COVID-19 shadows Eid-ul-Adha festivities in J-K

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Eid-ul-Adha festivities in Jammu and Kashmir as people are refraining to step out for shopping, as a result of which markets in the Valley are witnessing less rush and traders seeing unexpectedly low business.

Bashir Ahmad, a shopkeeper at an apparels store, told ANI, “Due to the COVID-19 lockdown all the businesses were witnessing either closures or losses. But after the administration permitted us to open shops on the occasion of Eid, it brought us some relief. With Bakrid is round the corner, customers have started to come for shopping. The last two Eids saw complete closure. But this time, by the grace of Allah, we are getting some business.”

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“I have come for Eid shopping but markets are less crowded. Due to COVID, things have changed a lot. Earlier, people used to throng the markets before Eid, but that is not the case this time. Even the markets do not have as much variety and quantity of products as they used to have earlier. But I am grateful to God that the market is open and we are able to purchase things ahead of the festival,” said Qadeer Ahmad, a customer.

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Intiqab Saquib, a local who was purchasing sweets on the occasion of Bakrid, said, “There is no business due to the pandemic which is why many people are financial losses. The enthusiasm with which people used to go shopping ahead of Eid is no more visible here.”

“Fewer people have come out for shopping this time due to the pandemic. But we are thankful to the administration which kept the market open for three days in view of Eid which is one of the biggest festivals of Muslims across the world. Through your medium, I would urge the administration to provide financial assistance to the people belonging to the weaker sections in the union territory,” said Asif Rashid, a customer.

Bashir Ahmad, General Secretary, Kashmir Traders Federation Kashmir said, “We are thankful to the administration which permitted the shops to open in view of Eid despite a COVID-19 lockdown in place in Srinagar. But traders did not get business as per their expectations. The sales were not as expected. Traders had bought products in good amounts hoping that due to Eid, sales will pick up, but that did not happen at all. Now, we will keep this stock for another season.”

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Eid-ul-Azha (Bakrid) is likely to be observed on July 21. However, it depends on the sighting of the moon.Eid-ul-Azha is also known as “Sacrifice Feast” is marked by sacrificing an animal, usually a sheep or a goat to prove their devotion and love for Allah. Post the sacrifice, people distribute the offerings to family, friends, neighbours and especially to the poor and needy.

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