| A kite flies over Sabbalpur Diara on Tuesday. Picture by Piyush Kumar Tripathi |
The tourism department’s dream of setting a record of flying the highest number of kites at Sabbalpur Diara crash-landed even before take-off on Tuesday.
One thousand people were needed to fly kites simultaneously at one location to earn Patna a place in the Limca Book of Records. However, not more than 300 people turned up at the sandbar. So, the organisers decided against making an official attempt to pursue the record.
The event organisers blamed the lack of enthusiasm for the show on the lackadaisical attitude of the tourism department. Ved Prakash Sinha, executive director, Renown Advertising Private Limited, told The Telegraph: “We got very little support from the tourism department to pursue our target of making it to either the Limca Book of Records or the Guinness World Records. Hardly 300 people showed up for the event. So, we did not even attempt to set any record. The tourism department failed to promote the event properly. Though the government claimed to provide free kites to every visitor here, we were provided only 200 kites and those too were given to VIPs.”
On the defensive, tourism minister Sunil Kumar said: “Since the wind speed was less on Monday, we consulted the Met department for Tuesday’s forecast. They told that the wind speed would be no better than Monday’s. Thus, we cancelled the plan to attempt any record.”
Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) had engaged Renown Advertising for organising the fest. Flying 12,350 kites simultaneously would have earned Patna a spot in the Guinness World Records.
The second day of Patna Kite Festival, 2013, was a no-show on the part of Patnaites, BSTDC and the police.
“We had requested security personnel for safely hosting the show. We had sought two boats from BSTDC for ferrying visitors from Gandhi Ghat to the diara. However, nobody turned up from BSTDC or the police. BSTDC operated boat services only for plying professional kite flyers across the river,” said Sinha.
The wind god too was not kind enough to the kite flyers. “We would have had a great show if the wind had been better. We are feeling sorry that the visitors could not see most of our kites in the sky,” said Ron Spaulding, a professional kite flyer from Thailand. His partner, Baew, said: “We are delighted about the tour because we always wanted to fly kites on the banks of Ganga. We hope to come here again if invited.”
Mehul Pathak, an international kite flyer from Ahmedabad, who took part in seven international kite festivals, said: “I design and stitch my kites with nylon rip- stop clothes using mathematics, geometry and physics to assess the wind pressure. Instead of using sticks as in traditional Indian kites, I use fibre glass and carbon rods, increasing their cost. For instance, the 30-m Sting Ray costs around $7,000.”