For the 16th straight year, residents of Fatehpura village in Banaskantha are celebrating the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti without kite flying, an important aspect of the tradition.
A ban was imposed on the festivity in 1996, after two youths were electrocuted and a child drowned in a well while flying kites. Following the tragedies, the villagers decided against the sport, Maljibhai Chaudhary, an elderly of the village, told the media.
One Ramjibhai said the village, which has a population of 1,118, has not only banned kites, but Rs 11,000 is slapped on violators who also have to donate five bags of millets.
The village has a literacy rate of 69 per cent.
Dahyabhai Chaudhary, who is in his 20s, says on this festival, when youths in other villages or towns fly kites, villagers here play games. Houses in the village either lack terraces, or parapet walls. In the absence of protection, no family allows children to get on to the terrace and fly kites.