Tariq Adeeb

The nylon manja also popularly called as the Chinese manja is a weapon of mass destruction, causing slow and painful death of millions of birds and other wildlife as well as a large numbers of human beings.

One man’s effort has made a significant difference - a lawyer with a nerve of steel has made all the difference.

In July 2017, the National Green Tribunal issued a notification prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use” of nylon/synthetic thread which is used for flying kites, while directing all chief secretaries of States and Union Territories to enforce the order. It was Supreme Court Advocate Tariq Adeeb who spearheaded a public interest litigation seeking a ban on the “Chinese manja,” claiming that it is “razor sharp” and has caused several deaths across the country as it is capable of cutting into human flesh. He also noted that it is also illegal under the Environment Protection Act 1986. Adeeb was representing the petitioners Khalid Ashraf and Rani of UP, who lost their family members to the deadly Chinese manja. The PIL stated that the Chinese manja is not only injurious to human beings and birds, but is equally disastrous to the environment given its non-biodegradable nature.

He fought the case free of cost on behalf of the petitioners. The Manja Association had challenged the ban saying that it will impact the Rs 500 crore industry, while the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted a complete ban on all forms of manja, including the cotton thread. The NGT dismissed PeTA’s petition.

It was not only the powerful and rich Manja lobby that Adeeb had to fight, but also the Pseudo NGOs who were working on behalf of the manja lobby to dilute the case.

Conservation is a multifaceted field today where we need people from all walks of life to make a difference. Professionals from different fields bring skills and expertise which can be used to make the planet a better place.

One of the main aims of the Wipro-Nature Forever Society Sparrow Awards is to bring to the fore people like Tarique Adeeb who have made a significant difference to the conservation of birds and the wildlife.

The war on Nylon manja is far from over despite the NGT directive. The Chinese/Nylon manja continues to be sold openly and rampantly.

Adeeb plans to file a contempt petition in various States to ensure that the ban is implemented. Adeeb is hopeful that people will one day become sensitive to this issue and there could be a change in the way people think about the environment. Polyamide threads are not biodegradable and remain on electric lines, transformers and public utility gadgets for years. They also clog drains and the soil. Birds are the biggest victims of Chinese manja.

On our part we all can play a significant role by saying no to Nylon Chinese Manja. As a responsible citizen, we should inform the police or other law enforcement agencies if we come across people who are selling or using Nylon manja.

You can also collect destroy Nylon manja by burning it whenever you come across the stray strings.

Together we all can make a difference to this world.