The only big kite maker in India rues slide in sales
The annual visit to the International Kite Festival is something that Mahesh Chavda, 51, does not miss, come what may.
Hyderabad: The annual visit to the International Kite Festival is something that Mahesh Chavda, 51, does not miss, come what may. There are several people who make big kites, but this man manufactures even bigger kites. Probably the only such kind of big kite maker in the country, the Rajkot-born Mahesh was always interested in flying kites. He said, "I love kite flying, it's the place I find myself automatically going to," said Mahesh Chavda, the only kite manufacturer in the country popular for his big kites.
"For me, manufacturing kites is not a business, but it is my love and hobby. I was always passionate about flying kites. From my childhood, I have been making the small kites and flying them. During an event, I saw various designs of kites and thought to make these kites in a bigger size and of different sizes." He owns a cold drink factory named 'Anand cold drinks' in Gujarat. Though he was found of flying kites since childhood, he began making his own kites in his early 20's.
In 2010, Mahesh represented the country in making of big kites and has also won the title of 'World Champion'. For the past 13 years, he has been manufacturing these kites. These kites are also sent to the 'Rann Utsav' at Kutch.
"Funds were never an issue for me, since I also own a cold drink factory in Rajkot. However, to make a single kite it costs an approximate amount of Rs 20,000 to 50,000, based on the design that the person wants. Since this is my hobby I do not charge any manufacturing cost. I also did not hire any workers as this was not a business for me. My family members help me in making these kites when we receive any order," said Mahesh.
Mahesh has also been sending these kites to other countries. With the help of his Face book account, people contact him and place their orders. Showing his distress over lack of sales this year, he said, "For the past several years, I have been exporting these kites to countries like Malaysia, Scotland, New Zealand and many. But this year, the sale of these kites is less due to improper weather conditions."