As everyone is ushering in the upcoming festive season, there are some who aren’t exactly brimming with joy, especially the meat shop owners; owing to a custom which requires people celebrating Navratri to avoid eating any kind of meat for a period of nine days.
“I have seen a considerable fall in the sales in the past one week. If I make Rs 20,000 on a regular month, my sales have come down to less than Rs 10,000 this time. So I don’t have any reason to celebrate,” says Saadiq who works in a meat shop in Koramangala.
According to the State Animal Husbandry Department there are 2,109 shops in all eight zones: 573 mutton stalls, 318 beef stalls, 35 pork stalls, 980 chicken shops and 203 fish shops. But there are no statistics available on the losses incurred by the meat shops during this period.
Rafiq who runs the K Babu chicken stall at Eejipura said, “I am suffering a loss of Rs 1,000-1,500 per day and I am having a tough time. Normally I get 5 hen cages, but this month only 2 were enough.” Ghouse who runs a two decade-old fish shop in Viveknagar said, “Unlike us, the meat shops can atleast recover their losses with the arrival of Bakrid and until then I have no choice but to bear the slack in business. I have many regular customers who haven't come to the shop for the last 7-8 days. I can't wait for this month to finish. I will incur a loss of a minimum of Rs.30,000"
A working professional hailing from Kolkota, Susmita who loves to binge on non vegetarian food and is celebrating Navratri feels that since she can't fast because of her erratic working hours, abstaining from meat for a few days is not asking for too much.