Authorities ensure strict ban on Nylon Manjas: Illegally sold to kite lovers by sly vendors
Nagpur: Kite flying in the city is usually done on Makar Sankranti which is more of a harvest festival celebrated by most Maharashtrians irrespective of religion, caste or creed. This event can be seen being enjoyed by citizens of Nagpur over roof tops on January 15, 2016. Almost the entire city seems to be on roof-tops with friends, families and relatives. Almost every youth (both genders) engaged in the kite flying frenzy. It is exhilarating to see the kites soar up in the sky, blanketing the crisp winter sky in a colourful and vibrant decor.
It has been weeks since the markets are filled displaying colourful kites. They are all waiting to be bought by the heaps.
The night before the main Makar Sankranti (Uttarayan) day, markets are chocked with people buying kites, manjas (string), charees (spool), and other goodies to eat while flying kites. They are all selecting their stash for kite flying the next day.
Mobile kite vendors like this boy have to carry the kites on their heads, for the fear of them being trampled otherwise. There isn’t any other safe way to roam around with them. All sorts of colourful shiny toys act as accompaniments to the kites! The atmosphere is not short of a carnival. Festivities are in the air!
As Nagpur Today ventured to get a feel of the kite frenzy, we encountered a myriad of kite lovers and sellers in the Juni Shukrawari area. An entire lane is lined with shops selling kites, chakris, manjas and other paraphernelia on both sides of the road.
Nylon Manjas cause business to fall
While speaking to Nagpur Today, Rahul Satyanarayan Shahu who is 33 years of age, said that has he has been in this season trade for the last 12 years. However, this year, the business has nosedived with the ban on Nylon Manjas.
The Manjas available in the market now is Bareli Manja. This Manja can be easily broken with bare hands. He added that this year nobody brought the Nylon Manjas since there were notices all over the place. Those who did get the Nylon Manjas and sold it were apprehended and fined heavily, deterring others from selling the Nylon Manjas.
While speaking about the Chakrees which is equivalent of 3 Reels and 9 cords cost around Rs 500/- to Rs 600/-. The Chakrees which is equivalent of 3 Reels and 6 cords cost around Rs 600/- (which is practically double the cost of Nylon Manja).
These Manjas are 900 meters long. The smallest Chakri (spool) costs Rs 100-150/-.
While speaking about kites, he said that big ones which 6 feet by 5 feet costs around Rs 800/- to 900/-, while the smallest kite is available for Rs 5/-, medium sized ones costs are 10/-, 15/-, 30/-, 45/- to 100/- . However these are retail prices while the wholesale prices are 30% cheaper.
Manjas Manufacturers should be closed down
Another shopkeeper who was selling large amount of kites and Manjas said that the Bareli Manjas which is available in the market costs Rs 350/–400/-. The good ones with glass-powder coated Manja costs Rs 1500/-.
He sells kites by the dozens which includes Rs 36-45 per dozen while the medium and special ones costs Rs 45 per piece and can go up till Rs 100 per piece.
He too said that this has been a traditional and season business for his family for many years. However, with the ban of Nylon Manja, the business is all time low this year. However, he added that till such time as the companies producing Nylon Manjas are not closed down they will be smuggled and sold illegally.
Nylon Manjas sold on the sly
Since the cops and the civic authorities tightened the noose and raided many vendors and penalized them heavily, these vendors are not stocking the Nylon Manzaas in the shops. They ask the ardent kite lovers to write down the residential address and for a good cost the unscrupulous vendors reach the Nylon Manjas to their house.
By Samuel Gunasekharan.
Pics by Vinay Nimgade.