New “leash” of life: Animal rights’ group creates harnesses from ghost net

The colourful leashes made from ghost net by ACF are dyed and braided with denim to create repurposed and sustainable dog leashes. (Photo Courtesy: ACF Instagram Account)
Updated 17 November 2019

New “leash” of life: Animal rights’ group creates harnesses from ghost net

  • Uses non-degradable plastic from oceans to make items for pet owners
  • Has succeeded in empowering fishing communities through the initiative

Islamabad:  When Ayesha Chundrigar was tasked with creating a sustainable solution for animals in her home city of Karachi, she said her aim was to fill two needs with one deed – repurpose plastic and save marine life.

Today, her namesake animal rights and welfare organization – the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) – has succeeded in doing just that by creating Pakistan’s first dog leashes made out of recycled ghost net. 




The colourful leashes made from ghost net by ACF are dyed and braided with denim to create repurposed and sustainable dog leashes. (Image via ACF)

The ghost net is the material that is discarded after it’s used for fishing in the oceans. Invisible to the naked eye, it often gets tangled with rocks and coral reefs, resulting in the deaths of several marine species.

“We thought that maybe we could create donkey harnesses in an eco-friendly way and that led us to think why not try using ghost net because that’s killing marine life in the oceans,” Ayesha told Arab News on November 17, 2019.

With the help of Anusha Gul, ACF’s Director of Operations, the two soon put their plan to test, only to realize that they could engage a community, create jobs and empower people from Karachi’s fishing hubs.




The colourful leashes made from ghost net by ACF are dyed and braided with denim to create repurposed and sustainable dog leashes. (Image via ACF)

“My team went to the fishing villages in Karachi, and discussed the idea with fishermen where we paid them per dive so that they had more of an incentive to pull out the ghost nets,” Chundrigar told Arab News.

Next, they trained women to weave the ghost net with scraps of denim to make sturdy ropes. The end result was “beautiful, colorful leashes” – each one unique and different from the other.




The colourful leashes made from ghost net by ACF are dyed and braided with denim to create repurposed and sustainable dog leashes. (Image via ACF)

“Ghost net leashes are something that every pet owner would love to use...because people understand that they are being socially aware and eco-friendly. By buying one leash, you are benefiting the women and fishing villages, you are empowering them, you are cleaning the oceans, you are helping marine animals, and some of the funds from buying of one leash comes back to ACF Animal Rescue,” she added.

Rescuing animals is not unchartered territory for the ACF which has been actively saving dogs and cats and protecting donkeys and mules in Karachi since 2013.




The colourful leashes made from ghost net by ACF are dyed and braided with denim to create repurposed and sustainable dog leashes. (Image via ACF)

The effort has been well worth it, too, with the group winning the 2018 WWF Green Innovation Challenge for the dog leashes.

“We decided to work with the environment to make a difference because we wanted to try and build a circular economy where you take something that is of no use and turn that around into something that can be used on a daily basis,” Chundrigar said.

The leashes and harnesses are available for purchase on ACF’s social media pages under the handle, ACFanimalrescue.org.


Patient Abid cuts his way into cricket history at age 32

Updated 16 December 2019

Patient Abid cuts his way into cricket history at age 32

  • He has long been knocking at the doors of international cricket
  • Abid is now the oldest Pakistani player to score a century on debut

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: Nobody can accuse 32-year-old Abid Ali of not seizing his chances when given them.
Pakistan drew its first test at home in 10 years against Sri Lanka at the Pindi Cricket Stadium after rain washed out more than half of the match, but not before Abid had smashed a century on debut. He was batting at the same venue where Pakistan great Younis Khan scored a century on his test debut in 2000 — also against Sri Lanka.
Abid completed a unique double, becoming the batsman in the history of the sport to score a century in both his ODI and test debuts.
More than 12,000 cricket-starved fans — popularly known as ‘The Pindi Boys’ — enjoyed every moment of the opener’s innings under bright sunshine. He hit an unbeaten 109, featuring 11 fours. Six of those boundaries were his favorite cut shots.
Abid has long been knocking at the doors of international cricket but had to wait patiently until he got his chance in March this year during the limited-overs series.
A scintillating ODI century against Australia in the United Arab Emirates was not enough to convince the selectors that he was ready for the all-important World Cup in England.
But Abid didn’t lose heart and continued to polish his skills at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. He was among the 16-man squad which toured Australia for the recent two-test series but couldn’t fit in new coach Misbah-ul-Haq’s plans. Pakistan returned home after heavy losses at Brisbane and Adelaide, where Abid watched from the sidelines.
Abid’s hopes were raised once again when he was selected for the home series against Sri Lanka, but there were still pundits who didn’t believe he’d get a chance in Rawalpindi.
“I had never grumbled whenever I was ignored,” Abid said. “I have patience. I believed that my time will come ... Thankfully I got my chance and what else you could ask for than a hundred on debut. I waited a long for this very day and here I am.”
Only 5.2 overs could be bowled on the third day and the entire fourth day was washed out due to wet conditions.
Bright sunshine welcomed players on the last day and Abid seized the opportunity Sunday after Sri Lanka declared its first innings at 308-6 once Dhananjaya de Silva had scored his sixth test hundred.
Together with Pakistan’s most reliable batsman Babar Azam, who scored his third test hundred, Abid enthralled fans under perfect batting conditions.
Abid, now the oldest Pakistani player to score a century on debut, said he didn’t want to be compared with the greats of the game.
“I am an ordinary player and I can’t match great players,” he said. “I am Abid Ali and please see me as Abid Ali only.”
But one of those greats has already acknowledged that a star is on the rise in the Pakistan team.
“We call him Legend” in the dressing room, Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis tweeted after Abid’s century.