Social media abuzz with stories of manja accidents

Anamika Nandedkar
Wednesday, 14 February 2018

“He told me he was riding a two-wheeler on the Mundhwa-Kharadi bridge in the afternoon when he rode into a stray manja string. He seemed to have a minor cut on his neck, but he had used fingers to save himself and hence, the fingers received cuts till the bone,” Aryn told Sakal Times.

PUNE: Following the shocking death of Suvarna Mujumdar, a manager working in Sakal, after a kite manja slit her throat, social media was abuzz with stories of people who were also involved in similar accidents involving manja but fortunately survived. 

Manja is fast becoming the reason for many injuries, some serious in nature, during the kite flying season because of its sharpness as it slices through the skin even at the slightest touch. 

Abhijeet Aryn, an IT professional from Kharadi, was at Columbia Asia Hospital when he saw a middle-aged man come into the emergency ward with a bleeding neck and fingers. 

“He told me he was riding a two-wheeler on the Mundhwa-Kharadi bridge in the afternoon when he rode into a stray manja string. He seemed to have a minor cut on his neck, but he had used fingers to save himself and hence, the fingers received cuts till the bone,” Aryn told Sakal Times after reading Mujumdar’s story on Facebook which was widely being circulated on social media among Puneites.

Aryan said the man was wearing a helmet, which probably saved his life. Even though he was bleeding, he called the police on 100 urging them to go to the spot to stop the people from flying kite, but the response was not encouraging. 

PULA MOURNS MUJUMDAR
The biggest Facebook group for women in Pune -- PuLa, short for Pune Ladies -- mourned Mujumdar’s death with condolence messages pouring in from friends and strangers alike. 

Many came forward to tell their stories with their brush with manja. Aditi Dubey, settled in Pimple Saudagar with her family, spoke of how she too got 3-4 stitches on her lip when she was cut by a stray manja string while riding a bike. “The doctor had said that I was lucky, it could have been worse had it been my neck or eyes.” Since then, even the sight of kites disturbs her as it reminds her of that incident. 

DANGER AREAS IN PUNE
Aditi Ghorpade, a PuLa member, revealed how she too was injured by the sharp manja in Camp and feels she was lucky as her vehicle’s speed was less. 

Shraddha R Bhatia revealed how her husband’s cousin received 27 stitches on the chin because it was sliced by a manja.

River banks in Pune, which offer plenty of open spaces for kite fliers, are danger areas as those travelling on nearby bridges are vulnerable to manja injuries. Places like Mhatre Bridge, Balgandharva bridge, the bridge near Garware College etc are places were such incidents occur. 

Many strongly voiced concern about the sale of this banned product and demanded strict action.

WITNESS RECALLS SUVARNA MUJUMDAR INCIDENT
Sharayu Modale saw the incident involving Suvarna Mujumdar at Corporation Bridge on February 7 while she was on her way home. “I saw her just as she was being taken in an autorickshaw. I went home and told my husband about it. After two days, he told me about her demise, it was very distrubing,” she said. 
Modale said that though she has seen people fly kites near that bridge before, she didn’t see anyone that day. “Rather my attention was on the lady (Mujumdar) so much that I and others did not think of looking around for kite fliers.”

DOCTORS CAUTION
People do not realise that the manja is so sharp that it can cripple you for life and even decapitate you. 

PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN
- Replace Chinese manja with cotton manja. 
- If you come across any stray strings of manja, do not play with them as you may end up injuring your hands. 
- Never fly kites around power lines as it could lead to serious accidents. 
- Never fly kites over or near people or animals as there are chances of them getting injured. 
- Wear eye protection and hats while indulging in kite flying so as to keep these areas protected from the manja. Cover up your face and neck region too.
- Adults and parents should always keep a watch on children. 
- Wear helmets
(Tips by Dr Ravi, Consultant, Emergency Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital)

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