Government of Andhra Pradesh Bans Manja, Sharp Kite-Flying Strings

For Immediate Release:
3 May 2016

Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Shambhavi Tiwari; [email protected]

Move Follows Appeal From PETA India

New Delhi – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has just received a copy of an order issued by the government of Andhra Pradesh which bans deadly manja during Makar Sankranti and other occasions in the state. The ban follows letters sent by PETA India to the Honourable Chief Minister, Environment Minister and Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh calling for the ban. In the letters, PETA India pointed out manja kills thousands of birds every year, including those who are endangered, and it also kills or injures numerous children and other people.

The state government order banning manja can be viewed here.

“Most people care about wildlife and would choose plain cotton kite strings if they knew that it would spare birds and humans the risk of serious injury and death”, says PETA Government Affairs Liaison Nikunj Sharma. “PETA is urging state governments across India to ban the sale and use of all forms of sharp manja, and we encourage caring people to make the switch to glass-free cotton strings – for everyone’s safety.”

Taking into account the severe damage caused by manja to humans, birds and infrastructure, many states and district administrations in India have already banned or restricted the sale and use of manja – including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Chennai, Amritsar, South West Delhi and the Gandhi Nagar subdivision of East Delhi. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also issued an advisory urging the state governments to address the manja menace, and the Animal Welfare Board of India has written to all states and union territories encouraging them to ban manja.

According to estimates, more than 300 birds were injured in Hyderabad in 2015 during Makar Sankranti, and more than 100 were killed. A bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that 2,000 birds – including pigeons, kites and vultures – are injured every year during the city’s Uttarayan festival and that 500 of them die from their injuries.

Manja poses a great threat to people, too, especially children and youth. In 2015, a man in Hyderabad died after his throat was slit by sharp manja while he was riding his two-wheeler. In December 2014, a 2-year-old boy in Jaipur received 22 stitches after sharp manja cut his face and neck so severely that doctors struggled to save his life. January 2014, a 5-year-old girl died from being cut by manja in Jaipur, and a boy in Varanasi, the only son of a poor mason, was killed when his throat was slit by manja in December 2013. In January 2014, in Ahmedabad alone, eight people died and almost 1,500 were injured because of manja. In January 2014, a 26-year-old biker was killed in Nagpur. These are only a few examples of its detrimental impact.

Manja has also caused expensive blackouts and has even resulted in human electrocution. According to Delhi power company BSES, a single incident involving a kite near an electrical establishment can affect up to 10,000 customers. Several top power companies, such as Reliance Power and Tata Power, have issued many advisories urging people not to fly kites near electrical lines or establishments.

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