Uttarayan, one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Gujarat is, is barely three weeks away but there’s barely any excitement among Amdavadis. The rea- son: kite and manja prices have shot up by substantial 50% compared to prices in 2020. Uttara a2021 was an exception due to the Covid pandemic that caused disruption in production of kites and manja.

According to retailers in Ahmedabad, the pack of 20 kites which used to cost Rs 100 in 2020 will cost Rs 150 or more for the upcoming festival. Likewise, a hajarvaar firki (1,000-yard processed thread wound on a wooden or plastic spool) which used to cost Rs 150 in2020 has now become dearer at more than Rs 200.The prices go higher de pending on the quality of manja and kites, say shop owners. Retailers say they have no option left but to source only 60% of their usual stock, anticipating a poor sale of manja and kites this year.

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Arpit Gajjar, who owns a seasonal store in Ambawadi, said, This is first-time ever that prices of kites and manja have skyrocketed by 50% or more in just one year. There are hardly any buyers currently. We have ordered only 60 percent of the stock this year. Agreeing with the market condition, Dilip Khatri who owns a kite shop in Raipur, said, in my 35 years of this business, I haven’t seen such a jump in the prices of the kites and manja.

He added, its direct effect can be seen on our profits. Wholesalers have increased the prices but we can’t pass it on completely to the customers, else we will lose business. Therefore, we have stocked 25 percent less inventory this time. Even wholesalers are facing the heat of inflation this year. Amit Patel, owner of Anand Patang Bazar in Science City area, told that we manufacture kites and are wholesale suppliers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other states.

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