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Manjha menace

Photo: ANI (HT_PRINT)Premium
Photo: ANI (HT_PRINT)

We need an all-India crackdown on the menace before it can claim any more lives. As for kite flyers, it’s time for them to derive joy from their own launches flying high rather than relishing someone else’s being cut loose.

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A six-year-old riding with his father on a scooter in Ludhiana, Punjab, has become the latest victim of an ultra-sharp string used for kite-flying that’s often imported from China. The boy’s throat was reportedly slit fatally by a stray string dangling across their path. Cases of such deaths have become shockingly frequent in India. Even wildlife has been affected, with reports of birds getting entangled and injured by these strings that are coated with material meant to snip off rival kites in informal contests that take place around Independence Day, especially in northern parts of the country.

Glass-coated strings have long been used for kite-flying festivities, but China-based manufacturers have taken their sharpness to an entirely new level for a competitive edge in our market. While “Chinese manjha" has been banned in Delhi, this evidently hasn’t been enough to put an end to its use. Arrests lately of people dealing in it have been made, but this seems too little too late. We need an all-India crackdown on the menace before it can claim any more lives. As for kite flyers, it’s time for them to derive joy from their own launches flying high rather than relishing someone else’s being cut loose.

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