New Delhi: Actress Sonam Kapoor has donated special kites with regulation strings to school children and urged them never to use glass powder-coated manja (string) to fly kites.
The actress sent a letter to the principal of Arya Vidya Mandir School in Mumbai on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, pointing out that thousands of birds, as well as children are injured by glass-coated manja.
"The (donated) kites send a positive message to children, encouraging them to prevent the suffering of birds by using only string which has not been coated with glass", Sonam said in the letter.
"I have been shocked and saddened to learn from my friends at PETA that countless birds are slashed, wounded, maimed and killed every day during Makar Sankranti and Basant Panchami. I am also disturbed by the fact that manjha (string) is responsible for numerous human injuries and even deaths, including that of a teacher who was killed just last year in Maharashtra," she said.
"In another incident, a youth was nearly decapitated by a manjha string while riding his bicycle. Such needless loss of life has moved me to take action for the sake of humans and birds alike."
"I would also like to relay this message to all your students: study hard, be goal-oriented and be compassionate. You can start by showing compassion and not using glass-coated string," she wrote.
The manja (string) used in kite-flying competitions is often gummed and coated with powdered and finely crushed glass, making it lethal for pigeons, crows, owls and other birds who become entangled after the strings get caught in trees or on poles.