For Immediate Release:
10 August 2011
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]
Actor Joins PETA India in Urging Ministry of Environment and Forests to Ban Dangerous Kite Strings Throughout India
Mumbai – After learning about the plight of thousands of birds who are maimed or killed by glass-coated kite string (“manja”), actor Rahul Khanna sent a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan urging her to enact a countrywide ban on the sale and use of manja. The glass-coated string is deadly for those who become entangled in it – not only wildlife but also human beings.
“Something this dangerous should be considered a deadly weapon and must be outlawed without delay”, writes Khanna. “Please, won’t you prevent more senseless suffering and deaths by banning glass-coated manja throughout India?”
The manja used in kite-flying competitions is often gummed and coated with powdered and finely crushed glass, making it lethal for the pigeons, crows, owls, kites and other birds who are slashed, wounded and killed when they become entangled in the strings. Thousands of birds are killed by glass-coated manja every year, and numerous people have died from manja-caused injuries.
In one incident in Mumbai, stray manja nearly cut a child’s throat, and a Borivali resident was hospitalised after his neck was slashed by manja while he was riding a scooter. In Shirdi, Ahmednagar, a teacher died after his throat was cut by manja. And three people in Ahmedabad were decapitated by manja during Makar Sankranti. The production and sale of glass-coated manja is prohibited within the city of Mumbai.
Manja that contains metallic substances also poses a threat to transmission wires. When this kind of manja comes into contact with live wires, it damages electrical installations and disrupts power supplies.
Rahul Khanna’s letter to Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan as well as photographs of injured birds are available upon request.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.