ISLAMABAD: There was a time when buying sacrificial animals for Eidul Azha used to involve traditional fanfare and a host of rituals including the pre-purchase family get together, bundling in cars to go to the cattle market and then browsing the thousands of animals brought to culminate with the excitement of riding a van or truck back home with the selected animal.
Considered tedious for adults but the singular greatest experience amongst kids could soon be lost to technology with a host of digital services, whether on dedicated websites, social media groups or even mobile applications websites are now offering sacrificial cows and goats at the touch of a button, complete with home delivery and post-delivery payment.
Online cattle markets seem to be taking over social media networking sites ahead of Eidul Azha.
The new trend of online markets provides complete services to customers from descriptions of animals to photos, videos, and other details including its type, breed and price.
Waqar Ali of Qurbanionline said that a large number of buyers are aware of the cattle trade online and flock to it, especially during Eidul Azha to simplify their purchasing experience.
He said online trends have been flourishing tremendously as an increasing number of orders are placed every other year.
Kashif Amin, who purchased two goats from an online goat market, said that he had been drawn to online markets due to the option of paying a price based on the actual weight of the animal.
A majority of the privileged class are relying on online cattle markets to procure their sacrificial animals this time and eliminating the hassle of physically visiting the marketplace and haggling over prices, said another citizen.
However, an IT expert said, that despite its apparent popularity, the online business will take some time to really take off.
“It is just the start [of this trend] and people are gradually getting information about the business,” he said.
Regardless of how the animals are being bought, children are just as excited about the arrival of sacrificial animals in their neighbourhood.
Children can be seen walking their sacrificial animals, playing with them, feeding them, petting them and decorating them with colourful leashes, reins, strings, ribbons, henna, and other ornaments.
They remain unaware of the exorbitant prices of sacrificial animals which their parents paid to purchase them.
Children’s demand for sacrificial animals starts as soon as the month of Zilhaj starts.
These days, they can be seen boasting about prices, colours and physical features of their animals.
These children are just not content to have their sacrificial animals, they do everything to make them look ‘beautiful’ as well, said Pasha Ikram.
“I have purchased a few ornaments to decorate the goat which my father bought. Now, I have adorned my animal with reins of bright colours and silver ornaments for its neck and legs,” said 15-year-old Hamza Waqas.
These enthusiastic children dedicatedly perform all the chores related to their animals, which include arranging for their fodder, sheltering them and taking them for a walk.
“I love to take it for a walk,” said Bakir Muhammad as he and some of his friends untied their animals and left for a walk to a nearby meadow.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2018.