Coronavirus in Bhopal: Muslim residents opt for 'Online Qurbani' of animals this Eid-al-Adha to beat the lockdown restrictions

Bhopal: The coronavirus induced pandemic has left no space untouched. Four months of complete lockdown and the partial lockdown has diminished the colors of many auspicious occasion. The next in the lane is the Eid-ul-Adha and Rakshabandhan.

Looking at the surge in the coronavirus cases, citizens have opted for different methods to cope with the celebrations of their 'big day', maintaining all the COVID norms.

Recently in Bhopal, citizens have started ‘Online Qurbani’, which will be a novel feature of the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations in the city this year. Many Muslim residents have opted for online sacrifice of animals to beat the lockdown restrictions.

Around 24 social organizations in the city got together under the banner of Khidmat-e-Khalq (social service) to help those who could not buy sacrificial animals due to lockdown to perform their religious duty. They offered to sacrifice animals on their behalf and distribute the meat among the poor. “The basic belief behind Qurbani is not to eat the meat yourself but offer it to the poor,” Inam Hussain Naved of the organization told Free Press.

The bookings were opened on July 24 - the day lockdown was imposed in Bhopal and was closed at 9 pm on Friday - the eve of Eid. Only digital payments were accepted. According to Naved, they received an overwhelming response. “We got more than 15,000 calls not only from MP but from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and even abroad,” he said. A goat would be sacrificed on behalf of those who pay around Rs 10,000. Those who can afford only around Rs 3,500 can jointly sponsor the sacrifice of a male buffalo with six others,” he said.

The animals would be slaughtered in Bhopal and at other places in the state including Indore, Sehore and Ashta. Videos of the sacrifice and the distribution of meat would be uploaded on more than 800 WhatsApp groups. “We will ensure complete transparency,” Naved said.

A civil engineer, Anwar Pathan, said he could not buy a goat due to lockdown so he and his six friends bought one-seventh share each in a male buffalo to be sacrificed on the Eid day and paid for it online. Islam allows seven people to jointly sacrifice big animals like camel and male buffalo.

He said they will pack the meat of the sacrificed animal and distribute it among the poor families. “It is important both to celebrate the festival and to follow the COVID-19 norms. And that’s why we have opted for online sacrifice,” said Anwar.

Similarly, a contractor, Amir Khan, said he bought three parts of a big animal by paying money through UPI. He couldn’t buy a goat due to the lockdown, he said. “Following the COVID-19 guideline issued by the government, we didn’t buy a goat. We pooled money for online sacrifice and also promoted digital transactions,” he said.

A teacher Sana Abid said she will celebrate the Eid with family members at home. “We are not inviting any guests due to COVID,” she added.

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