Chandigarh Government Prohibits Glass-Coated Cotton Strings and All Other Forms of Manja, Following PETA India Appeal
Following an appeal from PETA India to address human and bird deaths caused by manja, the Chandigarh Department of Environment has issued a notification under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, prohibiting the manufacture, import, transport, storage, sale, use, and disposal of all kinds of kite strings coated with glass or other harmful substances in addition to prohibiting the notorious nylon “Chinese” manja. The prohibition has been issued in order to prevent harm to humans, birds, and other animals as well as the environment. Per the notification, kites may be flown only with cotton thread free of any materials designed to increase its sharpness or strength.
The notification underlines the polluting nature of manja and the harm it causes to humans and other animals in all its forms, including cotton threads coated with strengthening or abrasive materials such as glass and metal alloys. It cites the power failures that these strings cause, which affect up to 10,000 people from just one power line disruption, and notes that such threads are often ingested by animals like cows, leading to life-threatening complications. Notifications with similar directions have been previously issued by the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, and Tripura.
Manja, in all its forms, puts humans, birds, other animals, and the environment at risk. Razor-sharp strings, often reinforced with glass powder and metal, cause human injuries and many senseless deaths every year. In August, a Zomato delivery agent died after dangerous manja snagged his bike’s tyre and hurled him into oncoming traffic. Earlier this year, a motorcyclist – despite wearing a balaclava, a helmet with a visor, and gloves – was unable to escape injury when manja coated with powdered glass flew across his visor. Also this year, a young man was severely injured after a glass powder–coated kite string cut his neck open. A 7-year-old boy had a narrow escape when he put his head out of the sunroof of his family’s car and got entangled in stray manja, suffering serious neck and eye injuries.
The harmful thread also has a disastrous impact on bird populations. Birds’ wings are often slashed or even cut off by manja. Their feet have also been cut off by these strings, and birds frequently escape with such wounds, meaning rescuers cannot help them.
It’s time to stop these dangerous kite strings from taking any more lives – you can help by signing the appeal form below.