During the lockdown, the kite flying increased, and so did the bird injuries due to pukka manjhas.
Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre (ARRC) registered 2,250 cases between April to October 2021 and 183 cases, in November so far. Subeksha Venkatesh, Rescuer, ARRC, said, “We have noticed a marked increase in the number of manjha cases since the onset of the pandemic. If one centre report 10 cases a day. We estimate that 50-60 birds and bats get injured every day in the city.”
The Ministry of Environment banned the Chinese threads that include pukka manjha in 2014 and classified it as an environmental pollutant. But these manjhas are strangled around the city however, shopkeepers deny the sale of the manjhas.
Altaf Mohmmad, Kite wholesaler at Commercial Street, said, “Chinese manjha is not using Cotton manjha is used. It’s made of glass, but it can break easily. We don’t sell Chinese manjha.”
Although birds are most commonly affected by manjha, a number of bats also fall victim to this thread. There have also been several incidents where people have also been injured. It litters our neighbourhood trees and electric lines, making it hazardous to people. Nawaz Sharif, General Manager, People for Animal, said, “Every time a human get injured. A month ago, an IT guy got injured by his neck. There was a hue and cry about it for a while and then it went down.”
Despite the Karnataka Pollution Control Board (KPCB) and Karnataka Forestry Department constant raids and effort manjhas are rampant. And with the Makar Sankranti coming rescue team fears that cases might increase again.