Let the Future breathe

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Tuesday 17 January The Supreme court warned that the problem of air pollution is very serious and solutions need to be found urgently, rather than in year.

According to WHO survey 90% of world is breathing bad air, silently killing more than 6 million a year, which is more than 11.6% of all global deaths. In general 9 out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air and Delhi ranks the 11th most pollluted city in the world.

Recent air pollution data derived from satellite imagery suggests that the severe levels of particulate matter seen in Delhi are also found throughout the 22 districts of the National Capital Region (NCR). These findings raise alarm about potentially serious adverse effects on the health and livelihoods of NCR residents outside of Delhi. Air pollution levels in other Indian cities such as lucknow , Varansai have been equally extreme in recent days. It emphasised that the country needs stronger measures, plans, coherent policies and its implementation to cut back the air pollution sources as air pollution moves across borders and cant be contained.

The green body said that India’s pollution levels have been rising at an “alarming” rate as coal consumption almost doubled and oil consumption increased 60 per cent from 2005 to 2015. The situation goes worst as most of the cities in India lack real time monitoring means government is unable to warn the inhabitants about the rising pollution so that they can prevent themselves. We can conceive its severity from a analysis which says “India’s air is more deadly than china”.

Most effected category from rising pollution level are childrens. With every breath, they are suffering. Due to their physiology as they breathe twice as fast as adults taking in more pollutants adversely effecting the growth rate and immune system.

I can only hope that time for talking would be over soon and there will be stringent actions and its implementation.

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it- robert swan

A Day with Ullas Trust: Young Minds

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27 August 2016, Saturday: It was just another day but there was something different…I woke up early at 6:00 A:M and started to get ready accompanied with my husband Sachin Deorah. We got ready at 6:30A:M and settled us in a car waiting outside our home in Gurgaon. It was a long journey as we were headed towards Shakurpur village, Modinagar (Ghaziabad U.P.). After 1 hour journey, Mr. Manzar Alam representative of Ullas trust by Polaris software lab in Gurgaon accompanied us. Now both guys were in conversation mode and I was just peeping out of the window of car, after few more minutes we reached Ghaziabad to pick Mr. Narendra (Polaris Professional). When we were 10-15 kms from our destination Manzar recommended the original Jain shikanji (as there were more fake with this name) for breakfast as it was around 10 and all of us were getting butterflies in our stomach. We ate Poori sabzi …it was delicious, yummy and heavy ( i couldnt eat all the three.. 😉 ). Now we headed towards our destination D.S Public School, Shakurpur. It was in very interior, far away from city…with narrow roads….quiet, no houses till few kms giving us goosebumps that we all have started talking about horror stories…I think after dusk no body will dare to walk that road as there were no street lights too.

Finally we all reached our destination. It felt good to see the school having good infrastructure, management and facilities (not expected for a school in such remote areas) beacuse I haven’t seen a general store for few kms.

Students of 9, 10,11 and 12 has been gathered at the roof top by school staff, weather was pleasant and we have started our workshop by distributing the Ullas diaries to all the students. The first step was to ask them to fill in their details like name, address, dreams and their role models. I was checking out their diaries. Most of them still in deep thoughts to write for dreams. I asked one of boy how come you still don’t know about your goals in life( u can be engineer, doctor, banker etc.), he just stood up and said very politely mam I always thought of helping my father in agriculture to earn. Hold on… may be I haven’t seen life from their point (most of them belong to farmers and daily wages workers) and got rude little bit.

Now Manjar has given the introductory part about the organisation and its motive to recognize academic excellence in students from the economically challenged sections of our society and encourage the “Can do” spirit towards chasing their dreams and aspirations.

After that we started interaction with students and told them the secret of success by showing the pictures of great leaders & personalities such as Gandhi ji, Dr Abdul Kalam, Kalpana Chawla and many more, we informed them about their journeys from nothing to become the great personalities in area of their expertise. We were amazed to see that all of them were updated with the latest news as we asked questions about the Olympic games.

During workshop all the students have actively participated, the enthusiasm and energy was also very high despite the weather became hot & humid during mid session. Students also shared their dreams with us. Most of girls wanted to become a teacher and educate others whereas most of the boys wanted to join the Indian Army or Police services.

I was touched to see the passion and flare in their eyes to achieve something in their life despite most of them belong to very low income group.  At the end scholarship was distributed to the toppers by the school principal.

After Few minutes of conversation with school teachers and staffs we headed back to our homes.

It was my first experience with Ullas trust and I really enjoyed and also learnt many things and looking forward for more workshops to attend.

“Dream, dream and dream

Then translate your dream into thoughts and the into action” By Dr. Kalam

Are we waiting for another Mahabharata…….???

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Yesterday I was watching Surya putra “Karna” a mythological serial…episode was after Mahabharata when Yudhisthira eldest son of Pandavas was announced as king of Hastinapur, after taking oath as a king his first announcement was every person would be recognised on the basis of his work, skill expertise instead of its caste, creed and class system. As in those days’ various salutations used to describe a person was based on person’s cast, kingdom, job. The ordinance was to make the kingdom peaceful and to pay tribute to the Karna (first son of Kunti) who died fighting for the rights of equality.

Karna was always introduced as a son of charioteer (Sut-putra) all along his life. He was keen to acquire the warfare education from Dronacharya or Guru Drona who was master of advanced military arts, divine weapons or astras. but he was refused by Dronacharya as his student because he was not a Kshatriya… after that Karna decided to persuade Parashurama for Brahmastra mantra but he knew that Parashurama also gave instructions to Brahmin only so he disguised himself as Brahmin to be accepted as a shishya (disciple). After some time when his identity got disclosed, Parashurama got annoyed and cursed him that he had learnt through deceit, he shall forget the vidya (skill) which he had been thought. The purpose of highlighting Karna story is that despite being karna’s skill and talent of being the greatest warrior & best archer he was not able to receive the education because he was a Sut putra. during the Mahabharta Shri Krishna also addressed Arjun that karna is equal/better than him and he is only one who could defeat him.

The gist of  story is that a great war has been fought, many died to ensure the right to equality, to unite all people in a single system & now a day’s people themselves have reversed the situation by dividing on the basis of caste system to get reservations for education and government jobs. There are many examples of protest going on in our country, one of was in starting of july 2015 by the people of Indians patidar community seeking other backward class (OBC) status or most recent was Jat reservation agitation in February 2016 by the jat community of north India seeking for OBC category, protests paralysed the state for 10 days including many violent and nonviolent actions……

My point is that there is no need of reservations if someone has talent and skill. People should be awarded education and jobs on the basis of capability & expertise not for any category or groupies or so on. There should be a single system in our country…equality for all…if you want to get something……get it with your capability……we can see many examples around us who triumph without any category or reservation system.

It’s time for us to come forward not to lead us back or divide again in our category or class based system of ancient time. Or do once again we have to wait for a “Karna” who has to die again for equality right to unite us, another leader like Yudhishthira who has courage to make a change or another Mahabharata to get start…………….???

 

No shortcuts in life …always work for it

Think twice before honking!

 

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Few days before I had faced a jam condition for almost half an hour, currently situation is very common due to water logged roads or monsoon season. Despite for waiting the jam to get clear people use to blow horn continuously. sometimes I wonder would it result into a clear road instantly or will they disappear from jam. What’s the hurry….couldn’t they wait for few minutes without creating the typhoon of noise. In half an hour I felt like hundreds of drums were pounding on my head making me restless. At that moment I promised myself to keep cotton plugs or ear plugs in my wallet to avert same situation again. Then I saw a traffic police who was trying to control the situation. A thought just came to my mind that few minutes in jam made me restless what would be the position of traffic cops who spent a large part of time to elevated noise exposure.

So, Here I am highlighting some data, facts and few possible solutions to cope up with this overlooked situation in our country.

Changes in heart rate, increased blood pressure, hearing impairment, changes in sleep pattern, changes in hormonal behaviour, stress, loss of concentration, low performance level, speech interference, aggravated depression, psychological disorders…….. A long list of health problems can happen to anyone who get long term exposure to the elevated noise levels.

According to a study in western UP on Traffic police showed that insomnia is commonest health problem they suffered affecting 72% respondents and every third of them suffers from hearing impairment. Psychiatric consultant at KGMU’s sleep clinic Dr Adarsh Kumar stated that noise intrusion can cause difficulty in falling asleep and can awaken people who fall asleep. “A notable number of our patients hail from police backgrounds,” he said.

Possible solutions:

*The easiest way to overcome the situation is by providing them ear plugs & ear muffs which will protect them from high noise.

*At a signal two constables can be deputed so that each one can be provided with gap of a day as body need this time to recover the impact of noise.

*Periodical ENT check-ups should be mandatory for those on traffic duty or face situation of high noise level due to their profession.

*Age of traffic cops posted should not be more than 55 as body loose its ability to recover after that.

Other potential solutions are cordially invited.

Be Smart, Be Intelligent,

Be informative

Is this a warning signal??

 

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Madhya Pradesh: A state in central India. All the districts which were experiencing drought for successive three years or inefficient rain fall are now flooded . The rains which were supposed to be god send now has proven to be havoc.

The most effected sector is agriculture: farmers which were reeling under drought sometimes back are now facing the fury of nature through floods. Due to heavy rainfall within few days fields are either waterlogged or seeds have been washed away, effecting the economy too. Now farmers are waiting for the overcast sky to become clear so that they can re sow. The calamity is also playing with the life of many people, the death toll has been increasing day be day (data can be get from our news channel and news papers)

This sudden change from drought to flood is due to climate change which is because of human desire to race towards the advancement without realising the fact that what price actually are we paying for it.

Our march towards the technical advancement, change in life style, we have never thought about our responsibility of giving back what we have taken from our mother nature. We are exploiting natural resources without having a thought of replenishing it back.

Everything we see around is because of our irresponsible attitude, ignorance which results in drought, flood and many more natural calamities around the world. The impact of climate change has now been notice by all the three seasons, summer, winter, monsoon. In my opinion its high time for us to take actions before we realize its been late to regret for what we have done.

For this the only solution is balancing the moisture content of the earth by planting many trees as we can. all we need is small effort & contribution from everyone to keep whatever is still left.

The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth

Can’t we escape plastic pollution

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Since few decades production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise. Despite Government various policies, legislations and efforts to reduce its consumption the problem is still at its crest. Tourists spots and various hill stations are facing uphill task of plastic loads as visitors & tourists are recklessly dumping the plastic bottles. Many hill stations already has started various schemes to reduce plastic waste tide plaguing the nature’s beauty.

In this article I am highlighting few promising solutions one of which is from my own experience if implemented could be helpful.

Few months ago I have visited Andaman & Nicobar one of the seven union territories of India, a group of islands famous for its scenic beauty and its richness with diversity of plant and animals life. One of Jolly buoy island at Wandoor famous for under water corals and immaculate clear beaches. Tourists were not allowed to carry plastic water bottles with them, They provide their own bottles for deposits, you can fill that and carry with yourself, On returning visitors are refunded their deposits. Bags are also checked for any kind of plastic packets such as food and so on to avoid the accumulation of trash or nuisance. In my opinion the same could be done everywhere.

Earlier this year one much needed intervention was emulated in Mahabaleshwar a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra is a hill station and weekends tourist destination too. The Maharashtra government had installed water ATMs with a litre of water just at nominal rate of Rs. 2 so that people can fill up their bottles with the purified water to stop people from buying multiple bottles.

At individual level we can support by seeking out alternatives for the plastic items that we rely on and creating awareness by spreading the word about the nasty impacts of plastic pollution.

‘It’s too late’ to, ‘there’s still hope’, if we change our thoughts

we might see some change in the world.”

Towards Sustainable Sanitation in slum areas: A field study in Allahabad

 

The report based on situation of sanitation and water supply in Allahabad slum areas is not satisfactory and concludes that open defecation alone is responsible for many diseases.

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Fig : Source, Gaughat Allahabad

According to a data around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation. One third of the 2.5 billion people without improved sanitation lives in India. Lack of one of these basic conditions has direct consequences on the physical and psychological well- being of the people. Inspite of many decades of development planning and assistance much of the rural and urban populations in most developing countries have low sanitation coverage. This report is based on my survey on sanitation and hygiene in various slum areas of Allahabad city. Sanitation has a greater effect on women than men. For young girls the lack of basic water and sanitation services translates into lost opportunities for education and associated opportunities for empowerment.

Due to improper integration of sanitation programme and inability of management systems and city institutions to provide better facilities has led to occurrence of various diseases and high mortality rates.

Data from the selected 20 slums were collected through field surveys and analysed through SPSS software to study the sanitation, and hygiene service scenarios of those slums.

The outcomes of the work are summarized as below:

  • It has been observed that with the rapid urbanization and population growth trends, the general little knowledge on their basic requirements, the limited capacity of the local authorities to supply improved services (water supply, sanitation) are the contributory factors for the deteriorating conditions of slum dwellers.

  • When all the slums studied during the survey, acceptable quality of water was Kasari-Masari (20%) & Beniganj (35%) and availability of toilets was Gaughat (6%), Pasana (20%) & Rasulpur, (20%).Only 36% of slum dwellers have household toilet facilities rest 62% defecate in open places.image                              Figure: Availability of toilet facility

  • 62.7% of supply of water supply was from piped water & rest from tankers and hand-pumps. In addition, 36% of the population does not use protected water source. Around 41% rural households have to walk around 30 minutes or less in one round trip to the water point for fetching water.image

Figure: Quality of water

  • Diarrhoea accounts for (19%) as the main occurring disease with flu (15.3%), malaria (11.7%), typhoid (8%), skin disease (4.7%). Children’s under 5 are more prone to these diseases. The study revealed that level of knowledge about waterborne diseases was relatively high (66%), but knowledge on transmission routes was inadequate. The attitude and practice on hygiene was also found to be high (92.67%).

  • It is found that majority of the population, 73 percent washed away their children’s stool in water facility or left in to open fields.

  • Major challenges and gaps are associated with water, sanitation and hygiene practices among the community in the study area.

    According to the study conducted during survey have listed few recommendations to improve the living status of slum, are as follows:

  • This is high time to inform, educate and guide the urban poor about the environmental significance of the basic utilities in living a standard life.

  • Government can play a vital role to assist the basic service developing schemes by taking various effective steps, like enhancing laws and providing subsides, population growth control etc.

  • Different national and international NGOs should come forward with efficient developing projects for the betterment of living condition of slum dwellers in Allahabad city as well as the whole nation.

  • Technology has a central part in developing rural areas. Therefore, proper application of technology should be applied in the rural areas so that rural people don’t need to come to cities for employment and better life.

  • Act of electronic and print media (Radio, T.V, newspaper, Magazine) may also play a vital role in this regard by making advertisements on adverse effect of overgrowing population, benefits of drinking treated water, using latrines for excreta disposal and hand washing with soap.

    The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.