Peshawar     -      Following the introduction of information technology, the ancient tradition to send Eid cards to relatives and dear ones on joyous occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr had been significantly declined in Peshawar where majority of people were sending SMS and E Cards for greetings.

Due to a boom in IT sector in Pakistan, most of people were now sending greeting SMS and E cards to their loved ones to convey their best wishes and greetings on Eid.

With the introduction of cheap communication means and excessive use of social media such as SMS, E Cards, WhatsApp and Facebook messages, the business of traditional Eid cards has affected in the lucrative market of Peshawar where people were preferring to greet their loved one by sending a simple SMS on Eid day and Chand Raat.

The Eid card sellers in the past had arranged many stalls at different areas of Peshawar including Hastnagri, Karimpura, Goara Bazar, Liaquat Bazaar and Qissa Khawani Bazaar to attract customers.

However, with the introduction of IT technology, people prefer shortcut method of sending their wishes and greetings through E-cards, SMS and Whatsapp messages instead of sending traditional Eid cards through post offices and courier services as they consider it expensive, outdated and time consuming exercise.

Khurshid Khan, a government employee who was busy in shopping in Liauqat Bazaar told APP that he does not have much time to go to shop and buy old fashioned eid cards and then send it to friends and relatives through courier services.

“For the last five years, I select a nice SMS from internet and send it to my friends and relatives to congratulate them on Eid day,” he maintained.

He said prayers for someone was most important than sending Eid cards,” adding that money spend on Eid cards can be donated to poor people and labourers affected by coronavirus lockdown to include them in joy of Eid celebrations.

The book sellers and gift showers owners at Liauqat Bazaar said the trend of buy eid cards has significantly declined due to boom in IT sector, SMS, 3 and 4 G, WhatsApp services in Peshawar.

They said that majority of shopkeepers associated with decades old Eid cards business have said good bye to it.

The placing orders for special Eid greeting cards has almost come to an end and mostly the corporate sector gets the cards printed these days. 

The printers had to hire extra staff for printing and designing of eid cards’ as its selling had used to gain pace during the last days of Ramzanul Mubakark.

In these days, mostly senior citizens and traditional people come and purchase Eid cards while attendance of students and young lots were almost comes to an end.

Khushal Khan, a student of engineering in a private University in Peshawar said he would send Eid greeting SMS to friends and relatives on Eid day as he could not afford to buy expensive Eid cards from pocket money.

He said, “SMS is a cost efficient and a fast way of communication to convey Eid greetings to friends, cousins and relatives.”

“The electronic cards give us an option to edit text and modify background besides an addition of animation of choice. Such cards are liked especially by youngsters who are quick to adopt new technologies,” he remarked.

Khushal said people do not have enough time to buy a card and go to a post office or courier service to post it due to coronavirus pandemic.

He said charges of postal and courier services also increased which was behind purchasing power of poor people and white collars.

Most of people, who had been in the business for decades, are now thinking to quit it.  A handful of shopkeepers were used to set up makeshift stalls in front of their books shops to sell Eid cards but this is no longer a common practice.

The shops of Eid cards also cut down at Liaquat and Qisakhwani bazaars for which it was once famous for. 

Very few shops with limited variety and numbers are now available in these areas to quench the thirst of Eid Cards lovers.

Eid card sellers in Qissa Khawani Bazaar said price hike has pushed the card prices up and have no other option but to design quality cards at range of Rs50-150 in the market to attract customers.

The local printers informed that people used to place orders for Eid cards on occasion of Eidul Fitr but now only the corporate sector placed orders and that too with their regular printers who print stationery for them.

SMS and E cards besides coronavirus have badly affected printing cards industry in local market and printers have urged the Government to provide special incentives to printing industry for promotion of Eid Cards business in the province.

The printers said over 20,000 people were associated with printing industry in Peshawar whose business were badly affected by coronavirus lockdown and were looking to Government for support.

They urged KP Govt to announce a comprehensive financial package for revival of printing press business in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.