Makar Sankranti 2024: ‘Majority Of Wounded Birds Will Not Survive, Many Will Never Fly Again Due To Manja-Related Injuries,’ Say Experts

Makar Sankranti 2024: ‘Majority Of Wounded Birds Will Not Survive, Many Will Never Fly Again Due To Manja-Related Injuries,’ Say Experts

During the winter season, especially around Makar Sankranti, many migratory birds in Mumbai suffer injuries due to manjas

Megha KuchikUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 09:37 PM IST
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FPJ

Around 40%-60% birds injured due to banned manjas die, while the remaining are unable to fly again owing to severed wings, said Aarey Key Foundation, a NGO which sets up camps during Makar Sankrati to provide aid to injured avians. Till date, the non-profit has treated 730 birds. Even monkeys are at the risk of getting harmed from deadly manjas if they get entangled in trees, said Aarey Key Foundation CEO Omkar Babar.

Located in the Aarey forest, Goregaon East, the NGO believes in “kinship of earth's youth” for the noble endeavour. During Makar Sankranti, it holds rescue camps in Andheri West and Goregaon East for animals injured due to banned manja. Veterinarians, Dr Rina Dev and Dr Vijay, along with volunteers provide quick treatment to creatures.

NGO's significant role in rehabilitating wildlife, maintaining ecosystem

The NGO has a team of eight members and more than 20 volunteers dedicated to rehabilitating wildlife and maintaining the ecosystem. The non-profit also raises awareness among the locals about the dangers of flying banned manjas, particularly during the Makar Sankranti period from January 14 to 16.

Highlighting that harmful manjas like Chinese or glass-coated strings pose life-threatening dangers to animals and humans alike, Babar pointed out that several migratory birds coming to Mumbai during the winter season also fall prey to such risks. “We conduct awareness campaigns to educate the public. Migratory birds like black-eared kites, falcons, greater spotted eagles and hawks are also affected by manjas.” Other avians such as black kites, Asian koels, rose-ringed parakeets, common mynas, house crows and pigeons are among the most-affected creatures. Similarly, mammals like bonnet and rhesus macaques, langurs and flying foxes get caught up in a 'string' of perils, Babar added.

He continued, “We primarily receive bird rescue calls from students, housewives, animal lovers and commercial areas. We treat them and subsequently hand them over to the forest department. Of 730 birds treated till date, more than 200 couldn't fly again due to serious injuries sustained during Makar Sankranti.” Unfortunately, just 20-40% of these birds survive, while others either sustain grave wounds or lose their lives due to extensive bleeding, underlined Babar, saying that their NGO's goal is to minimise harm during the joyous festival.

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