Saturday, June 6, 2009

The ‘WE’ Day

“Time to act”. This was the caption for an article I read, recently in a news paper that talked about the bond between us and our environment. It started with a very clear message that there had been enough awareness programmes done and at least now, WE the people have to really start doing something for making ourselves and the next generations live.

So many decades passed by!
So many leaders the world has witnessed!
So many ‘varieties ‘of human beings the universe has supported!
So many bills, laws and rules have been executed!
Nonetheless, the individual contribution is very negligible comparatively.

I think for the past nearly half a century, the tide of eco-consciousness has struck the human brains gradually, so are the awareness programmes and are the growth of activists. But to a parallel, WE can see the growth of human population. It is obviously an individual’s effort on how to make things that cause harm to the environment, subtle down from its intensity or even to stop using or consuming them. I believe the extent of awareness, the severity of consciousness and integrity towards surroundings are still beyond what is required to ultimately say a very big bye to the damaging hazardous happenings.

Let me put it in this way.
On account of completion of 37 years after UN has decided to celebrate something for earth and environment on 5th June 1972 at Stockholm conference, I was thinking of this:
According to me, few things when WE consider, may probably lead to a better tomorrow, hmmm, sequencing some, which may make the nature, extinct soon.

‘the thing’ number one: cranky plastics
I saw it in a newspaper. An image of a group of activists, holding placards and badges to say ‘No to Plastics’ in the name of environment awareness. Ironically, the badges laminated in plastic pouches and the banners in acrylic or plastic sheets.
Another incident made me feel ashamed but with a humor. A scene from a tamil movie: A guy gets ‘prasadam’ from a temple entrance. The second guy who accompanies him finds the prasadam in a small plastic cup, sighs and says ‘garpappaiya thavira maththa ellam plasticthaan…’ (“except the uterus (bag) all other bags are plastic”) Very much to think, in that simple sentence.
At this early 30s, when I look back my childhood days, I could compare the containers available by then, from petty shops to all ‘shopkadai’s (big provisional / departmental stores). They actually have had paper folds to contain the anything you buy. If it’s some sticky stuff – like sweet halwa, go for banana leaves. Wow, the good olden days had really amazing and wonderful options. But the future of my childhood had - has these pathetic situations.

‘the thing’ number two: creepy temperature changes
Every year, for almost last fifteen years, there has been a very damn gradual noticeable change in the way the nature treats us. Sometimes it freezes us and sometimes it fries us. Living beings are dying. Oh my, do the people regret for what they have done to the Mother Nature. Water and Fire. Deer and Lion. Alaska and Sahara. X and Y. Everything were in a consummate balance in which the Homo sapiens were in and that is it!
Massive massacres executed by the so called intelligent intellectual beings that possess six senses, as WE proudly refer to. But today a bountiful of awareness from somewhere intruded(?) the sixth sense(s) after making very creative advents to the nature, which has already been made fragile, cracked and even shattered. Alas, go; do good, for something bad that have been done.

‘the thing’ number three: filthy garbage disposals
It is waste. But how good are WE, as care takers in terms of disposing them. A statistics of UN says that 75% of everyday solid waste of an average family can be recycled but actually it happens only for 25%. This 25% is only for countries those have an all-time; full-fledged recycling system for almost all sorts of materials WE use every day. That means, imagine the quantity that is actually becoming mass pile somewhere to pollute the land primarily and move on to more. Coming back to the same, WE need to have more worries on this as well, unlike how WE skip like anything else.
WE go out in a bus or train, WE do think that outside the window is a whole large big open trash where, whatever WE want to throw WE can and make it untidy. WE walk on the road, have some toffee and throw the wrapper on the road, because WE have a large open dust bin waiting for us everywhere. WE spit. WE piss. WE shit and what not WE do in our environment. End of the day, pay for MBBS / MS / MD / blah blah because WE now contain RNA or even H1N1.

‘the thing’ number four: freaky animal slaughters
The more the carbon emitted to the environment, the more the ozone depletion so is for more UV rays which, WE know, causes so many health disorders for WE who least bothered and have a ‘whatever happens to next door’ attitude. Animal slaughter houses not only grow the cruelty but also aggravate global warming by supplying the cadavers(?!!?) to animal food industries, which emit alarming amount of carbon. Highly cautious and of course perilous occurrences. How efficient if WE go for veg? Really WE can contribute a lot for eco. There is always a debate between the v’s and n.v’s when former saying I hate killing animals to eat and latter saying even you kill plants to eat. I usually wonder, what do WE really feel, when WE eat those carcasses? Again some recent researches have found that some vegetables like tomatoes really suffer a lot when WE cut them for cooking. But definitely not like what happens to poor KFC Chickens. Some report says there is little more than six percentage are vegetarians in the whole world. That means approx. 400 million are vegetarians. The remaining 6 billion are Non’s, who make the industry running for carbon hike and ozone dip.

‘the thing’ number five: stinky Pollutions
Being part of above four, still it plays its own dignified roles in various forms. WE raise our accelerator of our vehicles or enjoy loud music or WE dig and dump something as unwanted, WE show a very exclusive contribution from us to this. When WE wash our hands with soap or clean our clothes or utensils, the water goes unnoticed – I mean unrecycled.
If WE can’t find innovative ideas that help us in implementing whatever WE learnt about pollution, still, with what WE have, WE can eventually bring ourselves to some point where WE can actually contribute a lot good towards this. Some examples: Vehicle pooling, replacing unnoticed leaky water taps, reduce / avoid the use of CFC refrigerators, replacing tungsten with CFLs and more. Failing with which WE see resulting in contaminated water, toxicated breathing air, untidy garbage crowded path to walk, sound surround to live with, unbearable atmosphere.

What I mentioned above are just a little sampled thoughts of whatever has been prevailing around my mind which am very sure that is there with every individual who may not be giving priority to so many things that really cause our present world sinking and a future world, hoping to exist, to witness a banana or a cow, only as extinct creations by nature or by 'god' for the believers.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Angels and Demons

Nope, never and surely not the Tom hanks’ stuff!
Eight months plus- a period, perhaps during when I was halted to swing in to burst out things for which I can never do anything alone but with support, to see a 100% positive and pleasing results.. No, this doesn’t mean that my anterior pituitary is malfunctioning, neither non-functioning. It’s all just because the priorities I have given were not so self-invoking to explode in this uniform resource location.

The days went on after the last September. Like what happens with us, when somebody whom we know leaves this real world… happened to me as well. The thoughts about the core of my previous blog, gradually moved on to a phase ‘not-so-frequent’ and probably will go even more diluted as the incumbent moves to top and usually we do not regret for that and that is what is called ‘nature’ in this context. Nevertheless, something else that keeps on striking my mind ever since I realized the immense suffering of which is part of the so called developing nations.

I think it was a decade and a half ago, when I started understanding the probable trauma a child could undergo and trying to withstand when he/she has to work for the family at a very young age. Yes, the popular term ‘child-labour’ was not so obvious for me before and by then, but as I grew up, thanks to the news, articles etc., on the happenings and effects, the ignorance of such sufferings got uprooted from my inside.

I should acknowledge my family, relatives and friends primarily, probably, to develop a very intimate affection towards children since I was a child (?!!) I think that might be a reason to start analyzing the above mentioned. One of my friends used to say “The very big, worst and only problem a child has is… it cannot be a child always and it will grow up”. That’s the very feel-bad-factor, indeed?! An absolute true thing is that a child cannot be as a child ever. So why people look for labourers in the form of children?

The answer may lead to ‘poverty and illiteracy’ for a country like India. It is true that it is not only the contribution by the people who employ children but also by the children themselves and their families too. Understanding this bottom line, the Indian government has setup a system that starts from Gurupadswamy committee and moving on through Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act and adding with a National Policy on Child Labour, all of which contain the usual and standard government format of information delivery, as we can read and understand.

But, how effectively it has been implemented? It may sound like, perhaps once again, blaming the government. Notwithstanding the implementation of laws and acts, as the government’s research and analysis explains or states that it is very difficult to eradicate it completely because of the basic reasons, but how effectively various alternatives can be made, for example building schools for providing education, in the regions where the problem is in extreme condition. The papers add on with a list of hazardous occupations and processes in which a child’s entry as a labourer is completely banned (more on Child Labour, Child Labour in India). I think we can even add for the kids who are used for Fashion show ramp walk too in this list. Read this: Lakme Fashion Week

We may ask; So what? As common men, what else we can do to protect a child from such conditions? At times it is very difficult to skip ‘Social darwinism’ but may be altered as ‘artificial-selection’.

Couple of considerations I could think of:
1. Why don’t we avoid buying things from such children? (if everybody does it - we may indirectly develop an intention to steal things if it cannot be legally obtained)
2. Why don’t we stop going to hotels/ restaurants/ shops, where children are employed? (if everybody does it - we may end up in aggravating poverty, because of loss of job).

Beyond this if we still look more, we may get doubts like - How do we know for all products we use in everyday life does not involve child labour for which we can again easily point to government as is the case : a legal measure / law / rule should be implemented to print that info on the pack after verification.

Then what? Probable suggestions:
1. Primarily try to have empathy more than the natural sympathy and try to trigger the same in others too
2. General awareness through word of mouth - spread the message to near and dear
3. More intensive awareness programmes either self-initiative or through service organizations
4. Violation of rules (the rule base says: employee’s minimum age 14)may be informed to the government officials (dial toll free : 1098)
a. Info by Times of India
b. Info by Karmayog
5. If solely possible, adopt the alternatives (it is very clear, not adoption of the child) for the child like providing education, food, clothes etc.; else join hands with more people, again through existing NGO services or form a group of people through which things can happen legally and smoothly - of course lots of efforts to be initiated for the latter

Though our independent India’s first prime minister officially and publically made his birthday as children’s day, still we are witnessing child abuses and ill treatments in random

Though the laws have been legally floated for three decades, it is only a very meager improvement in terms of what government ‘expects’ and what the children want

Though sometimes we adults act as demons for the cute little angels, the angels are always angels.

Whatever we could do, will ultimately be made possible in India, only through the couple of ministries - Ministry of Labour and employment; Women and Child Development. Let us wait to see, how the new Cabinet Minister and MoS are going to react and respond to this issue.
Mallikarjun Kharge - Cabinet Minister: Ministry of Labour and Employment

Harish Rawat - Minister of State: Ministry of Labour and Employment

Krishna Tirath - Minister of State: Ministry of Women and Child Development

Let us look forward positively.

At this juncture, I remember a quote by Rabindranath Tagore
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity.”