Kashmiris Opt For Camel Meat For This Year's Eid6 November 2011
Srinagar: As the valley begins preparations for Eid al-Adha - the festival of sacrifice - a small section of Kashmiris is opting for camels, instead of the usual goats and sheep. The camels have been put on sale in Parimpora Mandi on the outskirts of Srinagar. The sacrifice of camels is rare in the Valley as the animal is not found in J& K and has to be brought from far-away states. Abdul Rehman, who brings the animals to Kashmir, is optimistic about their sale. 'I got eight camels this year and half of them have already been purchased,' he said. Each camel costs between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 40,000. He added camels did have a market in Kashmir because six to 10 families together bought one animal for sacrifice, and it was not costly when purchased collectively. According to Rehman, who is a licenceholder dealer in camels, another dealer brought the animals to Jammu and then he transported them to Srinagar. Dr Farooq Kaloo, the director of sheep and animal husbandry in the state, said the import of camels from Rajasthan, where they are found in abundance, would be good for the Kashmir market. 'It will help maintain the population of camels in Rajasthan and, at the same time, provide meat here at a cheaper rate,' he said. Double-humped camels are found in Ladakh but are not used for sacrifice. 'There number is only 160 and they are an endangered species. So they are not sold in the market,' Kaloo said. Every Eid, around 2.5 lakh sheep and over 70,000 goats are sacrificed in the Valley. Each sacrificial sheep costs Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 in the market. Interestingly, people refrain from having beef in the meat capital of India. A survey by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation revealed that almost 95 per cent of the population refrained from consuming beef.