Narendra Modi does some kite flying

Narendra Modi does some kite flying

Narendra Modi does some kite flying

Chief Minister Narendra Modi manages his string of kites at the international kite festival in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Photo by K Bharwad

On Tuesday, Modi turned to flying kites, taking part in an international kite flying competition on the banks of the Sabarmati river where several foreign delegates attending the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit were present.

 Modi spoke on the religious significance of kites in Gujarat. He also highlighted how kite making has grown in the state as a cottage industry.

“While the whole country celebrates Makar Shankranti, Gujarat rejoices in kite flying. Interestingly, (kite making) has been one of the fastest growing cottage industries in the state. It was pegged at Rs 35 crore, but with the increasing awareness of the festival, it has grown up to Rs 400 crore,” Modi said.

While the master kite flyer tried to impress his audience with the deft handling of strings, kite flyers from across the world gathered here were taken in by the enthusiasm.

Elle, a participant from Indonesia, said: “I’ve been coming here for the past couple of years and enjoyed the passion I found here for the sport. This year is no exception.” Besides enjoying the festival, kite flyers also get to learn about the kind of kites available here and try their hands on it.

Eric, a flyer from Canada, said: “The way it is organised every year has been great, but this year the weather is just right. It’s amazing to see the way people manage miniature kites and it’s also nice to see interest for kite flying amongst all age groups.”

While international kite flyers unable to shake off their admiration for the way kite flying festival is run, Narendra Modi managed to fly his kite without being stringed away by anyone.