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Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Child of 20 Years Education

It had been clear that Ajay was unfit to do a job in any prosperous company. So he decided to pack up luggage for his native village. He boarded a train to Maggamvaripalle. The mind was so depressed that it couldn't recover from the shock even after the first jolt of the starting train. The train started crawling and hissing through the smoky concrete jungle to leave the suffocating lungs into the open jungles to imbibe the new breath of life. As bouts of oxygen started suffusing into veins, his brain started springing out into a thought of one more new life. A long reel of pictures started flashing in front of his eyes depicting the events of twenty years of his long stay at different educational institutions. The night was no more dark, but painted with colourful illusions of the past imaginative life.

Ajay got off from the only morning train of the village. The sun was just breaking out to scatter its cool golden rays all over the glittering green carpet. Every bird was chirping cheerfully towards the golden fields for its livelihood. No sooner had he approached the door, than he listened the soft conversation between his dad and the elder brother, Vijay. Brother was showing accounts concerning cost of yarn, dyes, designing charges, number of sarees delivered to the market,  and so on. Ajay didn't want to make an abrupt early entry;  instead he decided to sit under the neem tree. He wanted to analyse and list out the reasons for his set backs.

Daddy found that Vijay was not as intelligent as that of Ajay. So he sent Vijay to Surat to get training in silk saree weaving. And Ajay to town to get higher studies.  After a few years of training Vijay returned home and started his own handloom unit, the sole source of income to meet the expenditure of both family and Ajay's stay in the town and later in the city. After being impressed by the way his brother maintaining accounts and by his own introspection, he started penning down biodata in his own style, to be interpreted as follows:

1) No. of years of education: 20 years 
(Baby, KG, Primary, High School, Pre-University, one year long term coaching for engineering entrance exam & B.Tech)

2) No. of days of education: 4000 days
(200 days per annum X 20 years)

3) No. of hours of education in schools & colleges: 32,000 hrs
(8 hrs per day X 4000 days)

4) No. of hours of education in study hours or tuitions: 16,000 hrs
(4 hrs per day X 4000 days)

5) Weight of books handled: 500 kg or say 1/2 ton.
(Average 25 kg per annum X 20 years - text books, study materials, note books, record books & library books)

6) Cost of education: 10 lakhs
(apprx for 20 years - tuition fee, books, stationery, uniforms, etc either spent by parents or government)

7) Percentage of time spent by sitting at educational institutions: 96%

8) Percentage of time spent in other physical activities at educational institutions: 4 %

9) Achievement: Passed 10th class, Intermediate and B.Tech.

10) Language Proficiency: Not satisfactory 
(Now Coaching in Communication Skills or Spoken English required to improve reading, writing and oral skills)

11) Status of Knowledge: Not satisfactory 
(1 Year Long-term Coaching required to appear for competitive exams)

12) Status of Professional Skills: Theoretical  (Byheart or if possible copy system)
(Minimum 3 years training required)

13) Any occupation known for livelihood: Never tried 
(busy with education)

14) Plus points: Good at mobile phones, tabs, computers, internet, e-maling, social network sites, chatting, junk food consumption, romantic affairs, etc.

15) Body appearance: Fantastic 
(have knowledge of branded soaps, shampoos, creams, perfumes, saloons, apparels, fancy items, etc and how to use them)

16) Physical Fitness: occasional tooth ache, eye defects, ENT problems, grey hair, dry skin, obesity, lethargy, back pain, body pains, breathing problems, palpitations, indigestion, etc.

17)  Monthly expenditure: National or international standards
(Source: parents / brother at least for 3 more years)

"The world has done a lot of business through me. I've spent not only a lot of energy and time but also enjoyed a lot as a student. But what about my family? They haven't got a right product in me despite huge investment and aspirations," the thoughts of Ajay had been going on so. What's next? ..... "Future Plans!" The rhythmic click-clack sounds of handloom started emanating from inside. Of course Vijay's routine work had statred! When Ajay lifted his head, Mom was already there with a smile on her face. Dad came out with an inquisitive look at his child of 20 years education!

(Ajay's future plans are left to readers' choice)

Sunday, 20 November 2016

One More Sustainable Swacch Bharat

Just like other middle-class children we were also busy in playing different kinds of outdoor games. We weren't as civilized as present day children with so many electronic gadgets and plastic toys to restrict ourselves to four walls of homes. But as the days passed on we learnt how to play cricket. That's the first advancement we made as developing children. No limit for our boundaries and sixes!

Meanwhile our locality started evolving gradually into a full fledged colony with a number of civic amenities. Number of pucca houses started sprawling all around to hide the invaluable top soil and to kill underlying soil microorganisms, insects and earthworms.  Concrete roads flanked by drainage canals and dust bins came up. The speed of our cricket ball was also increased and we were pleased to find the cricket ball running so fast non-stop on the solid pitches. But one nightmare started to haunt us. That's rolling down of ball into open drains. We had no option but to take out and reuse the same ball drenched all around with sewage. Anyhow we needn't to bother about hands and clothes getting a smear of that holy water. Later we  came to know the composition of the smear as urine, faecal liquids and bacterial colonies after listening the lesson, "Our Microbial World," taught by our biology madam. After getting enlightenment the pace of making boundaries and sixes also slowed down.

But the situation was quite different in the past before that advancement. We were so poor that we didn't use to let even a bit of garbage to cross across our fences. Garbage was purely biodegradable. Paper, jute fibres, coconut coir, leaves and bamboos were common. Plastics were yet to dominate the garbage component! We were putting the garbage in pits to make compost. We  weren't rich enough to purchase either chemical fertilizers or contaminated fruits and vegetables in the market; instead we were using home made manure to harvest home grown fresh food from the kitchen garden.

Water was more precious than food for us. We neither had an energised borewell nor a tap connection to misuse or waste water as per our greed. We were drawing water from the open well in spells as per the need. So we knew the actual value of water rather than that of water bill! Hence here's careful spending of water. Only one-third of the compound was  under the concrete cage. Naturally a very small concrete space, a few cotton clothes and kitchen appliances needed a very less quantity of water to wash and clean. Less water consumption used to create less drainage!

Even that small quantity of sewage worth a lot for us. We used to divert it to the bog garden in the backyard,  crowded with cannas, spider lilies and plantains. The only thing we used to let go was leftover part from utensils after washing. But the eagerly waiting  insects, fowls, sparrows and crows used to consume that part also. Practically nothing was being wasted. All this because we might be poor and less advanced!

We weren't civilized enough to let sewage or toilet water mix together and enter the mega network of concrete drains. Those days the drains were also not so broad and deep enough to house cockroaches, centipedes and rodents. There's  no any contribution of nitrogenous organic wastes, soap water or liquid shampoos from our homes to cause eutrophication of water bodies. We didn't know how to turn transparent water into black or green through algal blooms. Even we didn't know how to evolve a cool breeze wafting  fresh water tank into a source of evening stink. Neither we were a burden on society nor the society was on us. Retail business was also not fashionably evolved to present toned food in attractive plastic packings. Plastics had no any chance to clog the drains!

The thing what I haven't understood so far is why such a huge web of drainage canals are built and inter-connected?  When so many cheaper and safer methods are available, then why only this costlier and harmful mehod has become our final option? Why should we run gallons of dirty water all along our pathways to dump it finally into ponds, pools, rivers, seas and oceans? Instead we can localize the disposal in a sustainable way. Spending a lot to supply fresh water, to construct drains, to clean drains, to purify water and so on .....   the commercial cycle has been going on unabated.

If construction designs are planned well, the entire refuse can be recycled, and water can be recharged into the ground, at the housing site itself. No need to discharge into society. Even the chances of mixing of dirty water and potable water, through pipe line leakages, can be arrested. A number of water bodies can be let to get the past glory of freshness, and life sustenance for a number of water organisms! So motivating people and instructing architects and builders is the job of the responsible agencies.

The natural soil profile is itself the mega purifier of water. It's also an inbuilt mega water tank on the earth. Only a few inches of grass cover and a few feet of loose soil are required. The soil will start reabsorbing and purifying dirty water, followed by recharge, storage and resupply of fresh water. Or else the thirsty greed of humanity never be quenched; and water bodies will remain mega reservoirs of dreadful diseases, rottening fish and obnoxious stink. Let's the greed for concrete and plastic shouldn't disturb our dream for one more "Sustainable Swacch Bharat!"

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Space for Childhood Is Far Away!

A simple question was asked, "Which is your favourite planet?" All the students except one answered, "The Earth". But Kavya said "lt's Jupiter." On asking her the reason she said, "Because the Earth is surrounded by poisonous gases and borderd by lethal weapons." Query continued, "Then why can't you prefer the Mars?" She answered in no time, "I have heard that the same destroyers are going to settle there!" Such a kind of phobia is frightening our tender little hearts to survive on our own planet!

As responsible parents we build castles in air for them. But, in fact majority of our children don't like our homes. The reason may be biophilia, ornithophilia, zoophilia or nature deficit disorder. That means children love to spend more time in green environment, enthusiastic to watch birds and happy to play with animals. Homes of parents are no longer homes of children! Why is it so? Because we are developing batophilia, that is love to live in or near tall buildings. Far away from environs where children actually want to live! Anyhow kids have neither a choice to fly away to a distant planet nor a chance to fulfil their desires on this planet. Always our concrete sense overdominates their common sense!

Architectural, engineering and market thrills never allow us to pulse the innate natural beats of our children. Spatial plans, structural designs and suggestive guidelines are always there to keep the neurons in our brains ever busy. So we never have to miss a modern facility or sophisticated furnishing to have a place in our homes. Only thing which doesn't find a place is kid's love towards nature. Our aims will be fulfilled if we can draw the attention of our friends and relatives to receive appreciation for our architectural master-pieces. But the bright colours of our buildings blind our senses to perceive the glow of instinctive desires burning in the genes of younger generations. Instead we wire kids to technological marvels like TVs,  PCs and tabs indoors in sohisticated concrete cages. Though this habit increases their body-mass index, we have no other choice. Let them grow in girth. The world's growing so. So let it go! We scarcely worry about negative effects of physical inactivity. Or we might have already pre-planned to face them. Medical field isn't dearth of research. Treatment is ever available in the market. Superspeciality hospitals are always there. Then why should we worry? Even malfunctioning of thyroids, lungs, liver, pancreas or kidneys doesn't matter.

The innocent childhood urges to sense soft sunrays in the early hours, to do green-exercise, to climb a tree, to play on grass, to view hues or smell fragrance in flowers, and also to watch agile butterflies, active birds and witty squirrels busy around in the home garden. But our rusty outdated minds are always there to flake off the instinct images imprinted on the young brains. Seldon we get time to take our kids to gardens of their choice. Even if possible that too in the evenings only! And we feel proud to show them the wonders like artificial  fountains and synthetic playing items in the light polluted evening gardens. Visiting and studying the lively beautiful gardens in sunny days may be a never-ending desire for our children.

We're great not only because we don't allow them to enjoy poorman's nature, but also because we stand as obstacles against the overall development of our children. Physical activities practically nil. Please think, how can children develop cognitive qualities like problem solving skills, focus and self-discipline, if they aren't let to come out of the four walls of homes,  classrooms and vehicles? How can they improve cooperation, flexibility, and self-awareness? Instead a flame of aggression and enmity engulf their minds. They may either become easy victims to culprits or culprits to prey easy victims.

If we really want to change the human world we should change the units of that world first. That's homes. The overall development of a child can't be expected without an ideal home. The ideal home is one which harldly has 1/3 of its space under concrete structure, 1/3 exposed to the sun and remaining 1/3 covered by tree shade.  (That's what 33.3% of world area under forests mean!) The house should be so small that kids should be forced to spend much of their time outdoors, in appreciating the wonders of nature - shining sun, gleaming moon, twinkling stars, hovering butterflies, flying birds and breezing trees. The kid should spend 1/3 time in schools, 1/3 time in natural environment playing and 1/3 time in sleep. Sound body leads to sound mind!

It's glad that a number of animal activists stand there to protest against destruction of wildlife habitats and also to protect their natural ecosystems. Lot of sympathy is being expressed towards the mute creatures worldwide. Our poor children also listen and learn much about the importance of balanced ecosystems for wildlife, hours together. But, oblivious of their own ecosystems! How many organizations are there to work for balanced human ecosystems? Or as individuals, at least, have we ever thought of the kind of habitats our children need? No, practically nil. Let's Think now! Or else the space for childhood is always far away!


Monday, 7 November 2016

Neem Stick to Control Toothbrush Crimes

A toothbrush is the last device to be used before going to bed and also the first one after waking up. It's not only beautiful and  colourful but also stylish in its form and bends. But it was a thing of craze in my past ignorant life. I used to be proud of using most stylish brushes in my family. Now such a thing of pride has become a criminal or sinner, at least in my view.

It's said that a plastic toothbrush commits crimes not only after its disposal but also before it get its shape and form in factories.  Primarily it's not a biodegradable material. Secondarily it's a product of fossil fuels. Fossil fuel means oil formed out of the crushed bodies of plants and animals millions of years back. It may consist of flesh and blood of a dinosaur or any other past animal. Anyhow that's not a big issue for non-vegs.

Tertiarily it emits cancer causing poisons like benzene before getting a cute form and style. As we know benzene may cause leukaemia or blood cancer. Besides this killer it would have emitted an another silent killer called carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane in the oil refineries before getting its embryonic stage called naptha or after that!

The toothbrush which is meant for whitening human teeth might have once blackened the lungs of some workers or animals nearby the refineries or factories in its formative stages. The same story with respect to nylon bristles, after doing a lot of harm to somebody's life, now starts brushing the pearly teeth to shine.

Some say that the present toothbrushes are recyclable. That means they can be remoulded into new toothbrushes.  But anyhow the chemistry is seem to be very obnoxious both to humanity and other biodiversity. I don't know how many old toothbrushes will get a new avatar. But majority of used toothbrushes may be a source of a municipal waste nightmare, landfill waste and dangerous pollutant after photooxidation, causing harm once again to our living communities. Neither safe before manufacturing nor after disposal!

When the plastic brush causes indirect harm before its formation and after its disposal the toothpaste causes direct harm while drenching the sensitively thin  mouth linings and tasting the tongue buds inside. No doubt it's a mixture of a number of chemicals. Triclosan which is supposed to kill germs may kill the user by damaging his or her liver, kidney, lungs and endocrine systems in higher doses. Sometimes it may  cause cancer too.

While protecting enamel, fluorides discolour the teeth with a mosaic of dirty spots on it. Besides that they may damage gums and bones to become cancerous also. Likewise other poor mindless chemicals are there in toothpastes to torture the human body. They are there to cheat the innocent nostrils and hidden taste buds through their alluring flavours.

After raeading so much about toothbrushes and toothpastes I decided to go for my traditional chewstick gifted by my ever beneficial neem tree (Azadirachta indica). But this one never has such a criminal record. Instead it supplies oxygen, cools down surrounding temperatures, calls the hovering clouds to rain, hosts a number of beautiful birds, holds swings for our children to enjoy a day and gives shade to human beings and mute animals before presenting us a fresh chew stick.

Along with the job of cleaning and whitening our teeth neem stick releases safe organic substances that may kill harmful germs either in the mouth cavity or in the intestine. After disposal it gets mixed up into the soil without causing any harm to the environment. What a great gift from mother nature! Let's propagate neem trees all over so that neem sticks can control toothbrush crimes.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Green Energy at the Mercy of Red Energy

Just like any life with flesh, nerves and veins, modern economy is also so with minerals, electricity and fuels.  But the ancient form of muscle power, ATP energy and oxygenated blood can't be converted into money as effectively and quickly as that of the modern minerals, electricity and petroleum. Bioenergy, natural energy or internal energy is the actual green energy which is safe for the living world.   Natural energy may be good for nature but not for doing a very big business, earning huge profits or winning supremacy on the fast track of the economic field. People get fascinated if they find some non-living object moving rather a living object. So business can be done through artificial energy by showing movements and responses in artificial things.

The underdeveloped world is a poor one because it's run mostly by internal energy possessed by animals, human beings and vegetation which isn't strong and fast enough to multiply business. On the other hand the external energy creates a numer of business opportunities in the form of vehicles, plastics, paints, synthetics, cement, buildings, electrical appliances, electronic gadgets and heavy machines to increase the income of a person, a company or a nation. The secret force behind the developed world is the technology that efficiently harness energy from coal, natural gas, petroleum, radioactive substances, water dams, solar panels, wind mills, etc. and put to rule over the business. So without external energy no one can achieve supriority over the others. If you want business animate the inanimate things! That's how artificial energy is preferable to the natural energy in this ever bloating economic world.

The first question is how fast the artificial energy makes money at the cost of the wilderness?  Unlike that of manpower the electrical energy energises machines to become strong and fast enough to mine and extract a very huge quantity of minerals and metals from a very large area in a very short period of time. Besides that it's used to cut an innumerable number of trees to extract a very huge quantity of timber. A lot of wilderness is required to be cleared for energy projects too. But the pace and level of deforestation, spreading of pollution, displacement of animals, their indirect deaths and extinctions are the different questions to keep the green activists ever busy.

The second question is how fast the artificial energy makes money at the cost of the domestic animals? Unlike that of animal power the petroleum can make automobiles grow in numbers and technically fast enough to plough hectares of land; to replace cowdung with chemical fertilizers; to carry billions of tons of farm produce and processed food and industrial products; and to transport millions of people far and wide to every nook and corner of the world in a very short period of time. The two mighty powers, electricity and petroleum, can make possible selective rearing of a few animal breeds and mass production of diary and meat products in factory farms. But the silent killing of the thousands of breeds of mute domestic animals,   the alarming levels of air, water and noise pollution; and rapid spreading of unknown diseases to the succeptible world are the different questions to keep the philanthropic organizations and health departments ever busy.

The third question is how fast the artificial energy makes money at the cost of the human race? As long as electricity and carbon fuels are there no one can slow down the speed of multiplication of vehicles. Like wise as long as electricity is there no one can weaken the supply chain of electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. When electricity don't  allow our hands to work, petroleum fuels don't allow our legs to walk! When hands and legs go into rest the other external and internal organs of the body will also follow the suit. So there will be a lot of savings in internal energy to keep  human bodies bloating. That's how the growth in the weight of human bodies is taken place along with degenerative and infectious diseases. By habituating the total human body to take rest the power of electricity and fuels grow further powerful to suppress the total power of human race.

The first allied forces which have conquered over the entire animal, human and plant kingdoms are nothing but electricity and carbon fuels. These are the forces which have made human beings forget the skill of converting hidden potential energy into safe kinetic energy and instead make them dependent on apparatus, appliances, equipment, gadgets, machines and vehicles. That's where the market forces come to reap the benefits from money-crops with bumper profitable yields.

These are the forces which make both mass production of goods and production of weapons of mass destruction possible. Only the concept of "mass production" can keep "production by masses" at check. Electricity and carbon fuels help educate families so fast that they forget for ever the conventional methods, kill traditional skills, and make incapable to produce safe products at home anymore. They  keep off green energy generators like animals, human beings and vegetation at a bay. Now they can easily  break productive families into employees to work in factories, earn money and become consumers with strong purchasing power in markets. What a great red army of electricity and fuels the superior species of the animal kingdom has created to defeat its own kingdom of life! Now the green energy is surviving at the mercy of the red energy. 

Even the beautiful phosphorescent light emitting and other nocturnal creatures are blinded by the lights electrified by red energy sources. But one thing is clear that to keep living world ever flourish the economy should walk in consonance to the impulse of green energy streaming all over the biosphere. The economy shouldn't run with the speed of the red energy invented and misused by the ignorant mankind. Or else the another mass extinctions will be imminent.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Where to Start Environmental Campaigns?

A great untiring activity is going on all around the world. Millions of teachers, lecturers and professors in schools, colleges and universities are engaged in preparing pupils and students for development. Day and night thousands of scientists in laboratories are doing research for development. Thousands of economists and planners are involved in plotting graphs of economic growth to show a right direction for development. Billions of dollars are being taxed  and spent for development only.

A great human force is being employed,  hundreds of activities are being carried out, thousands of acres of forest land is being cleared,  millions of tons of minerals and metals are being extracted and refined for speedy development. A fantastic growth is being seen in a number of rigs and barrels of crude oil; the length of roads and railways; number and height of buildings; variety of vehicles; and machines, computers and robots. It can be shown to the public especially the shareholders to invest in and support for further growth and development.

Meanwhile human lives are also being seemingly improved. Majority of people are going hand in glove with the elite class to enjoy the fruits of development.  Every household is getting modern facilities. No need to put arms and legs to toil anymore. No need to draw and pour water into pots from wells. No need to cut and cook vegetables.  No need to squeeze and suck fruit juices. This is all due to the collective efforts of a number of scientists, inventors, innovators, industrialists, economists, politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, employees and other workforce.

Inspite  of such a rapid pace in growth and development a long list of complaints are yet creeping in. Some say that forests are being degraded and so do campaigns to plant trees. Some say that wildlife is being endangered and so do campaigns to save animals.  Some say that water resources are under threat and so do campaigns to clean rivers. Some say that pollution is at alarming levels and so do campaigns to filter smoke and treat effluents. Some say that plastics are killing animals and so do campaigns to recycle the scrap. Some say that climate is changing and so do campaigns to reduce carbon emissions. Some say that human race itself is under peril due to physical inactivity and consequent degenerative diseases and so do campaigns to propagate the culture of exercises and yoga.

But campaigns have been remained as individual entities. As isolated forces in forests, on the coastal beaches, on river banks or in front of the pollution causing factories, campaigns aren't serving the purpose better. So all campaigns should be started together as a united combined force from homes. Consumers of the fruits of development should be convinced. Majority of consumers are the followers of the elite class especially famous celebrities. All educated and professional consumers are also following the suit. Changes in the habits of the celebrities and elite will certainly change the attitudes of the common masses. 

Most of the resources are being over-exploited, wasted and misused for luxurious homes, world class  furnishings, non-stop entertainment and enjoyment. If the rich class is convinced regarding the gravity of the problem a lot of destruction can be easily stopped. If wise people are convinced better they all may plan for small houses amidst bigger gardens rather than bigger houses in smaller namesake gardens.  As small sized buildings need less consumption of minerals, cement, steel, timber, plastics, synthetics, paints, electricity and water a lot of pressure on the planet can be reduced. Besides this a lot of trees come up around in place of concrete covered non-porous spaces.

So the mindset of the people should be changed if we want to change the world. If the elite and intellectual class do something the remaining class will think it as a good choice to follow and replicate. So it would be always better to start environmental campaigns at the point of consumption rather than at the point exploitation to get speedy and effective results. Simplest person is safest to both nature and humanity!