In recognition of the hard work done by the Ahmedabad police to stamp out the scourge of illegal kite-flying threads commonly known as manja, PETA India organised a meal distribution drive, in which more than 20 policemen were fed vegan meals on Makar Sankranti.
In just one raid with PETA India, several kilograms and over 180 spools of illegal manja worth more than Rs 36,000 were seized. With the help of local groups, PETA India also facilitated the rescue of over 60 injured birds in Gujarat, with pigeons being the most commonly injured, followed by crows, kites, and owls.
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Manja, in all its forms, puts humans, birds, and the environment at risk. Nylon strings and other razor-sharp threads, which are often reinforced with glass powder and metal, are dangerous. These sharp threads are responsible for injuring and even killing humans and birds mercilessly, with fatalities continuing long after kite-flying festivals are over, as the manja remains caught between trees, poles, and on buildings.
In January 2022, over 450 people sustained injuries in kite-flying accidents during Uttarayan in Gujarat. And in just the last few weeks, manja has killed an 11-year-old child in Nagpur, a 2-year-old child in Bhavnagar, a 47-year-old man in Bhiwandi, a 45-year-old man in Pune, a 35-year-old man in Nadiad, a 30-year-old man in Vadodara, a 52-year-old man in Surat, and a 3-year-old child in Mehsana.
According to the chief conservator of forest in Gujarat, between 1 January 2022 and 6 June 2022, more than 1000 birds died while more than 13,000 were injured. In the first week of this year alone, close to 500 birds, including migratory ones, were wounded in Gujarat.
Similarly, in August 2022, after receiving complaints from PETA India that dangerous and illegal manja was being sold in Delhi markets, PETA India worked with the Delhi police and conducted a raid in the Lal Kuan market in Delhi. In the raid, several kilograms and over 50 spools of illegal manja were seized.
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