HYDERABAD: The second day of International Kite and Sweet Festival at Parade Grounds saw over six lakh people participating in it. Despite the heavy footfall, sweets and snacks sellers claim that the sales this year was lesser than the previous year owing to poor management of the event.
Speaking to the Express, Seema, who hails from Assam and was here selling her famous black rice kheer and rice pudding, said, “I have been putting up my stall here for the last three years. However, this year, the sale has been poor compared to the last years”.
Talking about the poor management of the festival, she said earlier, all the stalls were at one place. But this year, they are all scattered due to which the customers, especially the elderly, visited only one or two stalls.
A visitor, T Vijay from Hyderabad, who has been coming to the festival for the last three years, said, “I especially come to the festival to try out international sweets. Last year, there were more than seven international sweets and snacks stalls, but this year, there is just one”.
Two Ethopian students from Osmania University, who have set up the only international stall, also expressed disappointment over the sale and the management of the event.
Themani, a PhD student at OU, said they are hoping that they would make brisk business on the last day of the festival, January 15.
Sixty-year-old Sukanya, who has set up her stall for the second time to sell ‘gum laddoos’, said, “These laddoos are good for people with joint pain. Last year, many visited my stall twice to buy the sweetmeat, but this year, that’s not the case. I will complain about the poor event management at a meeting that will be held by the Tourism Department soon”.
The festival has stalls from different parts of the country including Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal. Popular lip-smacking sweets from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are also drawing quite a lot of attention from those with a sweet tooth.
‘Many are using Chinese manja at the festival’
More than 40 enthusiasts from across the globe took over the Hyderabad skies during the 5th International Kite Festival (IKF), which would conclude on Wednesday. Apart from the visible excitement that comes with participating in such an event, the kite-flyers from abroad also expressed apprehensions about illegal Chinese manja being used by many in the last two days. They claim that despite the ban of the manja in the State, many people were seen using it at the festival. Speaking to the Express, Andrew, a participant from Scotland who is taking part in the festival for the second consecutive year, and his wife Catherin said, “Our kites are made of nylon, and they cost approximately $800 - $12,000. The glass-coated manja, which is accessible in many countries as it is cheap, is a big concern for us. We can’t dare fly our kites at other places in the city as we are scared of the presence of glass-coated manja. They damage our kites, which is a huge loose for us”. A team from Australia called ‘Kites 4 Kids’, who has been participating in the festival since 2017, said two years ago at the kite festival, his Nylon kite got split into two after it got entangled with Chinese manja