Taking corona war to skies in UP’s Gorakhpur, through kites

Gorakhpur, (Uttar Pradesh), April 5 (IANS) Many residents of Gorakhpur district are taking their fight against the coronavirus to the skies – quite literally.

Kites, carrying messages to fight the deadly virus, now dot the skyline as kite-fliers take to their favourite pastime amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Rasool, a kite seller, said: “Since people are now confined to their homes due to the lockdown, they are flying kites on their terraces to keep themselves busy. These people, till recently, were writing messages like ‘stay home’, ‘wash hands’ on the kites with sketch pens. Now, kites with printed messages like ‘No Corona’ are available in the market.”
Rasool was initially hesitant to disclose how he sold kites during the lockdown but after much prodding, he said that hawkers and milk-sellers had offered to carry our kites while plying their trades so as to spread the message against coronavirus far and wide.
Ashok Varma, who lives in Mohaddipur area, recalls that during the curfew after the 2007 riots, people had taken to kite-flying in a big way.
“The weather is perfect for kite-flying these days. Besides, how long can you watch television or read books. All the men and boys — sometimes, even the girls — take to kite-flying on their terraces. It is also the time when they can talk to neighbours too from a distance,” he said.
Apart from carrying corona messages, there are kites with couplets or limericks to describe the prevailing situation.
“For instance, one such kite says ‘door raho, magar dil mein bhi raha karo, Waqt bura hai, is liye corona se bacha karo.”