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Posted at: Jan 12, 2019, 7:06 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 7:06 AM (IST)

Posing as hurt bird to show their pain

Posing as hurt bird to show their pain
Dressed as an injured bird, an activist urges people to shun the use of glass-coated string for flying kites in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 11

Dressed as a bird entangled in a kite-flying plastic string (manja in local parlance) coated with blood, one of the volunteers, Riya Kapoor, 17, held a sign that read ‘Cut out glass-coated manja, not wings’. Her point? That glass-coated cotton and other manja is responsible for the injuries and deaths of humans and thousands of birds. Thus its use should be avoided to ensure that Lohri and Makar Sankranti are safe and fun for all.

On Friday afternoon, voluteers of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) dressed themselves as bleeding birds, one of the worst sufferers during the kite flying season in our country, to warn people against using harmful sharp strings. The campaign was carried out in Heritage Street near Jallianwala Bagh.

“The glass-coated plastic thread hurts and kills both humans and birds,” says PETA India’s representative Radhika Suryavanshi, who led the campaign in the city. “We urge everyone to say no to manja to ensure that Lohri and Makar Sankranti remain joyous for all, birds included.”

“Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Bird Hospital in Delhi treated 500 birds, who were injured around Independence Day celebrations in 2016. In 2018, forest officials rescued more than 4,000 birds in just two days of kite flying during the Uttarayan festival. A bird rescuer in Ahmedabad estimates that 2,000 birds – including pigeons and endangered species such as vultures – are injured every year during the city’s Uttarayan festival and that 500 of them succumb to their injuries. Over 100 birds died during Makar Sankranti in Hyderabad in 2015,” says Radhika.

Riya Kapoor, a student of Ibadat School for special children, suffers from intellectual disability. She actively works for social campaigns. Her compatriot Ankita, 30, too, was one of the volunteers.


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