How many more have to die before people realize kite flying is more a dangerous game rather than a fun activity?
Kite flying has always been a subject of significant debate in Pakistan. Some people think it is harmless fun that provides a way out of routine lives. On the other hand, some claim it is a deadly game as many have lost their lives over it in one way or another.
Kite flying: An alternative to boredom during the quarantine
People in Pakistan have been flying kites since decades. Especially in Punjab, where a dedicated event called ‘Basant’ is organized where hundreds of people fly kites from the roofs of their houses. With the entire country under lockdown and people in self-isolation, many have taken to kite flying. While the sport is banned in many regions across Pakistan, people in Sialkot want the ban to be lifted at least until Pakistan is free from the global pandemic.
Kite flying related injuries
Just at the beginning of April, two people died in two different incidents in Kasur. Both of them were related to kite flying. A 12-year-old boy was flying a kite on the roof of his house when he slipped and sustained a severe head injury. Another individual – father of four – died from an electric shock from a kite’s metal string which got entangled in a high voltage cable. Despite these two deaths, people continue to fly kites.
Another member of Halaat Updates reported how narrowly he escaped death. The individual was going from Quaidabad Bridge in Karachi to the airport when a kite string on the road ended up injuring his hands, shoulders and neck. Even though the string left scars on his neck, luckily the cuts weren’t too deep.
Crackdown against kite flyers
The Supreme Court of Pakistan issued a ban on the manufacturing of kites back in 2005. However, like every other law in Pakistan, this one has also been broken countless times. Given the increase in injuries linked to kite flying, the police have been actively looking for people who are not only selling kites but also flying them.
The Okara Police has turned to drones to help catch people flying kites. The city comprises of houses that are quite close to one another. As it is impossible to keep an eye on every person violating the kite flying law, drones have been helpful in monitoring neighbourhoods. Recently, police raided a site in Liaquatabad, Karachi, and managed to recover 25,000 kites along with their strings. An arrest was also made in connection to selling kites illegally.