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Islamabad

IA
Ibne Ahmad
June 20, 2017

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Let Ramazan spirit end hardship of poor Pindiites

Let Ramazan spirit end hardship of poor Pindiites

The crazy buying and selling before the Eid celebration is very much a part of Eid celebration and a welcome annual practice. This is revitalizing, heartening and fascinating. What is not so attractive is overindulgence in luxury. Reckless spending on fashionable items is not to the benefit of the poor.

Sadly, the occasion of Eid every year is a dismal reminder that our society is class-driven. Let Ramazan spirit make a dent in the poverty and privation of the city residents,” says Sabahat Hasan from Bostan Road market.

 “The recently sprung extra-large shops are hurting the poor in a new way, thanks to the lax mind-set existing at present. These shops are not only selling clothes, luxury items but also meat, and green vegetables. Here they are surely usurping the rights of the poor green grocery sellers,” says Nuzhat Zaidi.

“The extra-large shops which have large refrigeration facilities are able to purchase the kitchen items in huge quantity when the prices are the lowest and store these items, thus forcing out of trade the small vendors who buy their commodities on a daily basis. To protect the poor vegetable vendor government involvement is essential,” adds Nuzhat.

“The glamour has been in full view around the markets and shopping centres of Rawalpindi during the last two weeks or so of Ramazan. The neon-blazed shop fronts, bulging crowds, loud bargaining, and persuasive salesmanship, mad shopping, overflowing shopping bags together seem to lend an air of reverie to the otherwise monotonous life around,” says Atif Hussain, a customer from Saddar.

“It looks like an escapist storming into the Arabian Nights, one may say.  No harm in it. Celebrations there must be. The gleam and glamour, the embellishments and the dazzle go to make this season dissimilar from the rest and life more endurable than at other times,” says Abid Ali, a buyer from Scheme III Commercial Market.

“This is a once a year event, as much expected as enjoyable. And every year adds its own input. The shopping centers are more swanky and abundant than ever before. New ones are coming up to put in more to the city paraphernalia. For newness hunters and those looking for a way for spending, there is enough,” says Shaista Naqvi, another shopper from the same market.

“And every year appends some more of these malls and plazas, fashion houses and boutique shops, and whatever. There are garment shops where no dress is available not less than Rs. 3,000 and some are priced as high as 4,000. Are the low-income customers forgotten,” questions Rehmat Ali.

“Not quite, perhaps, as for the low-income people, 16 ‘sasta bazaars’ are now doing their bit, trying to protect the low-income group from the vagaries of market forces by opening its new outlets in a few localities in the city to supply the necessaries,” says Gulay Fatima.

Binte Zehra, a housewife says: “No harm if the luxury-shops sell pricey perfumes and fashionable items. Let the poor vendor ply his trade. I have nothing against showiness and luxury. If these can lend colour and joviality to the Eid celebration, so be it.”

“But the real test of the Eid celebration is whether it can bring the class-driven city residents together and connect all groups and communities in a common celebration. What is happening instead is that the class division is whetted and is made to look even more whetted,” remarks Sibte Haider.

 

 

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