The kite season is in the air in the Pink City but the spirits of the kite traders are far from soaring with students in the swine flu - hit state keeping off the paper wonders due to cancellation of their winter break following repeated school closures.
Already hit by escalating cost of raw material, kite makers are having to deal with low demand as students — who form a chunk of their customers are busy with schools and exams.
"Inflation was foreseen but not the swine flu and its aftermath," kite makers and traders of the city say.
Going by the trend now, the sale would peak only days ahead of 'Makar Sankranti' festival on January 14, Usman Abdul Hameed, President of Jaipur Patang Udyog (Jaipur Kite Trade) told PTI.
"In the first 15-20 days of the season, we saw a dip in sales by 50 per cent in comparison with previous years. There are a few customers these days as students are busy with studies at a time when the weather is conducive for kite flying," he said.
"Increase in rates of raw material due to drought this year have subsequently hiked the rates of kites," rues Hameed.
Another Handipura-based traditional kite trader Manju said that besides increased rates, lack of enthusiasm among youths is another reason why sale of kites have seen a dip.
"Declining interest among kite enthusiasts is a matter of concern for us".
The district administration had to close about 22 per cent of private schools here for seven or more days after swine flu cases were reported, while many schools are still closed till further orders.