The Wilson College Nature Club (WCNC) has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the perils of using glass-coated strings (manjha) for flying kites during Makar Sankranti.
Students have designed 100 posters that will be displayed outside the college to create awareness about birds being injured by the manjha. The glass-coated thread and the Chinese threads used for flying kites during the festival kill thousands of birds every year in the city.
“We want people to adopt safer kite flying methods by using cotton threads instead of glass-coated and Chinese threads,” said Sudhakar Solomanraj, coordinator, WCNC.
“We waste paper, harm trees and kill birds. This is not a way to celebrate,” said Khusbu Patel, senior member, WCNC.
The 200 student members of the WCNC, the only college nature club to be accredited by the World Wildlife Fund, have been going on nature trails and bird watching trips. “The left over manjha tangled on trees injures birds even after the festival,” said Ryan Thomas, senior member, WCNC.
“We motivate students to conserve nature, to maintain cleanliness and to protect animals at our nature club,” said Solomanraj.
Meanwhile, on Friday animal lovers were on their toes rescuing birds trapped in kite thread. “Every year we rescue almost 250 to 350 birds during this time,” said Lieutenant Colonel (retired) JC Khanna, secretary, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
“We rescued 33 birds today, but many more rescue calls will come in next couple of days,” said DK Shah, bird rescuer working with AHIMSA. The SPCA will have a mobile clinic with doctors and other medical facilities in the South Mumbai for injured birds.