For Immediate Release:
9 January 2015
PETA Will Encourage Citizens to Use ‘Kind Kites’ to Spare Birds and People on Makar Sankranti
Jaipur – “Injured” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India members – “bloodied”, wrapped in bandages and hobbling on crutches – will gather outside the Albert Hall Museum on Monday to call on Jaipur residents to make the switch from dangerous manja (made sharp by a coating of crushed glass, metal or other material) to manja-free “kind kites” during Makar Sankranti. The demonstrators, bearing signs proclaiming, “Manja: Harmful to Birds and People”, will remind the public that thousands of birds and many humans have been injured or killed by sharp kite strings.
When: Monday, 12 January, 12 pm
Where: Outside the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur
“Most people care about wildlife and would choose manja-free kite strings if they knew that it would spare birds and humans the risk of serious injury and death”, says PETA Campaign Strategist Nikunj Sharma. “PETA is urging the government of India to ban the sale and use of all forms of sharp manja and encouraging caring people to make the switch to ‘kind kites’ this Makar Sankranti – for everyone’s safety.”
In January 2014, it was reported that the Jaipur police banned the sale of sharp metallic (glass-coated) and Chinese manja. Yet on 7 December 2014, a 2-year-old boy in Jaipur received 22 stitches after sharp manja cut his face and neck so deeply that doctors struggled to save his life, and on 15 January 2014, a 5-year-old girl died after being cut by manja in Jaipur. Already this year, a 5-year-old boy in Vadodara died after his throat was slit by sharp manja while he was on his way to school with his father.
When manja comes into contact with power lines, it can cause expensive blackouts and electrocution. Mukesh Patel from Mumbai was only 13 years old when he sustained burns over 95 per cent of his body while flying a kite. According to Delhi power company BSES, a single incident involving a kite near an electrical facility can affect up to 10,000 customers.
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 500 of them die from their injuries.
For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.