In less than a month, more than 300 birds have been injured because of Chinese manjha and other accidents in Delhi, officials said Wednesday. The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said they have rescued more than 277 birds in the last two weeks. Data released by the DFS shows a peak in cases of bird rescue calls, especially during Independence Day week.
According to officials, around 250-350 bird rescue calls are made every month. From August 9 to August 15, over 167 bird rescue calls were made in Delhi. During the same period last year, over 144 calls were made.
There’s a hike of 13% in distress calls in the city. Many birds are also in danger because of the weather and electrocution.
Officials said most cases were reported during Independence Day because people fly kites and leave the manjha or kites on the streets. Birds come in contact with the glass-coated manjha and are severely injured, added officials. DFS chief Atul Garg said there were more than 55 bird rescue calls on Independence Day this year. On the same day last year, more than 43 calls were received.
“We can’t say that all calls are because of the manjha, but a majority of them are. Many of the birds have been injured because of stray kites. It is also difficult in such cases to rescue them because the manjha gets stuck to their tiny bodies and slits sensitive body parts. We send staff and ask them to use cloth or gloves while rescuing birds, but there is no special equipment. We have saved more than 2,000 birds this year,” said a senior fire department officer.
Firefighters said they take ropes, ladders, gloves and other materials to rescue birds.
“They can be found on towers, poles, buildings or high-tension wires. We carefully pick them up and use a cloth to give them warmth. They are then taken to Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre,” said another firefighter.
Hundreds of birds have been treated this month at the Charity Birds Hospital in Chandni Chowk. “Despite a ban, people continue to use Chinese manjha during the kite flying season without realising that it is affecting birds. Mostly, we receive pigeons, kites and crows who are injured and need immediate treatment. Many of the birds don’t survive because people don’t inform authorities,” said Dr Sunil Jain from the hospital.