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The string commonly called manja that’s used in kite-flying competitions is often made of sharp material or is coated with sharp materials like finely crushed glass or metal. It’s harmful to pigeons, crows, owls, endangered vultures, and other birds, who are often wounded or killed when they become entangled in it.
Sharp kite string is also hazardous for humans – including those travelling in open vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles, or scooters – as it injures or kills numerous children and adults every year.
Manja also wreaks havoc on power lines. A single power line disruption can affect up to 10,000 people.
In 2013, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (then known as the Ministry of Environment and Forests) issued a notification urging the chief secretaries of all states and union territories to take appropriate action with regard to the use of manja, and the Animal Welfare Board of India has called for an outright ban on the deadly string.
In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned the production, storage, sale, and use of nylon or other synthetic threads commonly known as “Chinese manja” across India, but the ban excluded the cotton threads coated with glass known as “Bareilly ka manja”. However, the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi rightly banned the production, storage, sale, and use of all forms of sharp kite strings – including cotton threads coated with glass, metal, or other sharp materials – making these actions punishable offences under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
Sharp manja poses a threat to both animals and humans. It’s time to stop the production, sale, and use of all sharp kite strings across India – you can help by signing the appeal form below. The compiled signatures will be sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.