Kite sellers in the city are living in hope with Makar Sankranti around the corner. Even though they have developed many innovative designs, the demand for kites has clearly dipped this year.
A pessimistic Mohammed Malik Ansari from Dongri Kite Centre said, “There is absolutely no craze for kites among the public. Children these days spend more time on mobiles and other gadgets rather than on outdoor activities such as kite-flying.” He added that there has been a 50% dip in sales over the last few years. This year, he has been getting less than ten customers per day.
SM Khan from Fighter Kite Shop in Dongri, however, hasn’t lost hope. He said kites designed with images of Bollywood actors such as Aamir Khan and Salman Khan on them are extremely popular among children. “We also have kites which represent flags of different countries,” he said, and added that kite flying is still an essential part of Makar Sankranti.
Kites bearing images of celebrities such as Kareena Kapoor and Narendra Modi stand out at Illias Ahmed’s shop at A1 Kite Centre in Kurla. “I expect a sale of 1 lakh kites by January 15. We provide kites in bulk to schools and offices too,” said Ahmed. He added that the sizeable Gujarati population in the city makes it a point to fly kites ever year during the festival.
Farhan Ansari of Farhan Kite Centre in Dongri, however, feels that the number on innovative designs have decreased with the increase in cost of labour and materials. “This year, sales dipped by 25%. Sales will hopefully improve in the coming days,” he said.