All roads lead to Deonar abattoir as devotees rush to get the choicest goats for Bakri Eid. Mukul Pawar and Sayed Sameer Abedi take a look around
Bakri Eid, which is to be celebrated on Monday, has already burnt a rather large hole into the pockets of the common man, owing to the exorbitant prices of goats in the Deonar abattoir.
At the largest slaughterhouse in India, customers could be seen hunting for the pocket-friendly lamb meat, but ultimately giving up the search and digging into their pockets.
Ghatkopar resident Zehra Hussain was one such disappointed customer, who finally purchased a goat for Rs 18,000, claiming that it had the word 'allah' inscribed in a miracle of nature. She said, "If we are willingly offering something to Allah, it should be of finest quality."
Shakil Mohammad and his father Noor Mohammad came from Kandivli and purchased a goat for Rs 25,000. Noor said, "Sellers are not budging from the prices quoted by them. We bargained for an hour. I think there are more buyers and fewer animals in comparison. We have limitations, but quality is most important."
Najim Sheikh, who brought along his family members, wandered for three hours, and then gave up. He said, "Last year, I bought a goat for Rs 6,000 and this year even Rs 15,000 was not enough.
Cattle breeders from across the country have set shop at the Deonar slaughterhouse, the biggest in Asia, to sell rare and high quality goats for Bakri Eid
Diesel and petrol prices have risen, and as a result, the cost for transportation of animals has risen. If the goat does not suit our pocket, we will buy a bullock."
Goat sellers speak Shahbuddin Khan from Alwar, Rajasthan, said, "I got 125 goats from Alwar. The costliest one I sold went for Rs 3 lakh, weighing 180 kg. Goats are fewer in number this year. I am sure that I will sell everything."
Ahmad Abu Bakr Padri from Jogeshwari is famous for his VIP yard. He claims that many VIPs visit his yard to buy rare high-quality goats. He proudly stated, "We are in this business because we are passionate about it.
We send our men to Rajasthan to find good breeds. All our goats are big in size and cost nearly a lakh each. This year we have 125 goats, each weighing between 125 and 150 kg. 70 of them have been sold, the most expensive costing Rs 3.5 lakh and weighing 165 kg. Our prices have doubled for Eid.
We provide a nutritious diet for our animals, and care more for our goats than for our children. I am sure we will sell the costliest of goats this year."
Mohammad Hanif, a goat breeder from Rasganda, Rajasthan said, "I am visiting Mumbai for the last 15 years. Each year, we send two to three trucks full of goats and send them to Mumbai and Ahmedabad. This year I sold a 160-kg goat for Rs 1.5 lakh. We breed them and feed them well."
Dalal Singh had brought a herd of dumba goats from Punjab, of which the costliest was sold at Rs 1.6 lakh. He said, "The dumba is very rare breed. I have sold 15-16 of them already."
Mohammad Arshad Qureshi a goat seller from UP said, "A single goat takes two years to be bred, and we spend Rs 300 per day to feed it with grams, cashews, nuts and milk. Our goat also drinks 1 litre of cold drink every day. This year we have brought 150 goats to sell."
Phulmiya from UP, who has brought a herd of 161 goats, complained about the lack of amenities, saying, "For the last five days, we have been facing water woes. Only two tankers are provided, which is inadequate. A single drum of drinking water costs Rs 50."
Pramod Dethe, general manager of the Deonar abbatoir said, "We have broken last year's record. 1,64,840 goats have arrived for qurbani, of which 95 thousand have been sold.
We have provided facilities to the goat sellers, including a temporary shed, 840 lighting tubes with two generators, walking areas, a dispensary for animals and visitors. We have hired 180 labourers to clean up."
Rs 5.5 Lakh Bakra No. 1:Ahmad Abu Bakr Padri shows off his champion goat, which sold for a record-breaking price yesterday
Rs 5 Nothing less than the best: Ashfaq Ahmed, shows his prized goat which has Allah written across its stomach
Rs 1.5 Lakh Pure as pure can be: Ganga Singh draws the attention of her pristine white darling for the shutterbugs