IAS Officer Revives Tamil Nadu’s Eco-Friendly ‘Manjapai’ Bags

The slogan Meendum Manjapai Vizhipunarvu Iyakkam (Again To Yellow Material Baggage Consciousness Marketing campaign) is gathering loads of momentum in Tamil Nadu, due to Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Supriya Sahu and her group.


The marketing campaign requires a return to the age-old customized of Tamilians carrying round a material bag (sometimes yellow in color) wherever they went.

It goals to make the manjapai ‘retro-cool’ and usher in a way of nostalgia, thereby inspiring individuals to discard single-use plastic carry luggage.

IAS Supriya Sahu.

In 2019, a complete of 14 plastic objects, together with one-time use of plastic luggage and polythene covers, had been banned in Tamil Nadu. The state’s atmosphere division had additionally issued orders for shock checks to be performed to make sure that the ban was being adopted via.

Talking to The Higher India, Supriya Sahu, Atmosphere and Forest Division Secretary says, “Whereas the ban has been in place, we did discover errant producers and distributors falling again to utilizing polythene covers. With a view to put an finish to that, the thought of returning to our roots and utilizing that material bag was revived.”

Whereas laws and legal guidelines assist to some extent, on the finish of the day, actual success for any trigger comes solely as a result of the individuals make it their very own. Supriya mentions this in an instance of how within the Nilgiris, plastics have all however been banned efficiently for over 20 years now, not due to laws, however as a result of it was a individuals’s marketing campaign. “You want two arms to clap – each the individuals in addition to the laws must help one another and be in sync to realize transformational change,” she notes.

She provides, “The entire thought of this marketing campaign is to encourage individuals to take up this trigger willingly, consciously, and voluntarily – as solely this may make sure the success of the marketing campaign.”

Bringing again the Manjapai.

Supriya says she has all the time been a fan of the manjapai, and noticed it being utilized by her grandparents. Over time, this has been changed with the comfort that plastic supplied, which made the erstwhile ubiquitous manjapai virtually extinct from society.

“On the launch of this marketing campaign, we had so many individuals telling us about their reminiscences of the manjapai (yellow bag). They recalled their grandparents diligently reaching for it each time they stepped out of the home. They’d return, fold it and hold it away, and use it repeatedly. This may proceed till that manjapai was tattered and able to be retired.”

It’s somewhat fascinating to notice how Manjapai acquired its identify. Named after their yellow color, these material luggage had been dipped in turmeric, which was used as a disinfectant.

“What can be heartening is that this marketing campaign has been accepted by the Chief Minister, who can be eager to see the transformation succeed,” she provides. Whereas laws and legislations are in place, Supriya has now put in movement a plan to convey this to fruition.

They’ve arrange a 30-member group which works with numerous companies to combination plastic wastes. Over the previous 12 months, over 1,700 tons of disposable plastic waste has been collected, she says. However she notes, “Whereas we’ve succeeded in accumulating the waste, the important thing challenge is that the plastics are nonetheless being sourced from someplace.”

She says she goals to struggle this on the district, panchayat and village ranges to extend consciousness, in order that there is no such thing as a demand for plastics within the state – which she believes will naturally maintain the provision downside.

Chief Minister MK Stalin at the launch of the campaign.
On the launch of the marketing campaign.

Supriya can be working very carefully with faculty youngsters, with whom about 3,000 eco-clubs have been established. “We see them because the torchbearers for the longer term,” she says.

In conclusion, Supriya says, “The duty is upon us in the present day. We don’t need to depart behind a polluted planet for future generations, and we should always do every part in our energy to deal with this challenge.”

Manjapai is, on the finish of the day, a visible and highly effective metaphor that establishes an on the spot reference to the viewers. It’s about going again to our roots, and to sustainable practices.

(Edited by Divya Sethu)

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