Glass-coated ‘Manjha’ for Kites
Manja (or manjha) is the abrasive (rough) connecting string which is used for fighter kites in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. It is gummed, colored and coated with powdered glass.
While the tradition of kite-flying has got deep roots in India and kite-flying is an integral part of several festivals like Rakhsha Bandhan, Baishakhi etc.?
Why is it in the news?
- While the traditional Manja is prepared using a fine pure cotton thread which is then coated with a mixture of rice gluten, gums of trees and other bio ingredients along with an addition of an abrasive finely powdered glass which is mainly aluminum oxide or zirconia alumina.
- However, the ‘Chinese manja’ is prepared using nonbiodegradable synthetic fibers which makes it more dangerous as it is harder to break and makes the string very dangerous to bystanders and birds.
- The NGT has defined the Chinese manjha as been made of synthetic material/yarn instead of cotton and has a coating of material that has the potential to cut the skin of humans and animals. Also, the Chinese Manja is a good conductor of electricity which results in several accidents from the Manja getting stuck up in high-tension electricity lines.
- The use of a Chinese manjha results in the injuries to birds, animals, and human beings, but also caused fatal accidents due to harming the people.
What has the NGT done?
The NGT has banned the use of Chinese Majha in the Indian Markets though some people do continue to use.