Despite the glass-coated string being banned in 2017, it is still available in Delhi’s markets.
The Chinese manjha is banned. But it keeps making an appearance during festive occasions. Authorities must enforce the ban more strictly to protect both human beings and birds.
At Jain Bird Hospital in Chandni Chowk, over 150 injured birds were brought on Sunday, which had suffered injuries from manjha, while over 100 such cases had arrived on Monday. Dr Haravtar Singh Samra, a doctor at the hospital, says there appears to be no significant reduction in the usage of the manjha this year and 15 deaths have been reported within the last 48 hours. “A death may occur due to shock, or due to loss of blood. Some birds are never able to fly again. We have received pigeons, crows and kites,” said Samra, adding that “over 100 injured birds were brought to the hospital on August 13 and 14.”
Wildlife Rescue, a bird hospital catering only to raptors, says the number of cases is expected to increase considerably in the next few days. The centre received 24 injured raptors on Independence Day. “Injury cases that occur on August 15 are generally not reported on the same day or the day after. As people start discovering injured birds, they bring them to us. We sometimes receive such cases even in the last week of August,” said Nadeem Shehzad, who handles the centre.
Shehzad says injured birds, largely kites and eagles, had been arriving at the centre from the first week of August itself. “Kite flying starts early and we saw a lot of kites on Independence Day this year. Out of these, a number of people are still using glass-coated manjha, which is deadly for birds,” he said, adding that “more injuries are expected on Raksha Bandhan”.
A PETA India spokesperson said that despite the ban, the manjha’s sale and distribution had continued in Delhi, with calls regarding birds getting injured due to glass-coated string still being received on their helpline numbers. PETA India had assisted Delhi Police in seizing hundreds of kilograms of banned manjha from Lal Kuan Bazaar recently.