'Bali ka bakra' arrive in Mumbai for Bakri Eid
Photo by BL SONI

Mumbai:As usual, Muslims in Mumbai will celebrate Bakri Eid, which is just around the corner, by sacrificing goats and distributing the meat among relatives, friends and poor people.

Goats from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and rural Maharashtra have flooded the markets. Though the main market is in Deonar, there are also centers like Mira Road, Kurla, Madanpura, Vasai and Kalyan. The prevailing rates are from Rs 10,000 and goes right up to Rs 2 lakh. The smaller goats are sold for Rs 10,000 a piece. And the older goats command prices from Rs 20,000 to Rs 80,000. More than two lakh goats have already arrived in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and many thousands are on the way. Customers are lining up at the goat markets and deals are being struck with shepherds and traders from North Indian states who come here every year because of the higher price their produce fetch.

There are many people who have purchased goats many months ago, then fed and fattened it and hope to sell it at Rs 80,000 or more per animal. This helps them raise some finance for their family needs. Then there are Muslims from West Asia who have arrived here for their annual leaves to celebrate Eid with their family members, and are expected to shell out good money for purchasing goats.

Like every year, all eyes are on the big, fat, sacrificial goats, or popularly known as "bali ka bakra", that sell for not less than Rs one lakh per animal. Such goats are usually fed on a special diet of dry fruits, lounged on a charpoy all day, kept under guard, and end up weighing very heavy. Breeders of such expensive goats are expected to unveil their goats and their rates very soon. The dampeners for this year's festivities are the floods which caused havoc in certain parts of this area, and the High Court order prohibiting animal sacrifices within housing societies.

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