Covid-19 has marred economy badly and even cattle trade is not spared by the financial slowdown brought about by the virus. The annual donkey fair organised at Satna in Madhya Pradesh is no exception to economic slowdown as the trade was dismal this year.
Initiated in the era of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, the fair started on the day of Diwali and continues for next two days, on the banks of river Mandakini in religious town Chitrakoot.
Besides donkeys, thousands of horses and ponies land at the fair to be sold out by their owners every year.
With corona-induced hardships, lesser numbers of cattle landed at the fair this year. Still around 11,000 horses, ponies and donkeys landed here for sale, one of the organisers said. However, this time, the donkeys were lesser in numbers and high in prices.
Ramesh Chandra Pandey, one of the fair organisers, said that this year lesser numbers of animals have arrived and the trade has been dismal for want of buyers. Traders also complained that Covid-19 slowdown has impacted this fair as well.
We had lesser numbers of buyers but there were also buyers who bought 10-12 horse and donkeys at one go, said trader Om Prakash.
The fair was started by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb who had bought large numbers of horses and ponies for his army at this site. Since then the fair was kept alive by animal traders and buyers. Not only from MP, traders and buyers from UP and Chhattisgarh also land at the site for trade deals.
(Inputs from Shivendra Baghel)