KENDRAPARA: It’s that time of the year again when the sky will be dotted with colourful kites on Makar Sankranti. Thanks to hard work of 45-odd artisans of Badahat, Santasahi and Chatarapatana areas here, people will get to relive their childhood days with kites.
Ahead of the festival, artisans were busy giving finishing touches to the paper kites of various sizes round-the-clock on Saturday. Striving hard to meet the huge demand for kites, they were found either cutting or pasting papers. As part of the age-old tradition, people in the town will fly kites on January 14 to celebrate the festival of farmers.
“Many youngsters have already started flying kites since last week . We hope to sell more kites, this season. The sky will be dotted with innumerable colourful kites of various shapes and sizes to celebrate Makar Sankranti on Sunday,” said Bijay Rana, a kite maker of Badahat.
However, the artisans are struggling hard to keep the art of making paper kites alive as they barely earn anything out of it.
“This is our family business. It was started by our forefathers. The scope for our work is restricted now. We make kites during Makar Sankranti and paper boats at the time of Kartika Purnima. We also make sundry items like paper dolls throughout the year. But these are selling at dismally low prices and sales are generally slack, barring the festive season. The price of a coloured kite ranges between `10 and `50,” Harekrushna Rana (45), an artisan of Badahat, said.
“The paper artisans have been working since last two weeks to earn more during Makar Sankranti ”, said Basant Rana, an artisan of Chatarapatana.
“Making paper-kites is a seasonal business for which large number of youths of our families nowadays are not opting to continue their forefathers’ works as a result we are not getting young artisans to teach them the paper arts”, lamented Sangram Rana (68), another artisan of Badahat.