Manja is sharp thread used in kite-flying competitions for cutting opponents’ kite strings. It may be made of sharp material or coated with finely crushed glass, metal, or other substances. These strings don’t only cut through other kite strings – they also inflict painful, life-threatening injuries and kill both animals and humans, including children. Manja also causes expensive blackouts and electrocution when it cuts through power lines. A single power-line disruption can affect up to 10,000 people.
Manja Harms and Kills Birds
Manja maims and kills thousands of pigeons, crows, owls, endangered vultures, and other birds each year. The strings cut birds and become tangled in trees or on buildings, where they then trap and injure animals. A bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that manja wounds 2,000 birds every year during the city’s Uttarayan festival and that 500 of them die from their injuries. During 2017’s Independence Day celebrations, Delhi’s Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir bird hospital treated nearly 700 birds for manja-related injuries.
Manja Is Fatal for Humans, Too
People walking, riding on motorcycles and scooters, or travelling in cars with their heads hanging out the windows have lost their lives to the lethal strings. Often, the deadly string slashes their throats, making the chances of survival slim. A 5-year-old boy in Chennai died after being cut by manja when he was riding with his father on a motorcycle, and countless others across the country have perished because of the strings. Another boy who was just 5 years old died in Vadodara after manja slit his throat on his way to school, and a 5-year-old girl in Jaipur passed away from injuries caused by the strings. A 2-year-old boy in Jaipur received 22 stitches after manja cut his face and neck so severely that doctors struggled to save his life.
All Manja Should Be Banned
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned synthetic and nylon manja in 2017, but all forms of manja are equally dangerous.
The Government of Delhi has banned all forms of manja, including cotton threads coated with glass, also known as “bareilly ka manja”. Kite-flying is permitted there only using plain cotton threads which are free of any sharp coating. The only way to prevent all animal and human casualties from manja is to ban all forms of it – including cotton threads coated with glass – nationwide.TAKE ACTION