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Rediff.com  » Business » Chinese dragon haunts local kite makers in Gujarat

Chinese dragon haunts local kite makers in Gujarat

January 17, 2014 13:05 IST

LanternsChinese lanterns (or tukkals as they are popularly called) seem to have given a tough fight to traditional kites this Uttarayan.

While tukkal salers claim that their business has doubled this season, kite makers and retailers say that business has been down by around 25 per cent.

According to rough estimates, around 10 million kites have been sold in the Ahmedabad market in the last one month.

In comparison, Chinese lanterns have also sold a similar number, claim traders. Ayubbhai Patangwala from the city's Jamalpur area said that the frame for the kites come from Kolkata.

"This year there was a shortage of material from Kolkata, due to labour and other issues, and hence the prices had gone up significantly.

The maanjha (kite flying thread which is coated with pulverised glass and glue) comes from Bareilley.

Higher raw material prices have spiked prices of kites and business has been on a slow lane, down by around 25 per cent compared to last year," he said.

P Dogaria, an importer and retailer of lanterns, on the other hand, claimed that his business had doubled during Uttarayan this year.

"The demand for such lanterns has gone up significantly this year with the trend catching up. Moreover, the prices have also come down from Rs 40-45 a piece last year to around Rs 15-20 a piece this time," he said.

Paavan Solanki, founder of the Royal Kite Flyers Club too admitted that sales of lanterns have been high this season.

"At least 10 million Chinese lanterns have sold in the Ahmedabad market this season.

A similar number of kites too have sold during the season.

However, thanks to a 30 per cent rise in raw material prices, the prices of kites had gone up in the city."

Another kite trader from the Kalupur area said that one of the prime reasons for dull business for kite wholesalers and retailers is the trend of flying Chinese lanterns at night catching up in the city and its suburbs.

Sohini Das in Ahmedabad
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