The country earlier this week celebrated Makar Sankranti with much joy and fervour. The festival was celebrated all over by building bonfires, making sweets and also flying kites. Although the festival holds much relevance in our country’s culture and is celebrated in many states, it also poses dire threats to many innocent birds
Kites have a deadly impact on India’s bird populations, a fact confirmed by the nation’s Animal Welfare Board. Birds of all sizes parrots, painted storks, doves can have their wings severed by barely-visible kite strings. The manja can be quite harmful to a bird’s body, so even if it manages to free itself from the tangled mess, the bird can become vulnerable to predators.
Recently a Twitter user, @biditabag, took to the social media site to post a tragic picture of a bird killed by the string of a kite and it is soul-crushing. The picture shared shows a parrot hanging from the manja of a kite.
We hang our head in shame. This hard hitting image has been shared by Bhavik Thaker, titled “kaypo che?”. Thanks for aptly showcasing the plight of these beautiful creatures. Unfortunately, hundreds of birds loose their life during kite festival. stop using chinese/manja threads. pic.twitter.com/TcJlTVJXAw
— Bidita Bag (@biditabag) January 15, 2019
Bhavik Thaker, a nationally and internationally acclaimed photographer clicked this heart-piercing picture which went viral on the internet recently.
“I literally don’t mind giving away my pics for free to BIG publishing houses if it meets my vision of making a difference and improving the situation of the Wild and Free bringing out the truth .
Out of uncountable shares and public outbursts,hate messages,negative idiots and a lot of positive response in all my social media handles… the image of the dead parakeet has saved a lot of lives all together and opened eyes of many”,Thaker thanked India Today through his Facebook post.
In Mumbai, during Makar Sankranti, many bird rescuers came together to save birds dying in the process. When these strings entangle a bird, they struggle flapping their wings to free themselves, leading to more injuries. Kai Po Che is a Gujarati usage symbolic of winning a kite flying competition, mostly by cutting the opponent’s kite. Kite festival is majorly celebrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Hyderabad.
While kite festival has become synonymous with Makar Sankranti observance in some states, it is time to think if at all our celebrations are causing harm to any. The government should work towards banning manja in order to safeguard the environment for people and for animals. As long as humans enjoy their festivities on land, the skies will be clear and safe for the birds.