Hyderabad: Every January, thousands of birds in Hyderabad are sacrificed for the thrill people experience during the kite-flying festival. This occasion always proves fatal for thousands of innocent flying creatures. The synthetic thread — commonly known as the ‘Chinese Manja’ — used by kite flyers during Sankranti poses a danger to birds.
This ‘Chinese Manja’s’ glass-coated threads cut through the flesh and bones of the bodies and thereby injure the birds.
The birds brought to the camps set up by the forest cell and various activist groups have come with deep cuts, injuries and even glass pieces pierced in their bodies.
Despite the government banning the use of ‘Chinese Manja’ and other synthetic (non-biodegradable) threads coated with glass and metal, it is still rampantly sold in the market. As per the Telangana Forest Department, the festival brings about the deaths of hundred birds.
According to Chief Conservator of Forests R. Sobha, the Telangana Forest Department said, “The forests cell receives at least 45 to 50 distress calls regarding the rescuing of birds, out of which 80% are attributed to the ‘Chinese Manja.’
Speaking to siasat.com, Surekha Aitabathula, Secretary of the Deccan Birders — formally are known as Birdwatchers Society of Andhra Pradesh (BSAP) — said, “During the kite-flying festival public forget birds and other species present in the sky, even educated people don’t seem to know the hazards posed by the ‘Chinese Manja.’ The birds’ wings get stuck in it. While trying to escape, they are often killed.”
Mohammed Shafaat Ulla, Member of Deccan Birders and former BSAP Secretary told the forest cell officials that his group’s volunteers attend 10 to 15 calls daily. They try to save eagles, pigeons and a few migratory birds who are victims of this kite-festival.