Despite ban on Manjha, kite festival remains popular

Despite ban on Chinese Manjha, Jaipur skies remain dotted with kites and lanterns

Photo: DH

The skies of the Pink City were dotted with colourful kites and lanterns as the city continues to its spirit on the festival of Makar Sankranti, braving all the odds.

However, due to the ban issued by the state government on the usage of Chinese thread, there was a dip in the purchase of kites.

The kite shops in the famous Walled City especially in Handipura and Haldiyon Ka Raasta witnessed a dip in the sale of kites as compared to last year. Moreover, kites varying from Adhafrom Bareily, Manjola, Pauna and Dedh Kanni were available in the Jaipur markets this year.

According to the shopkeepers, the reason for the low sale was the ban on the Chinese thread due to which desi manjha became expensive. A manjha charkhee with 3,000 metres is priced between Rs 300 and Rs 500 while the charkhee having 6,000 metres to 12,000 metres was sold in the range of Rs 800 to Rs 1,200.

Ban on Chinese Manjha

Besides government issuing ban on Chinese manjha another blow to the festival was an advisory issued by Airports Authority of India (AAI), urging people not to fly kites or lamps within the 5km periphery of the airport. In the advisory, the airport authority had stated that kites and ‘manjhas’ can be dangerous for flight operations.

District administration across Rajasthan had issued directions under Section 144 CrPC which says that action will be taken against any person found using Chinese manjha. Despite the efforts four persons died in Jaipur due to the Chinese manjha.

This year it was mandatory for the traders to give affidavits that they are not using Chinese manjha (made of plastic and fibre coated with crushed glass or powdered metal that can conduct electricity).

However, not letting the advisories affect the ethos of the festival in comparison to the uptown, in Jaipur's walled city revellers went on a shopping spree on the eve of the kite festival and purchased kites in huge numbers.

Birds treated at rescue centres

The ban on the Chinese coated thread may have decreased the number of bird injuries as compared to the last year but hundreds of injured birds were brought to the veterinary hospital and rescue centres formed by the volunteers near the Albert Hall. "Out of 250 birds, we have treated 230 so far in the last three days. Today alone around 80 birds were brought to the rescue centre out of which 75 were treated", Rohit Gangwal of Raksha, an NGO which treats birds told DH.

BJP fly kites scribbled with CAA

On the eve of the kite festival, in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act, BJP leaders and workers flew kites with slogans in support of CAA written on them. The festival was organised at Agrawal college in which party’s state president Satish Poonia, Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, former BJP’s state unit president Ashok Parnami and former Mayor Ashok Lahoti flew kites in support of the CAA.

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