On the eve of Bakrid, not only the price of sheep touches the sky, but also the butchers come at an exorbitant price. As against the normal fee of Rs.200 to Rs.300 that they usually charge for performing the job, they demand anywhere between Rs.500 and Rs.700 during festive season.
The rates are fixed and there is no scope for bargaining. “Only if there are more than five sheep to be slaughtered, the price can be lowered,” says K.Shekhar, a butcher, who is also a government employee.
Irrespective of their professions, many take up the job during Bakrid. The demand is so much that the few hundred butchers from the city are hardly adequate. Many come to the city from Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Medak, Karimnagar, Ranga Reddy and Nalgonda districts to cash on the demand.
A few butchers come to the city along with sheep traders and take up the job from Eid day.
“They stand near the sale points of sheep and are hired for slaughtering animals,” says Mohammed Younus, a sheep trader. Though hundreds of them visit the city to perform the slaughtering job, there is a dearth of butchers.
To avoid hassles, people go to mosques where prayers are held in the early hours of the day so they could reach home early and search for a butcher. “If we are unable to find a butcher before 9 a.m., we will be forced to wait till 1 p.m.,” says Aleemuddin, a businessman.