Mohammad Anwar Hussain is planning a sacrifice of a different kind this Bakri Eid. Instead of spending on a traditional sacrifice of livestock this year, the footwear trader from Rabindra Sarani has decided to donate an equivalent amount to an orphanage.
“This year, the festival is much more poignant, lending a totally different meaning to the term sacrifice,” said Hussain,
62. “I am healthy and my business is doing decently well. I have much to thank to Allah and I have decided to do it by helping the less fortunate and those who have lost everything in this pandemic,” said Hussain.
Muslims across the world will celebrate Bakri Eid, also known as the festival of sacrifice, amid a coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 15 million people worldwide. Covid-19 cases have spiralled in Kolkata too, prompting a big section among the Muslim community to forgo animal sacrifice this year for reasons ranging from the fear of the transmission of the virus, bad business and fear of infection when stepping out to distribute the portions of sacrifice among the poor and friends and family. The festival will be celebrated on August 1.
Mohammad Shadab, who owns an ethnic wear outlet in Zakaria Street, has decided to transfer money into the accounts of his workers who are in their villages. “I have about 60 embroidery workers who are in the villages and have not been able to return. The business has been bad since Ramzan due to the pandemic and lockdown. Sacrificing an animal while my workers suffer will not be acceptable to Allah. So, I have decided to distribute an equivalent sum among my workers and transfer the money in their accounts,” said Shadab.
Muslims distribute portions of the sacrifice to the poor and gather with extended families and friends. Many people are fearing this will trigger transmission of the virus. Recent spike in coronavirus cases has alarmed everybody with the state government going in for staggered total lockdown. It has also urged the citizens to maintain social distancing and not crowd at public places and shrines.
“It is a time to meet friends and family but this year, it may pose a risk for the entire society. I am sacrificing celebrations this year so that all of us remain safe,” said Dilshad Hossain, who works for the state government. Several Muslim families are also planning to get food cooked in bulk and get it distributed among poor people. “The idea is to reach out to those who have suffered during the pandemic. This is an opportunity for us to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” said Rehan Waris, an event manager.
Source: Times of India