Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has filed a petition urging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to ban all forms of sharp kite-flying strings called ‘manja’ nationwide.
“Manja, which is often coated with glass, metal, or other sharp objects – poses a lethal threat to humans and animals alike. Thousands of birds are also killed every year when they are cut or trapped by manja, which can get caught on trees or buildings for weeks,” PETA said in a statement today.
PETA, which filed the petition yesterday, claimed that a bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that 2,000 birds, including pigeons and endangered species such as vultures, are injured every year during the city’s Uttarayan festival, and 500 of them die due to injuries.
According to estimates, more than 300 birds were injured and over 100 died because of manja during Makar Sankranti in Hyderabad in 2015.
“Manja is a menace to public safety, posing a life- threatening risk to humans and birds alike. PETA India is calling on authorities to make kite-flying enjoyable and safe for everyone by banning manja from the activity,” PETA India Government Affairs Liaison, Nikunj Sharma said.
“Manja also causes expensive blackouts and electrocutes kite flyers. According to Delhi power company BSES, a single incident involving a kite near an electrical establishment can affect up to 10,000 customers,” the release said.
Citing the dangers manja poses to humans, birds, and the environment, the high courts of Rajasthan, Allahabad, and Jammu and Kashmir have already banned the use of manja in their respective states, PETA said.
Many other states and district administrations, including Amritsar, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Gujarat, Indore, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, South West Delhi, and the Gandhi Nagar subdivision of East Delhi, have also taken steps to ban the production, sale, stocking, and use of manja, it added.