A different set of visitors are frequenting the Barkas ‘haraaj’ (auction) market known for its peculiar fruits like figs, mulberry and water apple. Once a hub for small time traders, it has gained recognition for commodities that help in cure of certain ailments.
Shahnawaz Khan, a resident of Tolichowki, frequents the market for water apple. The extracts from this fruit could provide bioactive compounds that help support people suffering from diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels, say Unani medicine practitioners.
Till a few years ago only petty traders formed part of the auction and early morning crowd here. However, on suggestions from the ‘hakeems’ and Unani medicine practitioners a large number of visitors are making a beeline for the fruit here.
“It is a decades old market and was restricted to petty traders. Now we get to see individuals also turning up to purchase fruits like figs, mulberry and water apple,” says Habeeb Mohammed Jilani, an auctioneer.
Then one can also get to buy mulberry fruit here in plenty. The juicy fruit is plucked from the trees in the households and brought to the market where it is auctioned. It is believed mulberry fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K.
“I come here to buy figs as these turn to be tastier from the variety available on push carts. My elders used to say fig fruits are rich in nutrients and so has it been proved by researchers,” says Fasih Khan, a civil engineer from Mallepally. Figs are rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K and other nutrients.
The fig is sold between Rs. 70 and Rs. 100 a dozen against the local fig which is sold in measures of kilograms around the city. Figs sold at Barkas are believed to be rich in nutrients. “People specifically come to buy these fruits as they are not widely available throughout the city. The market has gained recognition for it over a few years,” informs Mohammed Jilani.
Asif Yar Khan
It is not just traders but city folk now who visit the Barkas auction market for fruits like figs, mulberry and water apple