Business Standard

Delhi residents abstain from shopping on Eid, save money to help migrants


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Every year, Shama Khan would buy jewellery, clothes, lots of sweets and organise parties for relatives on the occasion of Eid, but not this time.
"These are not normal times," the 30-year-old, who runs an NGO in Zakir Nagar in Southeast Delhi says.
"In my home and extended family, no one purchased jewellery, clothes or sweets. Every year, the family would organise parties for relatives, but there is none this year. How can we celebrate when crores of people are sleeping on an empty stomach," she says.
Like Khan, many Muslim residents in the national capital have abstained from buying new items and clothes on Eid-ul-Fitr. They are using the money to help the COVID-19 lockdown-hit needy and migrants instead.
Not much activity was witnessed in areas such as Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Nagar, Zakir Nagar and Batla House, as only a few people stepped out of their homes to buy new items to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan, on Monday.
Markets are largely empty. Only those who want to buy dry fruits, condensed milk and sugar for "kheer" can be seen in the markets, Khan says.
Mohammad Muslim, a resident of Jamia Nagar, and his friends have also decided not to purchase new items on Eid this year and use the money to buy essentials for the needy.
"There are around 50 such people in our group who have pooled in money to buy essential items for homeless people and migrants who have no means to earn their bread due to the lockdown, he says.
"It is not necessary we wear new clothes to offer namaz on Eid. What's important is that the clothes should be clean. Also, a lot of money can be saved if people don't buy perfume and jewellery," the social activist says.
How can he celebrate Eid when lakhs of his homeless, jobless countrymen are struggling for a meal, he asks.
Shakeel-ur-Rahman, who runs a travel agency in Zakir Nagar, says his family and friends resolved to celebrate Eid in a simple way.
"Eid is about making the needy and poor happy. If you are able to save some money on the festival and use it to help the migrants who are stuck without shelter and food, you will be more happy and satisfied," he says.
Rahman says it will also prevent huge crowds in markets and thus help prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection.
Khatib Tihami, the president of the Okhla Vidhan Sabha Market Association, says business ahead of this Eid has been lean, primarily due to the lockdown and people keeping away from shops due to the fear of contracting coronavirus.
"Many shopkeepers have not been able to pay the rent of their shops, many have been asked to evacuate. Most of the stock has become outdated," he says.

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First Published: May 24 2020 | 5:00 PM IST

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