This Bakrid, the Muslim festival of sacrifice, has emerged as the cleanest Bakrid in Hyderabad in many decades, thanks to a massive awareness campaign launched by religious scholars and Muslim social scientists. It was a major achievement on the cleanliness front in Muslim dominated pockets of the city, particularly south of the river Musi.
This is in contrast to earlier years when many parts of Old City used to stink for a week after Bakrid. This year the waste of sacrificial animals was disposed of at designated places and later scientifically shifted to centralized garbage dumping grounds of the GHMC. The idea was to keep the city clean particularly when the threat of emerging diseases and drug-resistant germs looms large.
While the cleanliness drive by the Ulema paid off making this Bakrid the cleanest ever in the city, the steep fall in the prices of sheep skin has robbed madrasas and charitable organisations of their income. Every Bakrid, Islamic seminaries and social service bodies receive the skins of sacrificial animals as donation. They sell the skins to traders and the money they get from the sale proceeds is utilised for maintenance of Madrasas. But this year the prices fell down from 400 to 30 per skin, hitting the social cause hard. In fact, the downslide started two years ago and hit the bottom this Bakrid.
As part of the cleanliness drive, Imams in all mosques urged Muslims not to litter roads and street corners with the animal waste. Video films were made by some enterprising Muslim youth and circulated on social media emphasizing the need to keep the city clean. Since the festival fell during the monsoon, religious scholars as well as physicians explained in detail about the danger of infectious diseases in case the animal waste was not disposed of properly. This worked well and almost everyone had ensured that the environs are kept neat and tidy.
Moulana Ziauddin Nayyar, vice-president of Tameer-e-Millet, told TOI that the campaign was launched four years ago and every year Bakrid has been emerging cleaner than before. “This was the cleanest Bakrid. It was cleaner than that of last year. Muslim scholars have quoted verses from the Holy Quran and the saying of the Prophet to drive home the point that cleanliness is part of the faith, in fact, half the belief. The message went well with the youngsters this time,” he added.
A visit to the Old City on Sunday, a day after Bakrid, showed designated garbage bins without animal waste. The waste was collected by municipal workers on Sunday morning. On earlier occasions, the waste was strewn at will leading to foul smell and difficulty in collection by sanitary staff.
The slump is not deliberate. It is linked to various factors – international market and increase in utilisation of artificial leather. This is the third year in a row that the skin trade has been hit,” he said explaining how it has affected the four modern schools with 4,000 students, managed by the Anjuman.