April 29, 2009 2:07:08 am
Kites that add colour to the skies are subtracting birds from it,and fingers are being pointed at Chinese manja,a stronger version of the string used to fly kites. Animal and bird rescuers say the new and sturdier variety of string is killing birds as they get entangled in the thread and are unable to free themselves. They are sending out a request to the forest authorities to ban this variety of manja as soon as possible.
Regular manja,the coarse string used for flying kites,is coated with glass powder to cut the strings of other kites. It is a made stronger with a combination of glass,glue and colour. However,ever since the Chinese manja (despite the name,it is not made in China) has come hit the market,it is preferred by the kite-fliers,as it cannot be slashed easily.
Birds are getting entangled in the manja. Earlier,with the regular manja,birds could free themselves. But since this variety is stronger,it is fatal for them, said Anil Avchite,who often rescues reptiles and birds in the city.
I have rescued no less than 30 birds,including kites and crows,in the last couple of months. Birds can snap off the regular manja with their beaks if they get stuck,but they fail to do so with the nylon manja. Somebody should stop this,or it will continue to be a big threat to the avians, he said.
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Maqbul Bagwan,a city-based dealer of kites and manja said though it is called Chinese manja,theres nothing Chinese about it. It is manufactured in the domestic market and distributed across the country from up North and Kolkata, he said.
Bagwan,who has been in the kite business for years,added that Chinese manja is nylon string coated with powdered glass and chemicals. The base string is the same as that used in fishing lines and therefore is strong. Even though this variety is costs Rs 90 per bundle,as compared to Rs 40 for the regular one,it is preferred, he said.
Environmental activist Vinod Jain said,Since this type of manja is a deathtrap for animals and birds,we are going to submit a memorandum to forest officials requesting them to ban it.
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