As you celebrate Independence Day on August 15 by flying kites, don’t forget that this popular tradition also often leads to birds getting injured and entangled in the manja (thread used for flying kites, that is coated with glass powder).
Over the last one month, rescue centers have seen a phenomenal rise in the number of birds admitted with a manja injury.
Most of these birds are not able to fly ever again, as their wings get severed.
For some, these injuries prove fatal.
“For the past two weeks, we have been getting around 25 to 30 injured birds that got entangled in the manja. We get birds such as eagles, pigeons, doves and mynah, every year,” says Dr. Vinod Kumar, a veterinarian at the Jain Bird Hospital in Chandni Chowk.
While the traditional manja creates problems, some threads being used nowadays for kite flying, are worse. They are much stronger and cause a lot more harm to the birds.
“Everyday, we get 15 to 20 calls for the rescue of raptors. About 90% of these cases are regarding birds getting entangled or wounded due to the manja. The Chinese threads used these days, don’t break easily, making it impossible for the bird to break free,” says Nadeem Shehazad of Wildlife Rescue.
Using a regular thread (saddi) instead of manja, is the best way to keep one’s hands as well as the birds safe of injury.