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Makar Sankranti: Kites hit the market due to pandemic, vendors demand low supply

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Coronavirus has undertaken the business of kite vendors in Old Delhis Lal Kuan, the largest wholesale center of kites and companions. But vendors say some area residents have revived their love of kite flying amid the pandemic. This Makar Sankranti, most of the sellers here have run out of stock, but this is due to a great lack of supply from other states.

Saw sales even out of season earlier

Delhi sees a big step in these months as the market in Lal Kuan is the focal point of sales, with kites, magnets, charkhi varieties from all over the country, which are sold to prospective buyers from neighboring states. While kite flying is not extremely popular around Makar Sankranti in the Capital, there are hardly any wholesale orders this year. Vendors in the capital say they have no interstate buyers, which is the biggest source of revenue this season.

Pehle is the time for Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and kites supply cards, but it is baar, koi aya hi nahi dekhne. Some did not come because of the crown, some did not come because they do not have the money to invest now, says Himanshu Gupta, a kite wholesaler who runs Bishan Chand and Sons in Lal Kuan.

No new varieties due to Covid-19

Couple sales often increase in North India in January and continue until April, after which they gain momentum around Independence Day. But not this year.

Sachin Gupta, another kite seller in Lal Kuan, says that despite being the largest kite market in the capital, feelings are running out in the area due to low sales. We could not provide new types of pairs because the supply chain was broken. Whatever we had to sell was sold out around Independence Day, which is the biggest season for couples fans in Delhi. People thought they were extra income; they collected and sold kites at higher prices in August. But no one expected such a poor season around Makar Sankranti, he says, linking his sale to 10% of the usual noise.

Locals in line for kites

While the customary spirit of Makar Sankranti is lacking for business people, locals seem to be enjoying kite flying in their spare time, taking them to small shops in their neighborhoods.

Mohit Saini, a Janakpur resident and ardent kite enthusiast, says he has gone to fun every day in recent months, happily shouting out of the chaos from his terrace whenever he manages to snatch another kite. Being at home has its benefits; I was extremely upset in recent months, so I decided to spend some time on my terrace and fly with the kite. Some friends who are also working from home often join me for a spirited afternoon. And now, I usually go to Lal Kuan once in 15 days to buy paper kites, he describes.

Mohammed Ahmed, another vendor in Lal Kuan, also claims that the only source of income is Makar Sankranti are young locals who like kite flying because of # WFH. Hamare paas August se kuch purana saaman pada hai, bas wahi bik raha hai. Vo bhi kuch log jo regular patang udate hain, wahi leke ja rahe hain. We hope that, on Independence Day, expectations disappear business, he says.

Author tweets @bhagat_mallika

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