Wednesday December 08, 2021

Pindiites making Eid preparations assuring SOPs

July 17, 2021

Amid an outbreak of five more Delta variant cases, the authorities see new challenges in terms of implementation of the SOPs at the cattle markets and retail shops.

Rush at merchandising markets, especially on garments and shoe shops, is somewhat less as the main concern of the people is to get an appropriate sacrificial animal but children are showing no drop in their demand for looking trendy, unique, and stylish among their friends and relatives.

Women and girls are also unwilling to avoid visits to jewelry, cosmetic shops in order to find matching accessories with their costumes to have a perfect look as an indispensable part of Eid preparations. Therefore, at retail markets, shopkeepers and consumers are selling and buying wearing masks.

Even the purchase and sale of sacrificial animals is being done under strict preventive measures amid fears that anytime smart lockdowns can be imposed in the areas from where the new patients are reported to hospitals.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has declared Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all staff and traders at cattle markets. The city administration is providing hand sanitizers, masks, and rapid antigen testing services on entry to the markets.

Animal sellers and customers are maintaining a safe distance of two meters besides ensuring the use of gloves to touch animals. Entry of any seller or worker with symptoms of cough, sore throat, fever is not permitted and their replacement is necessary.

Amidst all the threats, the Pindiites are preparing to mark Eid Al-Adha with the sacrifice of a sheep, cow, or goat, despite deepening economic hardships. The meat of the sacrifice has three shares, one goes to the relatives and friends, the other is distributed among the poor and the last one is retained for the immediate family so that on this day, no one should remain hungry.

Traditionally sacrifice of an animal takes place to mark the festival, in commemoration of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his own son as an act of obedience to Allah. Seeing his unfaltering devotion, Allah commanded him to sacrifice a male goat instead of his son.

However, in the wake of soaring inflation that has resulted, the traditional offering has become more and more expensive. “It is a big financial burden now than before, but it is a tradition that must take place without being dismayed by the high prices,” says 40-year-old homemaker Najaf Naqvi, as she waits at Chakri Road cattle market.

“The seasonal trade in goats, cows, and sheep usually booms in the run-up to the Eid holidays, but has slowed this year, traders say. “Sales are going down. The country is struggling and people are hardly getting by,” says Farman Ali, a trader at a livestock market set up at Bhatta Chowk.