Kite-Flying, Thread Works associations’ representatives to meet nazim today
LAHORE: All Pakistan Kite-Flying and Thread Works’ associations in a joint meeting on Wednesday decided to meet District Nazim Mian Amir Mahmood on Thursday to present to him their proposal to ban the sale of nylon string and chemical-coated threads. According to conservative estimates the chemical-coated thread cost at least 85 lives over the last five years.
Meanwhile, the district government appears serious about implementing its decision and is considering seeking union council nazims’ help to enforce the ban.
The meeting was held at a local hotel and attended by a large number of representatives from kite and thread wholesale dealers Both sides pointed an accusing finger at each other and appeared reluctant to take blame for deaths because of kite-flying. The subject for debate was the chemical-coated thread that has cost precious human lives because of being a good conductor of electricity. Members of the Kite Flying Association accused thread dealers of introducing the dangerous thread. Thread dealers, however refusing to accept the responsibility charged kite manufactures with putting chemicals on the thread.
After a long debate both sides decided that they would move court to get stay order against the district government’s decision to be effective from July 1.
Interestingly, the district government had invited proposals from both associations a month ago but none of them came up with any suggestions. A partial strike was observed by kite shop owners in Mochi Gate, Akbri Gate and other areas of the walled city. Talking to Daily Times, President Kite Flying Association Khwaja Basharat Hussain condemned the ban on kite-flying, saying it would deprive thousands of people of their livelihood.
On the other hand, the district government has decided to take the assistance of union council nazims to enforce the ban. —Staff Report
Ban on kite-flying evokes mixed reaction
LAHORE: The three-month ban imposed by the district government on kite flying has made those related to the business apprehensive about their future.
In a survey conducted by Daily Times on Wednesday many people urged the district government to convince the Punjab government to include the entire province under the ban so as to minimise the threat the sport poses to human life. Some people were of the view that the decision would further increase unemployment in the country, adding that the government should allow time to kite dealers for switching over to other businesses.
Muhammad Shahid, owner of a kite shop in Ichhra said although the district government’s decision was in the larger interest of the people, but the kite merchants should have been taken into confidence before taking the decision, since it directly affected them. He blamed the government for giving undue attention and promotion to kite flying which forced many people to expand their business. He added that the number of shops selling kites in peak season increases from 37 shops to approximately 250 shops, and hence all those people would be affeceted by the decision. He added that after the ban it was difficult for kite makers and sellers to switch over to other means of employment. Shahid said kite makers had no other alternative but to sell their kites in cities still exempt from the ban. Muhammad Akram, another seller in Ichhra said if the ban was extended to the whole country ‘kite merchants would be devastated’.
Muhammad Riaz, a self-proclaimed fan of kite flying, said the ban was a good sign and proposed that kite flying should only be allowed in specific places to protect kite makers from losses as well as to provide safe entertainment to people. He also requested kite merchants to cooperate with the government. A shopkeeper in the Bamboo Market said kite merchants were one of their main customers and the ban would also affect their business. Dealers of paper used in kite making expressed similar apprehensions.
However few people among the general public apposed the imposition of the ban. A large percentage of the people surveyed, felt that the ban would minimise road accidents and also decrease the electricity fluctuation caused by the sport. —Amir Nafees