Muslims across the world celebrate Bakri-Eid, by sacrificing an animal and distributing it among the poor. This has been a ritual that has been associated with the annual pilgrimage (Hajj), and is practiced dutifully by Muslims.
In Mumbai, the festival falls on October 26, and preparations are in full swing for the festival. Goats and bulls from states like Rajashthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and rural Maharashtra have flooded the markets in the city. The main market for purchasing animals is in Deonar, and smaller retailers have set shop in Mira Road, Kurla,
Madanpura and Kalyan.
The prevailing rate for the animals is starting at Rs 10,000 and goes right up to Rs 2 lakh! The smaller, or rather the younger goats, retail for a price tag of Rs 10,000 a piece or about Rs 15,000-18,000 a pair. And the older goats, approx 2-3 year-olds are demanding a price of Rs 20,000-35,000.
Traders have informed that approximately One lakh goats are expected to arrive at the Deonar market, and on an average the sale is expected to cross 80%. Customers have already began to line up at the goat market and deals are being struck.
Hanif Ansari, a goat seller, has made a rich bargain in his first sale of this season. “I sold two goats for Rs 1.40 lakh to a scrap dealer from Kurla. I had bought the goats from Ajmer and had spent good money to feed them. I think the price was justified,” said Ansari.
Hamdullah Shaikh, an NRI who has come to Mumbai for Eid, picked up a pair for Rs 40,000. “My children are very fond of goats, and I make it a point to plan my leaves in such a way that I can come back to India to celebrate the festival. The kids will be busy in taking care of the animals for the entire next week,” Shaikh said.
Like every year, all eyes are on the ‘big fat’ goats that sell for not less than a few lakhs. These goats are usually fed on a special diet of dry fruits and are always kept under guard. The goats end up weighing approximately 200 kg and are lounged on a charpoy all day. Last year’s big goat went for a staggering Rs 5 lakh. The animal was originally priced at Rs 8 lakh, but after bargaining it was settled at a lower price.
Ibrahim Qureshi, a breeder of expensive goats, is expected to unveil his prized goat after the Friday prayers at Deonar. According to sources the animal is a 7-footer and is expected to demand a price of Rs 10 lakh.
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