Just three days after Delhiites celebrated Makar Sankranti, flying colourful kites on their terrace and balconies, the cases of bird injuries and deaths by Chinese manja has also shot up.
Animal rescue NGO, Wildlife SOS, Tuesday said that they have received five cases of bird injuries and deaths by the glass-coated manjas since Saturday.
“We have started receiving numerous bird rescue calls in the past few days. Manja strings are often fatal for birds and the injuries caused can permanently the bird’s ability to fly. Festivals like Makar Sankranti have had long standing traditions of kite flying. However the Chinese manja is coated with powdered glass which makes it sharp and coarse and can cause great damage, not only to wildlife but also human beings as we have seen in the past,” said Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of the NGO.
Despite the ban issued in August last year on these nylon threads which are used to fly kites, shops continue to openly sell them.
Narrating tales of rescue operations, the NGO said that they have rescued two Kites that were found entangled in manjha, hanging from trees and fighting for their lives.
“Tenders had to be called from Delhi Fire Services to rescue one of these kites. A member from our rapid response unit climbed up the tree to save the other bird. The birds were severely dehydrated and injured and required immediate first aid before they were sent for further treatment. Another kite was found in the premises of the National Gandhi Museum at Rajghat with a broken wing, because of manjha injury,” the NGO said.
They said the number of bird injuries and deaths see a spike around Makar Sankranti and Independence Day, when people come out to fly kites. Last year during Makar Sankranti, 12 cases of bird injuries were registered in their helpline.