PETA Welcome Maharashtra Government’s Ban on Deadly Manja

For Immediate Release:
23 April 2014

Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

PETA Call for Nationwide Ban on All Forms of Manja

Nagpur – The government of Maharashtra have issued a circular under section five of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, banning the sale and use of deadly manja – sharp kite strings that injure and kill birds and people. The circular comes as a result of a petition seeking a ban on manja, which was prompted by a concerned citizen and filed in the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court. People for Animals–Nagpur are an intervener in the matter. Previously, after receiving appeals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the government advisory body Animal Welfare Board of India had urged states and union territories to ban manja, while the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change had sent letters urging them to address the manja issue.

The Maharashtra order states that: 

  • The public are not allowed to use pucca threads – commonly known as nylon manja – made out of plastic or any such synthetic material which is likely to cause grievous injury to birds as well as humans during kite-flying.
  • Wholesalers dealing in nylon manja will be told well in advance not to stock or sell it during the Makar Sankranti festival.
  • Nylon manja threads are not to be used because they have adverse effects on soil, waterways and cattle populations – as they are non-biodegradable, harm the environment when they fall on the ground and cause immense injury to animals, who are often cut by the strings.
  • The use of nylon manja threads often results in flashover on power lines and substations, causing power interruptions to consumers, straining and damaging electrical assets and causing accidents, injuries and loss of life as well as damage to environment – and therefore, such threads are not to be used for kite-flying.

“The government of Maharashtra’s decision to address the manja menace is a huge step towards saving the lives of countless birds and many people”, says PETA India campaign strategist Nikunj Sharma. “PETA are now urging other states and union territories to follow Maharashtra’s example by banning the sale and use of all forms of sharp manja and encouraging caring people to make the switch to cotton strings when flying kites – for the safety of birds, humans and the environment.”

The ban on manja in the state is widely supported. Recently, Dr Milind Mane, Member of Legislative Assembly for Nagpur, wrote a letter calling for a complete ban on all forms of manja, explaining, “During my medical career of 22 years, I have treated many cases of humans injured by manja”. Similarly, the Orange City Cable Operators Welfare Association in Nagpur wrote a letter asking for a complete ban on manja, as it cuts cables, causing companies a financial loss and an inconveniencing customers.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – have been running an extensive campaign for a nationwide ban on manja use. As a result, Mumbai became the first city in Maharashtra to ban the sale and use of manja in 2009.

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