Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and scare of contracting the deadly virus, an increase in the collective sacrifice of animals on Eid-ul-Adha was witnessed this year.
The trend of collective sacrifice among the local populace has seen an increase in the last few years, as per local relief organizations.
Riyaz Sheikh, Managing Director of Kashmir Chapter of Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), ‘Orphans in Need’ told Rising Kashmir that there has been an increase in inclination towards the collective sacrifice in Kashmir.
“Over 560 animals were sacrificed during the first two days of Eid-ul-Azha in Kashmir and as 20 to 30 per cent rise had been observed in the trend as compared to last year,” he said.
He said among the sacrificial animals 157 were large animals and rest were small. “In view of Covid19 there was increase as people were also financially not well,” Sheikh said.
As per him, all advisories and SOP’s were followed and large gatherings were avoided this year.
Collective sacrifice, where up to seven persons contribute for the purchase, upkeep and slaughter of a sacrificial animal is a more economical option in comparison to each person sacrificing a single animal.
Similarly, in north Kashmir Palhallan area of Baramulla district, where a Non-local NGO reportedly sacrificed 220-240 animals on an account of combined sacrifice.
An official from the NGO wishing anonymity told Rising Kashmir that this year, the number of animals was increased in view of COVID-19 as most of the people stayed indoors.
“We avoid large gatherings as compared to previous years. SOP’S were followed and entry of locals was restricted,” he said.
Reiterating the cost-effectiveness of collective sacrifices, the official said it had introduced a range of packages differing on the basis of cost so that people could opt for what they could afford.
“Around 210 animals were sacrificed while dozens were directly distributed among the poor and needy persons living in far-flung areas,” he said.
As per the official, more and more people had been registering for collective sacrifice via telephone and online through social networking sites, especially those residing abroad.
Similarly, collective sacrifices were held in Bandipora, Shopian, Kulgam, Baramulla, and other parts of Kashmir.
Dawood Ahmad, who is also head of local Madrassa in north Kashmir Sopore says a collective sacrifice is an economical option and more people can participate in it.
“We also sacrificed 100-110 animals on 1st two days of Eid-ul-Azha. Some people prefer it and people from towns and cities are more inclined towards it,” he said.
Ahmad said it is a new trend in Kashmir and it is getting a boost over the past few years and more people are participating in collective sacrifices.