The deadly consequences of a stray nylon thread came to light recently in the city when a 45-year-old media professional succumbed to her injures sustaining severe neck injuries.
Suvarna Mujumdar, was declared brain dead after sustaining deep cuts in the neck from the banned nylon manja or kite string. It is not just her, in the last one month, the city apparently had three incidents where the citizens were severely injured because of the nylon threads or synthetic ‘manja’, including a two-and-a-half-year-old child who had to get 25 sutures near her eyes.
The National Green Tribunal had put a blanket ban on the use of these Chinese threads in 2017 as a result off possibly fatal incidents involving animals and humans.
In 2016, the state government and the Bombay High Court banned the sale and use of nylon thread for flying kites.
Despite these bans, this was freely available all over the country and retailers opine that the cheaper rates prompted them to keep stocks replenished.
We spoke to informed citizens and activists to get their views on this and arrive at a list of possible measures to prevent injury and fatality.
Adv. Netra Prakash Bhog opines that the increase in population has rendered the city crowded with multi storied buildings, hence such activities are no longer safe.
“Earlier their used to be open spaces and grounds or even open terraces where people used to fly kites. But now, there is hardly any open space.
People need to understand this. Everything depends on ‘we’ the people. Also, given the fact that selling of these Chinese kite threads were banned, still people are using it. This shows that the laws are not being implemented properly.
“People get away easily by paying a meagre sum as fine. Laws should be such that people should feel the pinch. The immediate action should be the prosecution of the buyers and sellers of the banned ‘manja’. They should fine the person who was responsible of the accident and they should be arrested at the earliest.
Additionally, anyone found selling it, should be put behind bars.
Only this will set an example for others before they think of doing anything illegal, Bhog adds.
Author, Journalist and Activist, Vinita Deshmukh feels that such incidents occur due to the negligence of the authorities and the lack of living will among the citizens.
Such accidents are happening since the 90’s and have continued to happen every season. It is due to the usual callousness of the authorities, laws are just made and framed.
When such incidents happen, it is only then that the authorities wake up, once the publicity is gone, everything comes to place again.
“There is no will to implement laws for the safety of the citizens. There is also negligence by law that small things like controlling and tapping the source of these nylon ‘manja’ is undone. A life could have been saved if the laws were implemented and maintained properly.
Also, there is a lack of awareness among the citizens and a casual attitude even if they are aware of. There is no value for life.
“I wish that the family of deceased take it to the authorities by law and demand compensation for the mishap. PMC should not get away with the murder of a citizen because of their negligence,” she adds.
Based on our discussions with citizens and experts, we have curated a list of possible measures that could be adopted in the city:
- Awareness against the banned nylon thread should be spread among the citizens.
- During the kite festival in Gujarat, people instill metal frames in front of their bikes to avoid being entangled in any stray thread.
- People should look for open spaces, far from populated places if at all they want to fly a kite.
- Avoid flying kites during high bird activity time.
- A protective leather collar is also used among many during Makar Sankranti.
- Avoid flying kite around power lines.
- Opt for cotton string (manja) for flying a kite.
- Rain protectors for two -wheelers can also be used during the months of January and Mid-February, when kite flying is at its peak.
In case of injury :
- Incase of such accidents, do not ignore even a minor cut. Visit a doctor immediately.
- Cover the wound and block the flow of blood to avoid excessive blood loss.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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