A Hero To Animals Award is on the way from PETA India to Chetan Patel, owner of the shop Jay Gopinath Khaman and Locho, in Vesu, Surat, to thank him for his work to prevent birds and humans from being injured or killed by dangerous manja (sharp kite string).
Patel does this by offering khaman in exchange for discarded manja (for example, 1 kilo of free khaman is offered for equal quantities of discarded manja). Khaman, the popular, low-cost Gujarati snack, is typically vegan (free of animal-derived ingredients).
PETA India encourages people to use only plain cotton thread for kite flying, because razor-sharp strings reinforced with glass powder and metal have a disastrous impact on birds, humans, and other animals. Birds’ wings and feet are slashed and even cut off when they fly into or become tangled in manja. Rescue organisations receive calls about injured birds long after kite-flying events, and for some birds, the calls come too late. Manja also causes many human injuries and deaths every year. Already this year, a Telangana man died after his throat was slashed by manja as he rode his bike, and a woman in Madhya Pradesh died in a similar way.