KARACHI, Jan 3: The country’s major voluntary relief organisation that has an elaborate welfare network, Edhi Centre, is being increasingly ignored during Eid-ul-Azha as far as donation of sacrificial animals skins is concerned.

“We receive around 6,000 skins this year, and have been receiving about the same number for the last 10 years though the population has increased and so have the number of animals sacrificed.

However, the people were generous enough to donate sacrificial meat,” Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi told Dawn. It seems over the years, the element of compassion has eroded in general, Edhi remarked sadly.

The lagging behind of the Edhi Foundation in terms of hide collection which once used to get a record number of sacrificial hides was also endorsed by the Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association, S.M. Naseem.

“Over the past years the share in the collection of sacrificial hides by the Edhi Foundation has drastically decreased, there was a time when they collected the maximum number of hides”, Mr Naseem recalled.

Over the last few years, the Khadim-e-Khalq Foundation, the welfare wing of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement collects the most sacrificial skins followed closely by Al-Khadmit of Jamaat-e-Islami, Darul Uloom and Edhi Foundation, Mr Naseem said. He said last year the Sunni Tehreek also gathered a substantial number of skins during Eid-ul-Azha.

The jihadi outfits banned by the government still collect sacrificial animals skins by using different names throughout the country, sources said. The banned outfits were also active in different localities of Karachi in collecting skins.

Experts in the leather industry estimate different religious organisations still account for 75 per cent of all skins collected during Eid-ul-Azha, the other 25 per cent is collected by different non-religious originations all over the country.

In Punjab, the Shaukat Khanum Trust is most popular among the faithful when it comes to donation of sacrificial animals skins.

The Pakistan Tanners Association (Central) estimates that around 6 million hides of goat, sheep and 1.5 million hides of cow will be collected from all over the country during Eid-ul-Azha this year.

This estimated projection is quite less compared to figures of the last few years.

The reason given is disparity in sacrificial animals’ prices. The leather industry, however, seems to be doing quite well, as for the first time in the country’s history, leather exports crossed the billon dollar mark.

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