Florists make good money in Haj season
PESHAWAR, Nov 11: “When the Haj season starts, our business, too, gets underway,” says 45-year-old Usman, who sells garlands on a footpath right in front of the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar cantonment area.
The families, who had come to welcome the returning Haj pilgrims, bought garlands from these vendors.
When the Haj pilgrims begin returning, this time of the year also opens up a business opportunity for Usman and many like him.
“When Haj pilgrims start returning, we come here to sell garlands. We earn quite good,” said Usman.
According to him, he will stay on footpath for the entire month and when Haj season is over, his business, too, ends. Afterwards, he begins working at a shop.
Usman said though he was not lone garland seller at the place, he earned well.
“Since October 31 when Haj pilgrims began returning and I earn Rs200-Rs400 daily,” he said while selling garlands made of plastic and cloth of vibrant colours.
These garlands are made in Ramdaas Bazaar of Peshawar City.
The vendors buy it from there and sell it to those who come to welcome and receive the pilgrims at the airport.
Khalid, another middle-aged vendor, said he sold flowers at a shop in Bara gate but when the Haj season starts, he sells these garlands as it fetches him good money.
“On other days, we hardly sell any flower but this time of the year when the pilgrims return, our business booms,” he said.
The garlands’ price ranges from Rs30 to Rs250 each.
Vendors on footpath say almost they all earn from Rs200 to Rs300 a day.
The footpath outside the airport looked like a fair as some people were selling flowers and garlands, while others were selling juices, popcorn and other items to the people who had come from different cities of the province to come and receive their relatives arriving on different flights from Saudi Arabia.
The traffic congestion on the roads of Peshawar, especially those leading to the airport, has not only become an inconvenience for local commuters but it has also created a business opportunity for vendors.
When asked if they sell garlands on higher prices during Haj season, some vendors admitted that there was profiteering.
They, however, justified the act, saying the people spent lots of money to perform Haj and if their relatives are charged some extra bucks, it is not that wrong.