A campaign to check the use of the banned Chinese synthetic string in kite-flying ahead of Vasant Panchami on February 12 by convincing schoolchildren to shun the same has brought forth the shocking reality of how freely the string is being sold openly in the market.
The anti-Chinese kite string campaign has been launched by the Bathinda Association of Non-Government Organisations (BANGO) under which representatives of the NGOs are visiting schools and requesting children to come forward to surrender the string, if they have already bought it and offering to provide ordinary string to those who surrender the same.
President of the Naujwan Welfare Society, a voluntary organisation, Sonu Maheshwari, said that about 85 children have surrendered the string till now and have taken the ordinary string in its place. This includes about 60 children from one school only.
“It is just a beginning. A majority of those using the banned string are not coming forward to surrender it due to one reason or the other. We are hopeful that more and more children will come forward to join the campaign in coming days. We are not using this campaign as a tactic to reach those selling the banned string as it may cause panic among the children and they may not come forward to surrender the banned string,” he said.
Coordinator of BANGO Rakesh Narula said: “We have taken into confidence the representatives of kite string traders in the city so that they don’t develop a sense of being harassed. We will be visiting more schools in coming days.”
The surrender of the banned string by the children shows how easily it is available in the market, but the police administration is claiming to act tough against suppliers of the deadly string.
Superintendent of police (city) Desraj said, “We have registered nine cases against those selling the banned string and seized a huge quantity of the string and even made arrests. “Cops in civilian dress are keeping a watch on the suppliers of the banned string and,” he said.
However, despite having arrested people in this connection, the police seem to be clueless as to from where the banned string is being supplied. “The string is not being manufactured in Bathinda. It is being supplied from outside Punjab, but we are not certain as to where from suppliers are getting the supply,” he said. At least four people were injured this season after they came into contact with the string while travelling on two-wheelers.