Islamabad - It was for the first time when ordinary citizens of Pakistan used their power and launched a three-day campaign on social media at a large scale against inflated prices of fruits.

Some people called it “jihad” against the high prices and others called it a fruit boycott campaign.

The campaign started from 2nd June and ended on 4th June.

This campaign was initiated by some of the concerned citizens on social media inviting people to protest against the soaring prices of fruits.

The strategy used by citizens to fight against the high prices was to boycott the purchase of fruits for three days.

Initially, this step was taken by the citizens of Karachi but with the passage of time, people from all cities contributed their part and participated actively to make the campaign a success.

At its initial stage, few people expressed interest in the initiative but when the message went viral on the social media as well as the mainstream media large number of people got involved.

The market scenario on day third was quite attention-grabbing and a fruitful impact of the campaign was witnessed on both the people as well as on the high authorities.

Few buyers were seen around fruit vendors on the streets of the twin cities.

It was obvious from the faces of vendors that they were worried about the ongoing situation.

A vendor Sadiq Jan at Marrir Hassan Chowk Rawalpindi while sharing the effect of campaign on his work said that his work was the only source of livelihood for his family and children.

Further, he added that they were not responsible for the high prices of fruits, they themselves had purchased fruits at a high price from the market.

Jan said that the campaign should be against the main traders.

Another vendor said that they had stopped buying fruits from market due to the boycott and he added that he had disposed large amount of spoiled fruits.

The consumers had mixed reaction towards this campaign.

While sharing her views regarding fruit boycott campaign, Maira Khan, associate lecturer at the Fatima Jinnah Women University, said that the fruit boycott was a brilliant success in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and fruit prices dropped by up to 40 per cent.   She further added that she stood against inflation and she participated in the boycott.

Moreover, students of various universities expressed their full support for the campaign during the three days.

They appreciated the efforts of ordinary citizens and said that they too boycott fruits for three days.

Shagufta Khanam, student of Gender Studies at Fatima Jinnah Women University said that this campaign revealed that people were no more ignorant of their rights and power.

Further, she emphasised that along with this campaign such other alternatives should also be presented, which could stop artificial price hike.

While opposing fruit boycott campaign, Sabiha Chand, a student of agriculture at the Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi asked who actually were responsible for managing prices of fruit items.

This action should be against those really responsible rather than the poor vendors, she said.

Chand said she considered the boycott an act of injustice to the vendors.

She also claimed that it was not for the first time the boycott was happening it was common in Pakistan every year during Ramazan.

Chand said that fruit boycott for just three days cannot address this issue completely and more needed to be done at a broader level.

–The writer is a student at Fatima Jinnah Women University