Kite-catchers rake in money at Basant
By Amir Nafees
LAHORE: While the people enjoy Basant on their rooftops, the looters risk their lives on the roads for stray kites, some even earn handsome money by selling these kites at the end of the day.
One of these “kite catchers” Zafar alias Jagga told Daily Times that kite catching provided an additional livelihood to them. He said a full day work at Basant could earn him a month’s ration for his family. He was happy with his performance on Sunday as he caught 50 big kites enough to meet his month’s needs.
He said the kite catchers operated in groups comprising from four to 12 members. “They generally select those areas where new kites are flown in large numbers,” he said and added, “ The group leader hires youths for up to Rs 150 daily.”
Daily Times learnt that there were at least 40 localities including Shadman, Ferozepur Road, Gulberg, Canal Road, Model Town, Gulberg, Township, Garden Town, Ichra, Mozang, Jail Road, Samanabad, Allama Iqbal Town, Walled city and its adjacent localities where the looters sell their “hunt.”
Another kite catcher namely Shahbaz alias Bhola, resident of Township said the looters always considered the Basant festivity a ”golden opportunity” for earning money.
One Shakeel resident of Ichra said he catches stray kites to run kitchen expenses. “I earn from 100 to 300 rupees daily during the kite flying season,” he said, adding “I have specific customers who purchase kites from me regularly.”
Though, the kite catchers sell most of the kites, they leave a few with them to celebrate Basant later.