Pune: Various activists from the city expressed their grief over the death of Sakal Manager Suvarna Mujumdar, who died on Sunday after manja, a string used in flying kites, got entangled around her neck on Wednesday.
Here are some of the excerpts:
“It is very unfortunate incident and I think we need to build a movement to stop the rampant use of manja across the country,” said Neelamkumar Khaire, renowned herpetologist and former director of Katraj Snake Park.
“Till there are buyers, there will be traders that will sell it. We should voluntarily stop the use of manja, as it is killing people, birds and animals too,” he said.
“Kite festivals are organised by local representatives with pride. But I think such festivals should be banned, as there is no pride associated with it. Hundreds of birds die and an equal number of animals get injured every year,” Khaire further said.
Khaire also added that the media houses should also pro-actively take up the issue.
Anil Avchite, bird rescuer, said, “It is very sad that our people refuse to fly kites without using manja. Today, I attended to four calls where birds were injured due to the use of nylon manja. There is this group of children who fly kites below Dengale bridge in the city and, generally, the accidents due to manja are reported from this area.
Avchite added, “Police take action against the traders, who sell it, but I think there should be strict action and people should voluntarily stop using it. It has proven fatal for birds, animals and now humans. When people demand Chinese manja, it is given by traders and this trade needs to be stopped at once.”
Criticising the police for their inert attitude to take action against the manja traders, president of Sarv Jeev Mangal Dr Kalyan Gangwal said, “Police randomly takes action against the traders who deal in manja trading. Similarly, many times, the doctors report the death due to heavy bleeding rather than blaming the manja.”
“An FIR should be filed against the person who is flying the kite, trader and manufacturer too,” Dr Gangwal added.
“There are one or two cases every week wherein birds are injured by manja. The birds can rescue themselves from other types of strings, but they cannot rescue themselves from manja strings,” said Fire brigade head Prashant Ranpise.