The festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is one of the major kite flying festivals of India after Independence Day, which falls on a fixed date, 14th January every year. This festival is particularly celebrated in Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and few parts of Bengal. Throughout the day of Uttaranyan, the skies are full of kites and even some people fly kites on the other festivals, like, Raksha Bandhan, Republic Day and Janmashtami.

Since 1989, Gujarat, specifically, Ahmedabad host an International Kite Flying Competition, but do you know that the Uttaranyan kite flying festival should ban in India. You might think why? And here today, I have got an answer for you all.

The major reason is the killer Patangs (kites) because the string which is used to fly kites, known as Manja, made of cotton (sometimes of nylon which are deadlier, known as Chinese Manja), but gets a coated layer of crushed glass over it. It makes it sharp like a razor and everyone uses a manja to fly their kites from their rooftops with an aim to cut the strings of the kites flown by others by jerking it over. It does seem that the Chinese Manja comes from China, but people say that it is made in India and it is even bad enough to know that it is abandoned after the kite flying festival in the tree branches after the day is over.

injured birds on makar sankrantiImage: theguardian.com

The innocent birds do not notice the clustered manja into the branches of trees and thus try their best to get free from the clutches entangled to their feet and wings, but unfortunately the manja cut them deeper, and finally they bleed to death. The manja used for kite flying is difficult to cut and handle. Thus, people can gather them together and burn it, rather than throwing into garbage as it can hurt those innocent animals and birds who survive on the heaps of the garbage. Not only those innocent birds and animals, even the pedestrians and the people who regularly commute using their two wheelers are being killed or get injured by the manja, which slits their throats or slashes their neck, which unfortunately causes blood loss.

kite_victim3Image: thestar.com

If the deadly manja hits an electrical pole, then there is a possibility that it can transmit the electricity because the strings can be damp and gather moisture and the situation even gets worse if the strings contain metal. Also, there are those poor children who unknowingly try catching out those ‘cut’ kites and hurt themselves on the run. There are numerous incidents which happened in the past. Like, in the year 2013, a 12-year boy from Pune died by slipping from the fourth floor when flying kites. In the year 2014, on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti, a man on his two-wheeler died by the excess blood loss after his neck was cut down by the deadly manja. It has been reported that around 2000 birds get injured during the kite flying festival.

No matter how carefully, we manage to fly kites, the deadly manja unknowingly badly injures those innocent birds flying. The feet of the birds somehow entangle with manja and they start fluttering in panic, falls on the ground, bleed to death. The manja significantly cuts their feet, bodies and wings so deep and they start bleeding profusely and sometimes even they get beheaded too.

So, guys, I would request you all to be safe this Makar Sankranti. Skip the idea of hosting and taking part in those kite flying events and keep the environment safe and friendly for our innocent birds and animals. Enjoy the new trend and cherish forever.