In addition to the lack of wind during the Uttarayan festival, winding the manja back onto the firki (spool) before another kite can be flown is a huge pain. A battery-operated firki that automatically winds the string back onto the firki at the touch of a button was created by an entrepreneur in Ahmedabad as a solution.
This year, a battery-powered spool that comes pre-loaded with 2,500 yards of manja was released to the market. In major cities, it is already well-liked among kite lovers.
The battery-operated firki costs Rs 2,100. “Physically winding manja back onto the firki is cumbersome and time-consuming. I had been working on making a battery-operated firki for four years. I finally introduced it in the market this year,” said Bhavin Khajanchi, who developed the automatic firki.
Three 9-volt batteries are used to power a motor inside the spool when one of the handles is depressed to start it turning. Without the need to manually rotate the firki, the thread is quickly wound back.
Even if the thread is twisted back many times, according to Khajanchi, the batteries will still readily endure for the two days of the Uttarayan festival. The 7,000 pieces that Khajanchi has manufactured are available in the state’s major cities, including Ahmedabad. “If the batteries get exhausted, they can be easily replaced in a few seconds,” Khajanchi said.
The battery-operated firki was purchased by Savan Shah, an Ahmedabad resident who enjoys attending kite festivals, and he plans to use it frequently on Saturday and Sunday. “It will help me save a lot of time in winding back manja. I am looking forward to using this firki for the first time,” he said.
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