December 21, 2015
Telangana Government Urged to Ban Chinese Manja Ahead of Sankranti Festival
Nylon based, glass-coated Chinese manja lethal to birds and humans
Hyderabad — With less than one month to go for the kite-flying season associated with Sankranti, groups are urging a ban on the use of Chinese manja, a sharp thread used in kite flying. The Chinese manja has been criticized heavily for its ability to cause fatal injuries to both birds and humans. Acting together, Humane Society International/India, along with the Telangana Forest Department and Telangana State Biodiversity Board, have recommended the state government ban the use of the product.
Made up of nylon and coated with glass, Chinese manja is extremely durable, sharp and easily cuts through wings of birds, leaving most injured birds to suffer and die. Since no action is taken after Sankranti to remove any leftover manja from trees, poles and rooftops, it continues to pose a threat to animal lives and to people.
The Forest Department and Biodiversity Board highlighted the dangers posed by Chinese manja and publicly appealed against its use. Earlier this month, both authorities sent letters to the state government recommending a ban on the sale and use of Chinese manja. The Forest Department also made available its tip-line number, 1800-425-5364, for reporting any birds trapped and/or injured by manja.
C. Samyukta, wildlife campaign manager for HSI/India, said, “The states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan have already banned the sale and use of Chinese manja under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. We hope that the Telangana government will also issue a similar ban on this lethal, toxic and non-biodegradable manja in the interest of birds, humans and the environment. With collective efforts from all state authorities, we are hopeful that in the coming Sankranti, no birds and human beings will be injured. We urge the people of Telangana to not use Chinese manja and celebrate a cruelty-free Sankranti in the coming year.”
- Since early 2015, HSI/India has been working in collaboration with the State Forest Department and local animal welfare organizations to persuade the government of Telangana to act against the sale and use of Chinese manja.
- Representatives from the Telangana Forest Department and HSI/India along with volunteers from Blue Cross of Hyderabad and People for Animals, Hyderabad conducted an awareness drive against the ill-effects of manja in the Charminar and Dhoolpeth areas.
- The teams received a good response from the public and the kite-merchants alike.
- Kite-merchants are keen to see a ban the sale of Chinese manja as it has affected the livelihoods of numerous local cotton manja craftsmen.
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