Pakistan

Citizens vow to boycott purchase of fruits to combat profiteering during Ramadan

Every Ramadan, Karachi sees an alarming increase in prices of fruits and groceries with government watching all this like a silent spectator.

A few visits of markets by authorities never changes the situation and the citizens were always forced to buy fruits on exorbitant prices.

This year, a social media campaign started by activists urged people not to buy fruits for at least 3 days to bring down the prices, is getting popular and citizens have decided not to buy fruits from Friday June 2 to Sunday June 4.

The experiment will serve as an acid test for next campaigns against profiteering.

A public service organization ‘Aawaz-e-Saarif’ kicked off this campaign against profiteers which has gripped the whole nation. Interestingly, unlike the other many campaigns, the message has been mostly shared on Facebook and WhatsApp rather than making place in Twitter trends.

The message of boycotting fruits on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 2, 3 and 4) has spread far and wide across the country and people from other cities have also expressed resolve to abide by message of the campaign.

People from all walks of life including old and young are enthusiastic about putting the movement to test. Many politicians, journalists, businessmen and other influential persons have also seconded the campaign.

Charter member of the movement Husan Ara said the rulers were not going to take action in the interest of poor. So, poor would have to themselves take the lead and compel wholesalers to sell commodities at affordable prices, she added.

“Even supermarkets are offering fruits on high prices. By quitting consumption of fruits for three days we could disturb the whole chain associated with this business, because, as far as I could perceive, the wholesalers are the main culprits behind creating this artificial price hike during Ramazan,” she said.

Another senior member of Aawaz-e-Saarif, Noor Ul Huda Shaheen said the movement had gained momentum.

“We request pushcart vendors who sell fruits to join hands with us and do not buy fruits from markets. Instead they sell something else for these three days in the best interest of public,” he said.

He said the boycott on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will show the power of consumers.

A post in this regard has suggested masses to opt for other food over fruit for these three days.

Interestingly, Sindh Minister for Information Nasir Hussain Shah and Commissioner Karachi Ejaz Ahmed Khan have also reportedly expressed support for the boycott, while their job is to control prices.

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