One of the most popular festivals, celebrated by all the communities alike Uttarayan ( or Makar Sankranti) is a special occasion for Gujaratis in general and Ahmedabadis in particular. Ahmedabad is known for it’s passion for kites and the International Kite Festival started by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the banks of river Sabarmati.
The retailers of kites and manja- the cotton thread laces with paste mixed at times with the glass-dust, often in this trade doing seasonal business are complaining about bleak prospects of the business this year.
Due to the prices of all ingredients scoring after becoming dearer in general, the prices of kites and manja too have jumped to 50% more than the previous year. The retailers feel that the price jump, unprecedented in last 35 years, will have negative effect on sales. It is believed that due to price rise the sakes will be down by at least 25%. Retailers this year have placed orders up to 60% only of the orders normally placed.
Despite being barely three weeks away from one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Gujaratis, there’s hardly any excitement among Amdavadis. The reason being kite and manja prices shot up substantially compared to prices in 2020.
The pack of 20 kites costing Rs 100 in 2020 will cost Rs 150 or more this year. Likewise, a 1,000-yard processed thread spool costing Rs 150 in 2020 has now become dearer at more than Rs 200. Retailers anticipate a poor sale of manja and kites this year. Its direct effect will be seen on retailers’ profits. Prices increased by wholesalers cannot be passed on completely to the customers outright.