Hyderabad: Telangana forest department and animal lovers have called for boycott of Chinese 'manja' or kite-line this Sankranti to save birds.
With the city and other towns in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh abuzz with kite-flying during Sankranti festivities that began Wednesday, the officials from the forest department and NGOs are trying to create an awareness among kite sellers and buyers over the ill-effects of Chinese and glass 'manja'.
Made up of sturdier material than cotton 'manja', the Chinese/nylon manja can cause critical injuries to both birds and humans. It is also not biodegradable and remains in the environment for a long time, leading to continued incidences of injury and death among birds.
The forest officials along with volunteers from Humane Society International/India, Blue Cross of Hyderabad and People for Animals visited markets in Charminar and Dhoolpeth areas here and interacted with the kite sellers and buyers.
The NGOs have also set up help lines in the city to deal with injured birds this festival season.
Members of the public can call the forest department's toll free helpline 1800 4255 364 if they find a bird injured by manja and in need of rescue.
"The Chinese strings are made of synthetic material and are hazardous to animals and birds as they do not break. They tend to cut through the wings and flesh of birds and animals," said A. Shankaran, assistant conservator of forest (special surveillance), while calling upon people to go back to traditional cotton string.
"Due to the high tensile strength of these manjas, they can easily cut through the flesh and bone of innocent birds who often suffer injuries for days and die a slow painful death," said C. Samyukta, campaign manager at HSI.
The HSI is working in collaboration with the state forest department and other animal welfare organizations to persuade the central government to impose a nation-wide ban on the import and use of Chinese 'manja'.