Ahmedabad: While the kite festival of Uttarayan brings cheer for many, it poses a great risk for birds who often get injured or even get killed by sharp kite strings. Also Read - Gujarat's Makar Sankranti: As The State Celebrates Uttarayan, the Kite Festival; PM Extends Wishes
This year, more than 150 birds have been killed and at least 1500 injured over the two days of Makar Sankranti festivities. Also Read - Shah, Rupani celebrate Uttarayan by flying kites
Authorities have reported that birds got injured in Gujarat and Maharashtra states after getting entangled in strings which are coated with a paste of powdered glass and glue to make them sharp in order to sever the strings of rival kites.
With the same happening every year, Gujarat government has opened 38 centres in the State under the ‘Karuna Abhiyaan’, an initiative to save birds injured during the kite festival. The step has been taken in the wake of increasing number of bird deaths.
“We have 38 rescue centres in the city that are being run by doctors and volunteers. Around 60 injured birds were rescued in a single day including pigeons, stork, and spoonbill duck. They are being provided with proper treatment and we have got our interns to help us out,” Nidhi Dave, Range Forest Officer told ANI.
Harshil Shah, who works for a volunteer bird rescue group, said their centres in Maharashtra and Gujarat had received some 750 distress calls on Jan 14 and Jan 15 .
Since 1989, Ahmedabad has been hosting the festival every year on the Sabarmati riverfront and lakhs of revelers come to witness the creative kites flying and clashing among themselves in air.
(With Agency inputs)