Manya Harsha, a young environmentalist from Bengaluru, India, was recognized with an award for her project, “SUNSHINE,” which showcases her green innovation, the creation of do-it-yourself (DIY) vegetable paper. At just 13 years old, Manya is known for her remarkable commitment to environmental causes, as a proactive author, climate activist, recycler and the editor of a children’s journal named Sunshine Fortnightly.
Her intent is to combat climate change by promoting environmental awareness through her kids’ journal and books that focus on nature. Her inventive efforts in recycling packaging wrappers into DIY pencils and creating DIY Vegetable Paper from everyday kitchen waste have resonated with and inspired younger generations. Manya has so far produced around 200 sheets of colorful paper made from vegetable peels, leaves and festive waste and has also successfully turned old denim jeans into paper. She also conducts various workshops sharing her skill of making reused paper.
Her kids’ journal, Sunshine, was launched during the 2020 lockdown period. Designed by children for children, it works to promote environmental consciousness and conducts numerous eco-friendly activities through its platform. With environmental campaigns, workshops, seminars, writing contests, and painting contests all being organized through the journal, Manya is influencing children towards environmentally conscious behaviors.
On being acknowledged for her work, she expressed that an award signifies the recognition of her endeavors and acts as a motivation to continue her journey towards sustainability.
Manya insists on leading by example, taking action prior to advocacy. From the tender age of four, when she planted her first sapling under the guidance of her late grandmother, V Rudramma, her dedication towards nature become evident. It was under her grandmother’s influence that she learned to respect and love nature, live harmoniously with all living beings, and show kindness. All her achievements, she dedicates to her grandmother.
Manya has so far distributed 7000 saplings, over 8000 sustainable bags, and planted 4600 saplings. She has also thrown more than 5000 seed bombs during her travels to date, and organized various cleanup activities. Her accolades include the Green Innovator of DIY Vegetable Paper, Water Hero 2020 awardee from Jal Ministry of India, Rising Star award from Earth.org India Network, as well as recognition on the UN Water page. She is a public speaker, humanitarian excellence awardee, and author of seven nature-themed books. Manya also holds the title of India’s youngest poet by India Book of Records and Grandmaster by the Asia Book of Records, and she serves as the editor of Sunshine Fortnightly Environment Magazine.
Operating a YouTube channel, Manya provides educational videos promoting environmental, water, and climate action awareness among the youth. Her initiatives aim to foster consciousness about climate change and inspire young people globally to defend nature and wildlife.
The winners of the prestigious International Young Eco-Hero Award are chosen by an independent panel of judges specializing in environmental science, biology, and education. Over the past two decades, Action For Nature has applauded the efforts of 339 Eco-Heroes from 27 countries and 32 American states.
The president of Action for Nature, Beryl Kay, commended all young climate champions, including Leo, for exemplifying that the next generation of leaders have arrived. They are using their power on a global scale to confront the climate crisis head-on.