Poultry farmers of Gujarat in India are in bad financial shape following the bird flu scare in the region. To build confidence of the public the poultry farmers organized a "chicken party" here to boost up the sales of poultry products.
"We organized the party to remove the fright from people's minds regarding bird flu," said Ramesh Patel, secretary of the Gujarat Broiler Farmers' Association.
"We want to show that the consumption of chicken is hygienic," Patel told IANS.
The association prepared a tonne of chicken and 10,000 boiled eggs for the party held in Jamalpur neighborhood.
"We expect around 10,000 people to participate in our awareness programme. If needed, we will prepare more dishes," said association member Yaqub Qureishi.
"We planned the party on the roadside so that more people can know about it. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that chicken should be cooked at 70 degrees Celsius (to kill the bird flu virus), but we generally cook it at 120 degrees," he said.
Navapur village of Nandurbar district in Maharashtra, which is near the border with Gujarat, last month reported India's first case of bird flu. Authorities culled all chickens in poultry farms within a 10-km radius of Navapur.
While the central government said there was no fear of the spread of the disease, many people gave up eating chicken.
Ketan Patel, a poultry farm owner, said his business was reduced a lot due to the bird flu scare.
"People are afraid of consuming poultry products. Compared to around 100 tonnes of chicken sold every day in Gujarat earlier, sales have come down to barely 20 tonnes," said Patel.