Hundreds of birds are grievously injured every year by glass-coated kite strings (locally called "Manjha") that are used for flying kites. The injuries are mostly related to the wings and range from fractures, ligament and muscle separation and, worst of all, complete amputation of the wing. This project aims to significantly reduce the number of birds injured due to use of manjha during the festive season in India.
Thousands of manjha criss-cross the sky in India during festivals. Any bird that is unlucky enough to be caught in one of these can be injured, many-a-time fatally. The manjha does not break. It cuts through feather, flesh and bone. In 2014, bird rescuers in a single city dealt with 300+ manjha-related injuries in a month. There are efficient and dedicated bird rescue professionals at work 24x7, but the sheer numbers of injured birds makes it difficult to give each bird due care and attention.
This Rapid Action Project aims to create a network of rescuers in and around cities to protect birds during kite flying festivals. Awareness campaigns will target school children, vendors selling manjha and local kite flying clubs with the aim to encourage use of uncoated cotton kite string which is significantly less harmful to birds. The project will also work towards restricting the availability of manjha and regulating kite flying sessions avoiding times of the day when birds are most active
In the long run, this project aims to help people at all levels and all walks of life make informed decisions related to kite flying and accessories used therein. This will result in a significant reduction in the number of birds injured every year due to use of manjha.