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Kondhwa goat fair bleats sound of generous new dimension to Bakri Eid in Pune

The focus of buying the animals to mark the sacrifice may have shifted from Mominpura in city and even the Cantonment area to Kondhwa, but a unique community-centric initiative undertaken by social workers Mazhar Shaikh, Ejaz Shaikh and Saleem Mulla, under the umbrella of the Maharashtra Wakf liberation and protection task force, suggests a new direction for the festive occasion.

pune Updated: Aug 20, 2018 16:52 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Kondhwa goat fair,Bakri Eid,Pune
Goats on sale at the Kondhwa bazar in Pune. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

PUNE Two-thousand goats across 60 breeds might seem a strange sight on survey number 10 in Kausarbaug, Kondhwa. Cue Eid al Adha, or Bakri Eid as it is colloquially known, and a special initiative to channel funds raised from the purchase of the goats for the Muslim festival towards education of the community, and suddenly all the braying and bleating, becomes entirely tolerable.

The focus of buying the animals to mark the sacrifice may have shifted from Mominpura in city and even the Cantonment area to Kondhwa, but a unique community-centric initiative undertaken by social workers Mazhar Shaikh, Ejaz Shaikh and Saleem Mulla, under the umbrella of the Maharashtra Wakf liberation and protection task force, suggests a new direction for the festive occasion.

The goats up for sale on the open plot now resemble a cattle fair and the plot itself has been made available for free to the Muslim community by Captain PS Chandok, a retired army veteran. And a Hindu by religion. The subtext to the main initiative also finds 80 per cent of the herdsmen here are Hindu, having come in from across the country with the top goat breeds.

Captain Chandok says, “The decision to give the plot for the fair was taken after seeing the sincere and honest working of the organisers to strengthen unity in the city and work for the underprivileged.”

That cause is being met thus: Every family that buys a goat is being requested to donate Rs 100 towards a charitable fund that the Wakf board will use to drive education among women and the less privileged in the community.

“Rs 100 is the minimum we are requesting, but people are free to donate above and beyond that. We have seen a tremendous response so far,” says Saleem Mulla, president, Maharashtra Wakf liberation and protection task force, adding that a receipt is given for every rupee donated.

“Funds collected will be utilised for paying college and tuition fees of students; hospital bills of the deserving patients, especially senior citizens. A portion of the funds will also be utilised to pay lawyers who are pursuing Wakf land cases in Pune,” he said.

Fair co-ordinator Mazhar Shaikh says that this is the first step in a future plan to organise the country’s biggest ‘no profit no loss’ goat fairs for Bakri Eid in the future.

So far Rs 50,000 has been collected and Mulla says if they are able to raise Rs 2 lakh, it will be a success.

Kondhwa’s goat fair for Bakri Eid

The goat fair, organised for Bakri Eid, began on August 17 at survey number 10 in Kausarbaug

- 2,000 goats available for sale

- Goats are priced Rs 15,000 onwards

- On August 17, a goat was sold for Rs 3.50 lakh

- Average footfall of 2,000 visitors on a daily basis

- Special residential and food arrangements in place for herdsmen

First Published: Aug 20, 2018 16:51 IST