Vermicelli business in Gorakhpur hit adversely by price rise
The demand for vermicelli, which goes up during Ramadan, has this time round been hit by inflation.
The price of wheat flour, which is required for preparing vermicelli, is at an all time high in the domestic market.
Vermicelli shops in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, have complained of losses, as sales have dropped considerably due to a spiralling inflation.
Sweet vermicelli is a traditional Muslim dish which is eaten during the month of Ramadan.
Shopkeepers said they were incurring losses as people were not buying more than 1-2 kilograms compared to the earlier sales that usually were over 5-6 kilograms per customer a day.
"The market is very slow. There is a lot of inflation. We are only making 20-25 per cent of the profits we did last year," said Mohammed Azhar, a vermicelli maker.
Besides dealing with constant power cuts, shopkeepers are not making any profits as people shy away from buying vermicelli which can cost anywhere between rupees 50 and rupees 200.
"Earlier, there used to be high demand for vermicelli during Ramadan and we used to fall short of people for selling vermicelli in the shops. However, this year, everyone is sitting idle. Business is very slow and we are incurring losses" said a shopkeeper, Anwar.
Ramadan is the ninth of 12 months in the Islamic calendar. The month honours the Angel Gabriel's revelation of the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, to the Prophet Mohammed at a meditation retreat in a cave about 1,400 years ago.
Fasting, charity, daily prayers, the declaration of faith and pilgrimage to Mecca are the five pillars of Islam.
During Ramadan, Muslims offer special prayers called Taraweeh at the end of their usual five- times prayers.
Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days and culminates in the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, tens of millions across the Muslim world make every effort to be more spiritual.
Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset.
For believers, Ramadan is meant to be a time of reflection and worship, remembering the hardships of others and being charitable.
(Posted on 13-07-2014)