E-cards, SMS outdo traditional Eid cards in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Sep 9 (ANI): The business of traditional Eid cards has been eclipsed by the advent of E-cards culture, owing to increasing use of mobile phone SMS and Internet, according to a survey.

Stalls of traditional Eid cards at various markets in the country-Super Market, Jinnah Super Market, G-10 Markaz and Karachi Company-are seen awaiting customers.

While SMS, voice message, online chatting, E-cards come cheaper than traditional greeting cards, animated and attractive E-cards have also grabbed youngsters.

In fact, with calling cards that charge as low as Rs 2-2.50 for international calls per minute, are popular options for many.

Owing to these timesaving electronic means of communication, people do not like buying and sending traditional Eid cards via post, which costs Rs 4 for delivery of a 40-gram card in Pakistan.

While Eid card stalls used to be flooded with customers a few years back, traditional card sellers have now opted not to place big orders to printing companies.

"Sale of Eid cards has been decreasing over time. This year it has touched the bottom," the Daily Times quoted Salman Shanwari, a stallholder at F-10 Markaz, as saying.

"It seems that people prefer modern tools of communication to post cards," he said, adding he would not set up a stall next year.

He said that 25 to 30 companies used to be in business of cards in recent past, but this year their number has come down to eight to 10.

"A world of difference in the business of cards has been noted in the last five years. We used to buy cards worth Rs 250,000 in yesteryears but this time we invested only Rs 40,000," said Kashif Pervaiz, a bookstore owner.

Apart from Internet, Kashif blamed price-hike for the decline in his business, and the same goes for other stallholders as well.

Printing companies are busy printing cards for big firms, government offices, and political parties only.

Lalarukh Farooq, a fine arts student, said inflation had taken its toll and people could not afford buying flour, sugar, cooking oil, rice and other basic commodities, not to speak of cards. (ANI)

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