Meat shops in Mumbai kept their shutters down on Thursday, the first day of the week-long festival of Paryushan observed by the Jain community, and the first day of a four-day meat ban in the city.
Meat shops reported heavy losses. According to the Bombay Beef Association, the city’s 900 carabeef shops suffered a loss of over Rs 3 crore, while 1,500 mutton and over 2,000 chicken retailers together faced losses of over Rs 6 crore.
“The loss in sales may be much higher,” said Mohammed Ali Qureshi, a carabeef supplier, adding that each shop sells 150-200 kg carabeef every day while mutton sales are approximately 50 kg per day in each shop.
In Mira Bhayander, just outside Mumbai, the initial eight-day ban was reduced to two days on Wednesday evening. Meat suppliers at Mira Bhayander also reported similar losses.
Kasam Qureshi of the All India Jamaitul Quresh said that within the civic limits, there are 200 mutton, 500 chicken and 80 carabeef shops. “I own a beef shop. My sale of 150 kg suffered today. Across Mira Bhayander, about 10 tonne beef sale was hampered,” Qureshi said.
On Thursday, Jains observed a fast.
Parth Shah, a sound engineer, said, “The idea is to avoid eating anything that grows underground like onion or potatoes. I will be observing Ekasana during which I will eat only once during the day.”
During Ekasana, a person can have only one meal between sunrise and sunset. Devanshi Shah, a financial consultant, also started her fasts from Thursday. “I will be drinking only boiled water. Some attend morning and evening prayers at the temple,” she said. The last two days of Paryushan are considered the most important. Jains observe a total fast and break it only at dawn on the last day of Paryushan.