JAIPUR: Rising prices of paper and bamboo used for making kites, along with various taxes levied on them, have had a cascading effect, with kites and other flying material together costing over 30% compared to last year.
The kite market was badly affected due to demonetization last year. Though two days are left for when kite flying peaks, sales have not yet gained momentum.
Attributing the lack of business, so far, to higher prices as well as to awareness campaigns run by schools against killer ‘manjha‘ used to fly kites, local traders are hoping the sales to pick up on Friday evening and gather full pace on Saturday.
“Despite awareness campaigns on the safety of birds, Jaipur is still a city of kite lovers. People in the Walled City fly them irrespective of their caste, creed and religion on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Though sales have not been good, it will improve by late evening on Friday and continue the whole day on Saturday,” said , a Handipura-based kite dealer.
According to traders, one has to now shell out Rs 100 for 20 kites which cost only Rs 60 last year, and Rs 160 for those that cost Rs 100 in the previous year. “Random raids by the city police to check illegal sales of Chinese ‘manjha‘ too are keeping customers away,” said , a wholesale dealer of kites and ‘manjhas‘ at in Johari Bazaar.
Predictably, buyers in the market had increased on Friday evening. “When we were kids, we used to start flying kites from mid-December. These days children are glued to TV. But to keep the old tradition alive, I myself take my son and daughters and buy the best of kites for them. It‘s now just a one- or two-day affair,” said Vipin Joshi, an employee of a private company, who had come to Handipura market.
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