Karuna Abhiyan
Karuna Abhiyan

The Other Side of The Kite Festival – Karuna Abhiyan

The festival of Uttarayan (also known as Makar Sankranti in some parts of country ) is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm on 14th of January every year in Gujarat. The craze of flying kites is so high that millions of enthusiasts fill the sky with kites of all shapes, sizes, hues and colours. People of all ages fly kites from dawn to dusk. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other in flying kite skills and delicious traditional Gujarati feast are the hallmarks of the day. The surrounding is filled with screams of "Kaipo Chhe” (cut down) and "Lapet” (wrap the thread) throughout the day.
But unfortunately Uttarayan is not only about fun, food and frolic; it has a darker side also to it. It brings along with it the dark red colour of death of thousands of innocent birds. Suddenly the sky turns into a web of threads and birds have to fly through them. While some survive unscathed but most face some kind of injury. Men in the ecstasy of joy hijack the territory of these feathered souls for almost a week and the innocent birds become the victims of bloodshed, pain and suffering in their own home and space. Though all threads have potential , the plastic/ nylon threads also known as chinese manja, which unfortunately is very popular among the kite enthusiasts, is the main culprit as the razor sharp thread of it cuts the bird’s wings like a sharp knife.

  • "Karuna Abhiyan'' is an effort of the Government of Gujarat to save such injured birds. Previously it was being undertaken by individual efforts of various NGO's. But since 2017 it is being done jointly by the Forest Department and Animal Husbandry Department.
  • The Karuna Abhiyan runs from Jan 10 to Jan 20 every year.
  • Collection of the injured birds is mainly done by NGOs / Volunteers
  • Treatment is done in the hospitals owned by Animal Husbandry Department, Forest Department and NGOs
  • Post care is taken care of by the Forest Department.
  • AHD also provides ambulance services and 1962 helpline and rest all i.e. publicity, creation of collection centres, coordination with NGOs/ volunteers, policing etc is taken care of by the Forest Department.
  • All NGOs are allowed and encouraged to create collection centres.
  • Private veterinary hospitals are allowed to treat the birds during the campaign but have to deposit all birds protected under WLPA at the Forest Department hospitals.
  • This year , 913 centres were created. This year 7880 volunteers including 794 doctors have provided their services.
  • The details of birds injured and treated last 6 years is as follows

Karuna Abhiyan -2023

Sr. No. Year Number of Birds Treated Released alive Birds died Survival %
1 2017 7301 6597 704 90%
2 2018 10571 9752 819 92%
3 2019 14411 13425 986 93%
4 2020 13768 12779 989 93%
5 2021 9294 8546 748 92%
6 2022 14762 13666 1096 93%
Total 70107 64765 5342 92%

Chart Karuna

The campaign was carried out state wide

campaign karuna

Contact information of all the centers was made available on single link hence just one message to 8320002000 was good enough to get information of all the centers in the state.

contact karuna

Not only the birds, even humans get deadly injuries by the plastic/ nylon threads. Campaign aims to decrease use of such threads by awareness and policing.

not birds karuna

Certificate given to volunteers

Certificate karuna

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