It is a deadly string that kills thousands of birds in India during the kite-flying season. ‘Chemical manja,’ (also known as Chinese manja), which is banned for flying kites, also seriously injures people, especially on two-wheelers. Mallikarjuna KH, a software professional from Bangalore, was the latest to suffer the brunt of the manja.
The 48-year-old entrepreneur was riding his two-wheeler on Wednesday when a manja slit his neck. Fearing the worst, he pulled the string with his right hand, hurting his fingers. Mallikarjuna had to have five stitches on his neck and five each on two of his fingers.
“It was really scary and dangerous,” he told the media. “There was not much traffic but this thread could have potentially harmed more than two or three persons in usual traffic.”
Gaurav Gupta, the chief commissioner of the municipal corporation said action would be taken against those selling the banned thread. Used widely during kite festivals, the manja is coated with metal dust and glass powder but sells cheap. Chemical manjas sell for a mere Rs3 a metre, while cotton ones cost three times more.
People for Animals’ Wildlife Rescue and Conservation said there was a 72 per cent jump in birds getting entangled in manjas in 2020. The Karnataka government banned its use in 2017, a year after the National Green Tribunal had prohibited its use.
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