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The long lost Basant

Association asks Supreme Court to allow kite flying in rural areas

LAHORE: As authorities are planning to continue the ban on the festival of kites this year, the All Pakistan Kite Flying Association has urged the Supreme Court chief justice to allow holding the festival outside the urban areas so that the centuries-old tradition could be preserved.

All Pakistan Kite Flying Association Chairman Khawaja Nadeem Wayn said that around 150,000 people in Lahore and 180,000 people in Gujranwala and Kasur districts, affiliated with the kite industry, had lost their jobs and were facing hardship, as they had no other means to earn livelihood.

A ban had been imposed on celebrating Basant – a festival that heralds the arrival of spring – seven years ago after several people, including children, lost their lives when their throats were slit by the twine used for flying kites. “The kite flying industry has pinned high hopes on Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as he has already taken a number of historic decisions in the interest of the masses,” Wayn said.

“We have given a proposal to the Punjab government for establishing a ‘kite city’ outside the limits of cities, but the bureaucracy has not even bothered to reply,” he said.

He said that thousands of women used to earn livelihood by making kites at homes, but they were now sitting idle because of the complete ban on Basant.

“Kite-making had attained the status of a cottage industry and was providing employment to thousands of people, especially women,” he said.

He said that tragic incidents had taken place in the past, but instead of taking measures to address them, the festival was banned. “This is no solution,” Wayn said. The government has decided to continue with the ban on Basant this year after the police department said that it could not guarantee the safety of people on roads during the festival, officials said. online

1 thought on “The long lost Basant”

  1. Why should people at large suffer from the Basant? The public we have got does not know how to celebrate occasions like these. The threads they use for flying kites are very sharp, many people get killed driving bikes (when the thread catches their necks while driving), people getting injured/killed due to falls from the roofs, transformers damaged due to metallic threads touching them and so on.

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