In light of the Makar Sankranti 2024, a three-day camp began on Saturday in Mumbai to treat birds and other wildlife injured due to discarded kite strings, a forest official said, reported the PTI.

The camp is being held by the Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) in collaboration with RiWild Sanctuary and the forest department, the official said.

Several birds, animals and reptiles are injured after getting entangled in discarded kite strings during Makar Sankranti every year, said Pawan Sharma, founder and president of RAWW and the honorary wildlife warden of the forest department.

The glass-coating on kite strings or manja proves fatal for birds and animals, and many of them lose wings and limbs, said Dr Rina Dev, president of the RiWild Sanctuary.

“We are trying to spread awareness among people about celebrating the festival responsibly and ensuring that they don`t use glass-coated strings to fly kites. We appeal to citizens to fly kites in open spaces and not discard strings everywhere,” Sharma said, according to the PTI.

The three-day treatment camp is being held in the western suburb of Khar and will continue till Monday, it was stated.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police on Friday issued a preventive order banning nylon manja ahead of Makar Sankranti 2024. The order said that the use of it would be a punishable offence.

Mumbai Police said that it is observed every year that during the kite flying festival, injury is caused to people an birds on account of pucca thread made out of plastic or similar such synthetic material commonly known as nylon manja, these injuries many a times turn out to be fatal causing death of people and birds, and it is therefore desirable to protect people and birds from the fatal effects of the kite flying thread made out of nylon or plastic or synthetic thread.

The order said, extensive use of such synthetic thread which are non bio-degradable, often result in flash-over on the power lines and substations, which may cause power interruptions to consumers, straining and damaging of electrical assets, cause accidents, injuries to wildlife and loss of life, damage to environment and therefore it is necessary to prevent use of such nylon manja for kite flying.

The preventive order was issued by Vishal Thakur, DCP (Operations), Mumbai.

The order said, It is desirable to protect birds which are getting extinct day by day and classified as rare and endangered species. In Makar Sankranti, the kite festival, kite flying takes place in large scale all over Mumbai and hence following order was being issued.

“For the period of 30 days i.e. 12/01/2024 to 10/02/2024, a ban on the use, sale and storage of the pucca threads commonly known as nylon manja made of the plastic or any such synthetic material which is likely to cause grievous injury to the birds as well as to human beings especially during the festivals where kite flying is played, in the jurisdiction of Mumbai Police Commissionerate.”

Mumbai Police order further said, this order shall remain in force with effect from 00.01 hrs of 12/01/2024 till 24.00 hrs of 10/02/2024 unless withdrawn earlier. Any person contravening this order shall be punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. 1860.

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