Younger generation’s shift to Internet and social networking sites has affected business
Sankranti, the festival of kites, is just a few days away but the usual flutter of kites in the sky is missing. Kite traders complain of dull business even as new varieties of kites and ‘manjas’ are being stocked up for the season.
The traditional markets at Gulzar Houz, Hussainialam, Dhoolpet and Puranapul sport a deserted look. If the high prices of the kites have taken a toll on the business, then the shift of the younger generation to smart phones and social networking sites has dealt a blow.
“The teenagers form a chunk of the customers, but now many are not turning up until Sankranti day. The fun and festivities are now restricted to just three or four days,” informs Mohammed Akram, of Akram Patang House at Hussainialam.
A third generation family member, Akram says that the business is at an all-time low and most of the shop owners are now trying to attract the people by bringing in new designs of kites every year. The business is down by fifty percent compared to last year, he says.
“Children are more interested in playing games on Internet and phones and are seldom turning up to buy kites. In the past the business used to pick up from December itself,” says Zeeshan, another kite vendor at Hussainialam.
However, the traders have not lost hope. Special items like China kites made from cloth, and superhero kites like Spiderman, Superman and Batman kites, Doraemon kites are available all around. This apart, some new designs of paper kites from Ahmedabad and other parts of the country are also star attraction this season.
One can also buy the ‘tangoos’ (Chinese made variety) thread in bundles of 300 grams, 400 grams etc. A 400 grams bundle in priced between Rs. 100 and Rs. 250 or more, depending upon the quality.