Injuries due to kite flying activity are commonly sustained by kite flyers, kite-runners, riders of two-wheelers and pedestrians. Injuries related to flying kites can be indirect like falls from a height while flying kites to direct injuries by “the Killer Kite Manja”.
“Manja” is the fine string attached to the kite and it is made more lethal by coating it with powdered glass or other chemicals so that one can cut down the opponent’s kite more easily.
The “Manja” or thread attached to the kite is the major cause of direct kite injuries its edges being sharpened by the ground glass. The loose thread may get entangled in the neck of a high-speed motorist and cause serious cut-throat-like injuries.
In the past one week alone 4-5 cases were reported of bikers getting injured.
In 2018 Student from Manipur succumbed to an injury made by Manja used for kite flying. This year as well there have been instances of injuries.
Manja used by millions for kite fighting has resulted in hundreds of human and bird death. In addition, it is non-biodegradable, that is, it does not get decomposed and sustains in the environment for a long time. Even after the festivities are over, lumps of these dangerous threads (Manja) remain, effectively entangling and killing innocent birds.
This kind of string has a very high tensile strength, posing a threat to people who come into contact with it at a certain amount of force. Besides, the presence of glass particles and metal particles gives the string a high level of conductivity and could cause electrocution.
One could witness colorful long-tailed kites of different sizes and shapes dotting the blue sky during this time of the year in Belagavi. Many would opt to make their own kites with newspapers and color papers and the Manja was prepared with powdered glass (White thread soaked in glass powder with gum).
However, instances of Manja casualties or injuries were not reported much on those days.
Over the years, more than a dozen people and thousands of birds have died or suffered severe injuries caused by Chinese Manja. The authorities must look into this seriously and ban such items.