PETA India Launches First-Ever ‘Kite Swap’ for Ahmedabad Students in Support of Manja Ban

For Immediate Release:

10 January 2019


Puja Mahajan; [email protected]

Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Nutan High School Kids Get Games in Exchange for Saving Lives Following Ahmedabad Police Tweet Reminding Everyone of Manja Ban

Ahmedabad – On Friday, Nutan High School students in grades 7 to 9 will participate in a novel show of commitment to saving the lives of birds and humans who get hurt and killed by sharp kite strings when they engage in a “kite swap”, in which they’ll hand over kites in exchange for animal-friendly games and sports equipment – including carom board, chessboard, and leather-free cricket kit – provided by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India. The children are taking action following a tweet by the Ahmedabad Police reminding parents that “Importing/Availability/Selling/Stock/Usage of Tukkal, Chinese Manja, Nylon Manja along with other Manja which are harmful in nature [is] BANNED and [a] Punishable Offence. SOG Crime Branch has arrested people indulging in these activities”. The exchange was organised by PETA India to alert children to the dangers of using glass-coated kite strings and other sharp manja.

When:             Friday, 11 January, 11 am–12 noon

Where:           Nutan High School grounds, Jawahar Chowk, Sabarmati, Ahmedabad

“Glass-coated and other sharp manja hurts and kills both humans and birds,” says PETA India Education and Youth Outreach Manager Puja Mahajan. “Cricket and other cruelty-free games are fun alternatives that children can enjoy for a friendly Sankranti – which the Ahmedabad Police are promoting – and such activities allow them to play while developing teamwork and other skills all year round.”

Every year, many humans and countless birds die after being injured by sharp kite-flying strings. On 30 December 2018, a 22-year-old man in Ahmedabad died after his throat was slashed by manja while he was riding a bike. The Gujarat Forest Department rescued more than 4,000 birds in just two days of kite-flying during the Uttarayan festival last year.

Kite-flying threads are often made of synthetic material such as nylon, which is non-biodegradable and can litter the soil and choke drainage lines, sewer systems, and natural waterways. Manja and other metal-coated strings are good conductors of electricity, so they can cause expensive blackouts and electrocute children and other kite-flyers.

Killing wildlife is illegal under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and injuring animals is a violation of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Following a petition by PETA India, the National Green Tribunal banned the use of nylon or plastic threads, popularly known as “Chinese manja”, in 2017.

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