‘Injured Bird’ to Appeal to Amritsar Residents to Have an Animal-Friendly Lohri and Makar Sankranti

For Immediate Release:

10 January 2019

Contact:

Radhika Suryavanshi; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

PETA India Will Warn Public That Sharp Manja Kills Birds and Humans

Amritsar – On Friday, a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India dressed as a bird entangled in sharp kite-flying string (manja) and coated with blood will hold a sign in the shape of a kite that reads, “Cut Out Glass-Coated Manja, Not Wings.” Her point? That glass-coated cotton and other sharp manja are responsible for the injuries and deaths of humans and thousands of birds and should be avoided to ensure that Lohri and Makar Sankranti are safe and fun for all.

When:        Friday, 11 January, 12 noon sharp

Where:       Outside Jallianwala Bagh Gate, Golden Temple Road, Amritsar

“Sharp manja hurts and kills both humans and birds,” says PETA India’s Radhika Suryavanshi. “We urge everyone to say no to manja to ensure that Lohri and Makar Sankranti remain joyous for all, birds included.”

Thousands of birds are killed every year when they’re cut or trapped by manja, which can become caught on trees or buildings for weeks. Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir bird hospital in Delhi treated 500 birds who were injured in just three days around Independence Day celebrations in 2016. In 2018, the forest department rescued more than 4,000 birds in just two days of kite flying during the Uttarayan festival. A bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that 2,000 birds – including pigeons and endangered species, such as vultures – are injured every year during the city’s Uttarayan festival and that 500 of them die from their injuries. And according to estimates, more than 300 birds were injured and more than 100 died because of manja during Makar Sankranti in Hyderabad in 2015.

Recently, on 30 December 2018, a 22-year-old man in Ahmedabad died after his throat was slashed by sharp manja while he was riding a bike. In March 2017, a cyclist in Chennai died after his throat was cut by sharp manja. In August 2016, three people – including two 3-year-olds – were killed in Delhi when their throats were slashed by manja. And in recent years, three people riding motorbikes died when their throats were cut by manja: a man in Ghaziabad in July 2016, a man in East Delhi in August 2015, and a 5-year-old boy who was riding with his father in Chennai in 2015.

In response to PETA’s petition calling for a nationwide ban on all forms of manja, a bench of the National Green Tribunal passed an order banning the use of synthetic and nylon manja, also known as “Chinese manja”. PETA continues its work to protect birds and humans from all forms of sharp kite-flying strings.

For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.

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