Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breather for birds from kites

Jan 15, 2011, 02.16am IST

HYDERABAD: Sankranti this year could be less colourful in Hyderabad with fewer kites filling the air. But that has come as good news, at least for bird lovers as they say the cases of winged creatures suffering 'maanja'-inflicted injuries have dropped by over 50 per cent this year. 

In fact animal organisations working for the welfare of birds in the city note that the number of calls to their helplines to rescue the injured birds has dropped from a few hundred to just a handful this time around. "Last year we received over 200 calls to rescue pigeons hit by maanjas. But this year, they have come down to just about 20-25 so far," said Mahesh Agarwal, general secretary of Sahayog that along with the N S Ahluwalia Animal sanctuary is running the helplines. On Friday, the group rescued four injured birds from Kukatpally, Lingampally, Begumpet and Sitaphalmandi. 

While members of this organisation agreed that the number of injury cases would shoot on Saturday, with more people coming out to fly kites, they said that the figures would still be lower than previous years. "Unlike in the past there is also a lot of awareness among people this time. Many are keeping away from flying kites to ensure the safety of birds," Agarwal said. 

The numbers of the four helplines set up by the group are: 9346378783 (for Old City), 9642625006 (Jeedimetla, Balnagar, Shahpur Nagar), 9866243719 (Secunderabad, Begumpet), 9246175600 (for all areas).