rawalpindi:The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have severely affected traditional ‘Aseel’ Roosters Market at Dingi Khoi area that has been a source of livelihood for a large...

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Rawalpindi:The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have severely affected traditional ‘Aseel’ Roosters Market at Dingi Khoi area that has been a source of livelihood for a large number of people during last so many years.

Every Friday when shops and business centres at Dingi Khoi observe weekly holiday both Aseel Roosters sellers and buyers start gathering on footpaths and some parts of the main roads where deals are done involving thousands of rupees. Though it is fun for most of the visitors who see rare breeds and species of Aseel roosters but this is an opportunity for many people who earn their livelihood while sitting on the roadsides and footpaths.

“Usually the peak time lasts for a few hours but dozens of Aseel roosters are sold by the people who even come from other cities like Taxila, Khanpur, Rawat, and Dina. The prices of the Aseel roosters start from Rs2,000 and goes up to Rs20,000 depending upon the size, colour, and species,” said Nazir Ahmad, an Aseel roosters seller. He said: “I am a labourer and works with a contractor for six days in a week. I come to this market on Friday and earn a few thousand rupees every week but for the last few months the coronavirus pandemic has severely affected this business.” The price of Aseel 'patha' is approximately Rs2,000 while rooster species from Mianwali and Sahiwal are sold at Rs4,000 and Rs8,000 respectively. The price of Turkish breed is Rs10,000 and Amroha species is sold at Rs20,000. The cock species of Tamil Nado, Madras, Rampur and Vietnam are always high in demand and they are sold at very high prices.

When asked some of the buyers revealed that they use rare breeds of Aseel for cockfighting, which is still quite popular in most parts of the country. Zahiruddin, a buyer who visited the market, said no one can buy Aseel roosters at high prices for eating purposes because this species is all about fighting and people still take a lot of interest in cockfighting all over the Punjab province.



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