Indore: Number of birds injured due to kite string (manja) while kite flying is on the rise since Makar Sankranti, a festival when people start flying kites. One injured bird is found every day in Indore district. Over 123 birds were found injured in the district till Wednesday, out of which only 30 have survived. Of them, 20 are in intensive care.
About 70 birds including parrots, pigeons, gray cuckoo and peahens have lost lives. All the parrots (8), gray cuckoo (4) and peahens (4) died last week. Pigeons are still fighting for their lives at shelters provided by animal lovers in different parts of the city. The number continues to increase as rescuers, animal activists and residents spot injured birds on their terrace, in open fields and balconies. While many might have immediately lost their life due to severe injuries and shocks, the birds found and reported were still holding onto last breath.
The bird deaths due to kite string were less last year. In 2018, the total number of birds injured by manja had come down to seven from 15 recorded in 2017. In comparison, the number of birds injured during the festival has increased by 1657 percent. The data has been accumulated with help of local NGOs People for Animals Indore unit and VABCD Association that have been rescuing birds.
“This is first time in Indore when we have to rush to different parts of the city to rescue birds because they were entangled, trapped and injured,” said Priyanshu Jain, the honorary animal welfare officer at ministry of environment, forests and climate change. She said latest incident of rescue is from Pipliyahana Square where a pigeon was entrapped in manja stuck on top of a light pole.
“It was difficult for us to even climb and get it out. Its wings are cut, so the chances of survival are less,” Priyanshu said. The last case was reported from Malharganj on Wednesday early morning of a pigeon, whose one feather is severely damaged by ‘manja’. “Pigeons that are surviving will not lead a normal life, as they have lost their legs, wings, beaks, injured tummies and have cuts on necks,” another activist Shailendra Singh Chouhan said. He added that many pigeons must have died immediately due to injury shock.
“Being social birds, pigeons have a hard time living alone, so it will be difficult for them to survive in human care,” Chouhan said. Banned nylon manja’s spotted Chinese kite strings, also known as nylon manja, that was banned by National Green Tribunal in June 2017, were found in Bajrang Nagar and Rau. “Temporary festival shops sold the manja,” Priyanshu said. However, shop owners fled and shut their stores before action could be taken against them. “Since many kite flyers had already bought nylon manja, large number of birds were hurt and died from them,” Priyanshu said.