Come Ramzan, markets filled with aroma of delicacies

Ritika Bhoora
Thursday, 9 May 2019

“As compared to last year the rates of dates have gone up by at least 30 to 40 per cent due to the Goods and Service Tax (GST). The ‘Medjul’ dates that were available for Rs 1,600 per kg last year, now cost Rs 2,200 per kg.. This has affected our sales to some extent,” Sheikh said.

PUNE: The holy month of Ramzan has begun and  markets in the city are abuzz with activities as Muslims purchase fruits, dates and other items. 

The Shivaji Market area in Camp is a hub of Ramzan shopping since decades, best known for varieties of dates, vermicelli (sewaiyan) and fruits. The other markets in Mominpura and Kondhwa are already marked by hustle-bustle of the shoppers.  

Salim Sheikh, a dates stall owner in Shivaji Market, sells a variety of dates starting from Rs 100 per kg to as high as Rs 2,200 per kg. The customers can choose from a large variety of Kalmi, Mabroom, Dayri, Zahidi, Medjul, Irani, Ajwa and others. 

“As compared to last year the rates of dates have gone up by at least 30 to 40 per cent due to the Goods and Service Tax (GST). The ‘Medjul’ dates that were available for Rs 1,600 per kg last year, now cost Rs 2,200 per kg.. This has affected our sales to some extent,” Sheikh said.

Another vendor, Ahmed (37) said, “We sell six varieties of vermicelli and numerous types of dates. Dates have become almost 40 per cent costlier this year because of the added 12 per cent GST and cost of logistics. The high price has led to at least 50 per cent downfall in sales.” 

The hustle bustle of Shivaji Market continues almost till midnight. Shoppers from all over the city  arrive in large numbers. Stalls selling dates, fruits, juices, vermicelli and other food items attract the maximum crowd. 

Anwar Khan, a resident of Chinchwad, said, “We stock fruits, dates keeping in mind Sehri (pre-dawn meal before fasting) and Iftaar (evening meal to break the fast).”

“This holy month is synonymous with fasting and Zakaat (charity). We believe that doing charity increases your income. The more you donate to the needy, the more you get in return,” said Jalil Sheikh (65), a retired taxi driver from Kharadi. 

When asked about the increased cost of dry fruits, he added, “Yes the costs have increased compared to last year but we buy them anyway because dates are an essential source of energy and nutrients and are traditionally used to break fasts at Iftaar time.”

IT professional Nadim Shaikh from Kondhwa said, “Fasting and feasting goes hand in hand, hence Muslims flock to the markets to buy food items. People send foods to masjids as well as to feed poor people.”

‘ROOHAFZA’ SHORTAGE IN PUNE MARKET
The one thing that was common was that there was a shortage of ‘Roohafza’ in the entire market. “Since Roohafza is a established and old brand, a lot of people come looking for it, but due to some issues there’s a shortage in supply. Only shops that have old stocks are selling Roohafza,” said Ismail Bagwan, a fruit and juice stall owner.

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