Eid-ul-Azha in a flood-hit country

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 21 Aug 2017, 22:03:17
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Editorial

Eid-ul-Azha in a flood-hit country

Transportation of cows and other animals is feared to prove a daunting task as many highways and roads have been badly damaged by flood waters. Traffic movement had to be suspended on many roads due to their being submerged. Ensuring an unhindered supply of these animals calls for urgent repair of the flood-damaged roads
About 10 days are left before the observance of Eid-ul-Azha. It's the second-largest Muslim religious festival after Eid-ul-Fitr. With flood waters inundating vast areas in the country's northern and north-eastern region, the Eid-ul-Azha this year visits the nation amid sufferings and dislocations caused to millions of people in the affected swathes. Hopefully, the flood waters will recede by the time the Eid celebrations take place.

Eid-ul-Azha is unique in its message. The sacrifice of animals in the name of the Almighty constitutes the chief spirit of this Eid along with celebrations. With the northern and some other rural regions passing through flood-related ordeals, the trade in and supply of sacrificial animals are feared to be badly hit. It comes as disheartening news to the people involved in the whole network. Encouragingly, prior to the onslaught of the flood, different quarters close to the activities of cattle farms have been found looking to a bonanza from the sales of sacrificial animals. According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), dairy farms in the country have at present around 11.5 million animals which they have specially reared for the Eid. As the government agency finds, there has been a sharp rise in the livestock production in the recent years. 

This spectacular increase in the production of cattle is seen to be reducing the country's dependence on animals smuggled in from neighbouring countries, India in particular. A government statistics has lately found that the country has 25.4 million cows and buffalos, 29.3 million goats and sheep --- coming to a total of 54.7 million. This vast number of the cattle head would not require the people to desperately await the arrival of Indian cows on the eve of the Eid-ul-Azha. Lately, rural areas in Bangladesh have become used to watching a unique scenario: young people's participation in cattle raising business. Enterprising youths in the northern and some other regions are being seen coming forward in droves to set up small and medium-sized dairy farms. 

Unlike the traditional cattle farmers, these youths are educated and are inclined to follow business ethic. They prefer attaining financial solvency through natural cattle rearing to making windfall profits through dubious means. Thanks to this drive, the trend of fattening of cows by feeding them on harmful chemical-laden substances, and making the animals hazardous for human consumption, has started to decrease. However, unscrupulous elements are difficult to drive out completely. These black sheep are still noticeably dominant in the cattle raising sector producing sacrificial animals.

As the Eid is approaching fast, cattle traders in flood-affected areas are all set to send their animals to markets in the drier regions, including the capital and other cities. Transportation of cows and other animals is feared to prove a daunting task as many highways and roads have been badly damaged by flood waters. Traffic movement had to be suspended on many roads due to their being submerged. Ensuring an unhindered supply of these animals calls for urgent repair of the flood-damaged roads

 The solemnity of the Eid-ul-Azha in Bangladesh has long been tainted by the activities of extortionists and other corrupt elements. The situation shows few signs of improvement, with the cattle transportation and the cattle market leases still being dominated by them. All this may add to the many disruptions and woes already plaguing the country before the Eid-ul-Azha.

 
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Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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