Ahead of Sankranti, the Namma Bengaluru Kite Club, a professional group, wants to promote kite flying
It was in June 2021 that Ausaf Anwar, an IT professional, saw a bunch of people taking to kite flying in their terraces during the Covid-19 restrictions due to the second wave. As an ardent kite flier, Anwar wanted to popularise this in the city. This gave rise to a Facebook group called Namma Bengaluru Kite Club. This grabbed the attention of other like-minded kite fliers, including Pratik Kundu, an English professor and vlogger, Rakesh Saha, a techie among others who soon went on to join Anwar. Within a few months, Namma Bengaluru Kite Club became a competitive kite-flying club and is now going on to participate in the Faizabad All India Kite Tournament 2022 that is scheduled in March.
In time for Sankranti on January 14, the club will be organising their first tournament where five members of the team will be flying kites in an open ground near Electronics City for eight hours. “We are professional kite fliers and want to promote the dying sport in the south. The club was also a result of the boredom that hit people during the second wave lockdown where we witnessed youngsters flying kites all on their own in terraces,” says Anwar, who has bought over 2,000 kites from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The team has also participated in three kite flying competitions in Mumbai last year. They are all gearing up to represent Bengaluru in the inter-city matches against New Delhi and Kolkata around April 2022.
The club is strictly against the use of nylon Chinese manja threads and uses the cotton threads which are equally strong and safe during competitions. The members of the club practice kite flying once a week for over six hours. Kundu explains that the club wanted to address the issue of mental health of people during the pandemic by encouraging them to take up kite flying. Kundu, on the other hand, also uploads videos explaining kite fliers on the rules of engaging in a kite-flying competition and the types of kites that need to be used.
“Although kite flying has a major cultural significance, it also adds to the overall fitness of the body. Moreover, we source the kites from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh where over 400 families are into the kite making business. My vlog is usually centered around kite flying where I want to drive home the importance of this national sport that is fading,
especially in south India,” says Kundu.