Exposure to Urban Air pollution Affect Growing Fetus


Nothing else can produce the joy , love an incomparable feeling that Motherhood allows. Being a mother is the most beautiful emotion in the world. It is something that has to be felt and can never be described in the words.

When baby comes to a women’s life starting from day first she came to know about her pregnancy, she tries to keep baby happiness and well being ahead of her own. Being a mom I understand that for our babies we do everything to keep them healthy and safe.

My motive of writing this article is to provide information how little negligence can affect developing fetus. As we all know pollution affects are indeed many and wide ranging. There is no doubt that excessive level of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human, animal health and environment.

Many of us already would be aware of fact that air pollution exposure to expectant mother’s can affect growing baby’s lungs and respiratory system but our concern doesn’t stop here.

The evidence that air pollutants can alter chromosomes in womb is troublesome since other studies have validated  this type of genetic alteration. Exposure to high level of pollution in  womb may lead to a type of DNA damage associated with ageing called telomere shortening.

What are Telomere? Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes like the plastic tip at the end of shoelaces. Without telomeres DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t perform their functions.Telomere length represents our biological age. Scientific studies have confirmed the strong connection between short telomeres and cellular aging.

Affects of telomere shortening? Causes age related breakdown of cells and linked with cancer, heart disease and premature death and also contribute to behavioural and cognitive problems later in childhood. “An individual’s telomere length at birth is known to influence their risk for disease decades later during adulthood,” said Deliang Tang , Professor at the Columbia University  in the US.

Ways to minimise the risk of exposure:

  • to be moms can’t easily change the place where they live or work but can avoid directly inhaling exhaust (PAHs) from cars on busy streets or smoke from fireworks.
  • pay attention to the outdoor air quality warnings. if there is warning in your area stay indoors.
  • air quality is worse in the afternoon.  refrain from any physical activity at that time or plan for alternate times.
  • avoid areas of burning fuels.
  • use mask wherever possible.
  • talk to your doctor if you live in high risk area.

even the reduction of exposure from moderately high to moderate level would have a positive effect on developing fetus.

There is need of policymakers at central, state, local level to take appropriate steps to protect our children from these avoidable exposures.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ― Gautama Buddha


Bleed red: never too late to go green



Menstruation is a topic close to every women’s heart. The wonderful life giving process is as natural as breathing still the subject is so taboo like having it is a crime.

With changing time, women’s role in society has changed so the period management methods.Our granny’s may have used cloth pads but today periods are unimaginable without disposable sanitary napkins.

How to buy a pad? Ask a shopkeeper he will wrap it in a black polythene and give it to you like it would be a sin if someone sees it. How to dispose of the pads? Use it wrap it in a plastic bag or paper and throw in the dustbin sometimes it directly goes out of the bathroom window rather than in dustbin.

Being an environmentalist my main concern is to create awareness about where does it go after disposal? It doesn’t go anywhere it remains in the system. However what doesn’t occur to most of us is staggering amount of sanitary waste generated every month are making their way into water bodies, fields and sewerage system polluting environment along with negative consequences on our health. The non biodegradable materials are used to make sanitary napkins are mostly plastics, polymers, super absorbents which lead to  accumulation in landfills and due to its chemical cocktails burning causes harmful toxins to be released into atmosphere.

The biomedical waste rule, 1998 says that items contaminated with blood, body fluids, dressings are biomedical waste and should be incinerated, microwaved or autoclaved. But in India lack of concern for sanitary waste management can be reflected in the fact that there is no reliable statistics available on the subject.

Women’s have a huge role to play here by making periods shame free and environmental friendly.

1.Wrap the soiled napkins in plastic bag or leak proof bag.

2.Discard in trash cans that is out of reach of pets and animals.

3.Do not mix it with wet, household garbage and don’t flush it.

4. Most important is use of disposable pads and menstrual cups.

Government needs to take initiative to promote use of eco-friendly pads, menstrual cups, proper menstrual waste disposal by creating awareness through workshops, social media, TV, radio and promoting research to find a biodegradable alternative to sanitary napkins and also asking manufacturers to take responsibility and strive to find a biodegradable sanitary solution.

The life giving process of menstruation needn’t make mother earth a trash dump. Saving of earth is the first and foremost responsibility of everyone, just do it!

You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Let the Future breathe


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


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…….???


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