Protection of Western Ghats

Western Ghats are home to over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species, many undiscovered species. It spreads in 6 states :kerala, karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Madhav Gadgil Panel Report, 2011

*Turn entire western ghats

Earthquakes

An earthquake is caused by a sudden slip on a fault. Stresses in the earth’s outer layer push the sides of the fault together. Stress builds up and the rocks slips suddenly, releasing energy in waves that travel through the earth’s crust and cause the shaking. An Earthquake occurs when plates grind and scrape against each other. India lies at the northwestern end of the IndoAustralian Plate, which encompasses India, Australia, a major portion of the Indian Ocean and other small countries. This plate is colliding against the huge Eurasian Plate and going under the Eurasian Plate,this process of one tectonic plate getting under another is responsible for making India a earthquake prone country. A number of significant earthquakes occured in and around India over the past century. Some of these occured in populated and urbanized areas and hence caused great damage. Many went unnoticed, as they occurred deep under the Earth’s surface or in relatively un-inhabited places. The varying geology at different locations in the country implies that the likelihood of damaging earthquakes taking place at different locations is different. Thus, a seismic zone map is required to identify these regions.

Bureau of Indian Standards, based on the past seismic history, grouped the country into four seismic zones, Zone – 2,-3,-4and 5. Of these, zone 5 is the most seismically active region, while zone 2 is the least. The Modified Mercalli(MM) intensity, which measures the impact of the earthquakes on the surface of the earth, broadly associated with various zones, is as follows.

HEALTHY MIND IN A HEALTHY BODY

Look to our past to find clues for healthy living today, and tomorrow. Civilisations understood there is a definitive link between our physical health and psychological well-being. In order to survive the 21st century we should look to seven simple daily habits in lifestyle choices. Here is a timeline of major inventions that have changed our lives since the 1800s:The steam engine and locomotive were invented in 1804,the telephone in 1876,the first electrical power plant in 1882,the production line automobile in 1902,the television in 1927,the jet airplane 1943,the ATM in 1967,the cell phone in 1973,the internet in 1983.Isn’t it amazing to realize how these changes have occurred considering the first primate fossils date back some 20 million years?

Personal computers and smart phones together with high – speed internet and social media have changed the way we live, work and communicate in ways that would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago. We are all scrambling to keep our bearings in this digital whirlwind.

We have to be proactive inorder combat the potential of digital technology to zap our minds and bodies of their vitality. Obviously digital advances have improved our lives in so many ways but there are so many uncertains. For example If a learning tool help raise a generation that is being spoonfed too much over processed everything or do they enhance learning and creativity. I think it is a dual edged sword.

Technology has the ability to grately enhance our lives. But it also has the ability to greatly enhance our lives but it also has the power to cause our bodies and brains to atrophy.What are the consequences to our biology of living in a virtual reality, where we don’t have to work physically to stay alive? Will the children be able to adapt to these changes better than we did or will it only get worse? The advice here in is a prophylaxis to help insulate your biology. So, you can continue to climb ever higher and maximize the potential of your body and mind. Humans are built to run. Utility, creativity and adventure are in our DNA. Now industrialization plus energy gluttony is causing global warming.

Habits for a healthy mind and body.

  1. Daily physicality:Exercise for at least 20 mins most days of the week. Brisk walking is the best medicine.
  2. Intellectual curiosity. Spend some time in focused thought exploring new ideas everyday.
  3. Foster creativity. Challenge your mind to connect unrelated ideas in new and useful ways.
  4. Human unity. Create and maintain close knit human bonds and a social support network.
  5. Energy balance. Balance calories in and calories out and reduce your carbon.
  6. Spiritual connectedness : Identify a source of inspiration that is bigger than you. God loves and cares about every area of our life. So we need to find the gifts god gave us body, mind and spirit. It is undoubting faith in God that instills inner peace and joy.

Cyclone

Cyclonic storm is caused by atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area and is usually accompanied by violent storms and severe weather conditions. Cyclone is derived from the greek word cyclos – coiling of snake. Tropical Cyclone is a deep low pressure area from around the center the strong winds, spirals and pick up the speeds of 62 kmph or more. In Northern hemisphere these winds rotate counter clock wise and in Southern hemisphere clockwise. The tropical cyclones that are intense are known as huricanes Over the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons over the pacific ocean. They are know by different names for example dust devils, supercell thunderstorm, tomadoes, tropical cyclones, extra tropical cyclones etc. On the basis of the speed of the wind cyclones are classified into 5 different categories.

According to the category of the cyclone the wind speed varies that is from 60 km an hour to about 220 kmph and above. When the speed of the wind around the low pressure area reach upto 60 kmph it is known as tropical cyclone and the name is assigned. When wind speed settles between 89 and 118 kmph, it turns into a severe Cyclonic storm. When wind blows at a speed of about 119 to 221 kmph then it is known as very severe Cyclonic storm and when the speed of the wind exceeds 221kmph then the cyclone is known as supercyclonic storm. The word meteorological organization (WMO) has a well defined process to select the name of each cyclone.

A cyclone named fani is a massive Cyclonic formation over the south of bay of Bengal which made landfall in odisha.

Cyclone like ookhi hit parts of kerala, tamil nadu, sri lanka, and maldives at 185kmph with total fatalities of 245 in kerala that time around 80 fisherman were killed and 140 people were reported missing. In 2018 cyclone gaja also made landfall in Nagapattinam ‘s vedaranyam block and killed around 46 people. In 2019 vayu in the Arabian Sea.

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth’s North and South poles in each Hemisphere. The term refers to the counter clockwise flow of air that helps the colder air close to the poles. Often during winter in the Northern hemisphere the polar vortex will become less stable and expand senting cold artic air southward over the East of US with the jet stream. One exist in the troposphere where we live and where the weather happens. The other exists in the second lowest, called the stratosphere, which is a shroud of thin air that gets warmer at higher altitudes. The tropospheric polar vortex is the one that affects our weather with piercing shots of cold, intense bouts of storminous and bitter wind chills reaching upto 80°Celsius.

Environment Scan

The world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. NASA used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer(MODIS) to get a detailed picture of Earth’s global vegetation through time. The technique provided up to 500 meter resolution for the past two decades.

According to NASA, in contrast to the perception that China and India are over exploiting land, water and resources for economic gain, the countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. China and India implemented besides infusion of technology around agriculture. India broke world records in tree planting, with 800000 Indians planting 50 million trees in just 24 hours.

The NASA’s high resolution imagery published in the journal Nature Sustainability, allowed comparison of satellite data :mid-1990s-2019.Initially,the researchers wondered about the significant greening around the planet. Was it due to a warming planet, increased CO2 or a wetter climate that could have caused more plants to grow. Further investigation of the satellite imagery, helped find the disproportionate greening in China and India. If the greening was primarily a response from climate change and a warming planet, the increase vegetation wouldn’t be limited to country borders. Besides, higher latitude regions should also become greener faster than lower latitudes as permafrost melts and areas like Northern Russia become more habitable.

The United States stands 7th in the total change in vegetation percent by decade. It is encouraging to see swift and rapid change in governance and land use.

Electronic waste comprises waste electronics/electrical goods that are not fit for their originally intended use or have reached their end of life. This may include items such as mobile phones, computers, monitors, calculators, CDs, printers, scanners, copiers, battery cells, Radio, TVs, medical apara and electronic components besides white goods such as refrigerators and air conditioners which contain hazardous constituents, although e-waste itself is not harmful. E – waste also contains recoverable value materials like copper, silver, gold and platinum. The harmful materials contained in electronic products are heavy metals such as lead, barium and cadmium which are harmful to health if they enter the water bodies. These materials can cause damage to the human nervous and respiratory systems.

India is among the world’s largest consumers of mobile phones and produces more than 1.5 million tonnes of e-waste each year. Most consumers are still unaware of how to dispose of their e-waste. E-waste Rules, 2016,was enacted on 1 oct 2017,further strengthening the existing rules.

Crystallography

The International Union Crystallography (IUCr) and UNESCO has jointly organized 2014 as International year of crystallography. With this they aim to promote education and public awareness through a variety of activities and to broaden the base of crystallography, in order to provide developing countries with more expertise in this field which can be made use in their scientific and industrial development.

Crystals are all around us. Most of the time, we do not even realize all the crystals we see in our day to day life. Now, let’s see they are. Crystals are solids that are formed by a regular repeated pattern of molecules connecting together. Throughout history, people have been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of crystals. Sugar grains, ice, salt, gemstones, graphite etc are crystals that we see around us. Diamond is one of the simplest and most symmetrical of crystal structures.

CRYSTALLOGRAPHY is the science that examines the arrangement of atoms and solids in a crystal. Crystallography supports the development of all new materials, from every day products like computer memory cards to flat television screens, cars, aeroplane components and liquid crystal display devices. In fact crystallography has many applications. It touches our everyday life and forms the backbone of industries including agro-food, aeronautic, automobile, beauty care, computer, electro-mechanical, pharmaceutical, and mining industries.

In the 20th century it was realized that X-rays could be used to see the structure of matter. This marks the dawn of modern crystallography. X-ray crystallography has been the main method of determining the atomic structure of minerals and metals since 1920.Everything we know about rocks, geological formations, the history of earth, knowledge of meteorites comes is based on crystallography. Drug design depends on the use of crystallography. Knowing the precise shape of the protein allows the scientists to design drug compounds that can stick in to the active sites on the protein and thereby disable the harmful activity. Crystallography is essential at the stage of drug manufacture. It is used in the quality control of the processed drug during mass production, to ensure that strict health and safety guidelines are met.

MIXED FARMING, A VIABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM

Mixed farming is a type of agriculture in which crop production is combined with the rearing of livestock. The livestock enterprises are complementary to crop production, so as to provide a balance and productive system of farming. Mixed farming may be treated as a special case of diversified farming. This particular combination of enterprises, support each other and add to the farmer’s profitability.

Farming is very intensive and sometimes highly specialized with one portion of the farm being devoted entirely to arable farming and the other portion entirely to livestock.

This system of farming predominates in regions with a dense and highly urbanized population. Mixed farming encompasses much of the eastern USA, Canada, Western Europe, northwestern USA, Central Mexico, southern Brazil, parts of pampas, Central Chile, and South Africa. From Western Europe, a belt of mixed farming extends eastward into the Asiatic Russia through the central part of the European Russia.

Even though this type of farming was first developed in Europe and later spread to Americas, it is gaining importance in the less developed countries of Asia and Africa as a viable agricultural system.

A variety of crops are grown in the mixed farming region. Cereals dominate the crop land use, the leading grain vary with climate and soil. In the temperate regions wheat, maze and oats are the major crops with dairy cattle, sheep or pigs as animals. In tropical regions rice dominates in the humid regions with cattle and goats. Aquaculture and poultry is also integrated to it. In the drier parts jowar, bajra and ragi is integrated with cattle and goats.

Wetlands conservation

The importance of wetlands to society, both in their fundamental value and as an essential constituent of the ecosystem, has long been acknowledged by biologists and other natural scientists. Wetlands are responsible for many intricate ecological processes as well as for their prosperous flora and fauna. The important functions of wetlands are water shortage, storm protection and flood migration, shoreline stabilization, ground water recharge and discharge, water purification, retention of sediments, nutrients and pollutants and stabilization of local climate, particularly temperature and rain. Attributes of wetlands embrace the safeguarding of biological diversity by supporting bird fauna(like waterfowls and migrant birds) fish, reptiles, mammals and invertebrate species like shrimps, many plant species and a range of micro organisms including plankton.

Wetlands have been under peril of degradation due to anthropogenic activities. Major threats to the wetlands and their biota are

1)Encroachment

2)Aqua culture development

3)Siltation

4)Weed infestation which in turn lead to the decrease in biological diversity, deterioration of water quality, sedimentation and shrinkage in areas under wetlands, decrease in migratory bird population, decrease in fish productivity and abundant growth of unwanted aquatic biota.

Wetlands despite their remarkable ecological and economic prospective are considered as lands of low value or just waste lands and they have been encroached for urban development as well as for agricultural purposes. Wetlands are taken by many as mear dumping sites of domestic sewage, solid waste, industrial effluents and pesticide fertilizer run off from nearby agricultural lands. Pollution leads to eutrophication which in turn reduces dissolved oxygen and increases the biological oxygen demand leading to the mass mortality and depletion of stock of fish and other aquatic organisms. The eutrophication process further creates conditions favourable for the weeds to flourish in the wetlands. In the case of India infustation aquatic species like eichornia crassipes and ipomea aquatica is a wide spread problem which interfere with the ecological functions of wetlands. Another major threat to the environmental quality of the wetlands is their haphazard utilization for aqua culture. Intensive use of fish and prawn feed and the consequent draining of the nutrients rich water into the neighbouring sea or river ecosystem result in the degradation of wetlands. Siltation as a natural geological process has its own natural pace in aquatic ecosystem including wetlands. But Siltation together with anthropogenic activities would pilot to the reduction and loss of wetland habitats as well as the modification in their faunal and floral composition.

Dementia

Dementia is a progressive and sometimes chronic brain condition that causes problems with person’s thinking, behaviour, and memory.

Dementia itself is not a disease, but a syndrome, its symptoms are common to several brain diseases. It worsens over time. But medications might slow that decline and help with symptoms, such as behaviour changes. There are many different types of dementia. The treatments depend on the type of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease-Experts think between 60%-80% of people with dementia have this disease. It’s what most people think of when they hear “dementia”. Symptoms such as memory loss and trouble planning and doing familiar tasks.

Symptoms – mild at first but get worse over a number of years,confused about where he/she is or what day or year it is, Have problems speaking or writing, lose things and be unable to backtrack to find them, show poor judgement, have mood and personality changes

Vascular Dementia – If a person gets this type of dementia, it’s usually because he’s had a major stroke, or one or more “silent” strokes, which can happen without him realizing it. The symptoms depend on which part of his brain was affected by the stroke. While Alzheimer’s usually begins with memory problems, vascular dementia more often begins with poor judgment or trouble planning, organizing, and making decisions.

Symptoms – Memory problems that disrupt your loved one’s daily life, trouble speaking or understanding speech, problems recognizing sights and sounds that used to be familiar. Being confused or agitated, changes in personality and mood, problems walking and having frequent falls.

Dementia with lewy bodies – Lewy bodies are microscopic deposits of a protein that form in some people ‘s brains. They’re named after the scientist who discovered them.

If someone you know gets DLB, it’s because these deposits have formed in the part of the brain called the cortex.

Symptoms – Problems thinking clearly, making decisions or paying attention, memory trouble, seeing things that aren’t there, known as visual hallucinations, unusual sleepiness during the day, periods of “blanking out” or staring.

Problems with movement, including trembling, slowness, and trouble walking. Dreams where you act out physically, including, talking, walking and kicking.

Swami Vivekananda

If the modern world had not known Swami Vivekananda, who stirred up world thought with his short life span, we would probably have disbelieved the life of Adi Shankara, who completed his mission in just 32 years.

Vivekananda spoke to human beings only about the spirit and the essence of man. The very definition of ‘Man is Potential Divine’ can be considered as the heart of Vivekananda’s message. Gandhiji said: “I want to tell the youth not to return empty-handed to Vivekananda.”Swami Vivekananda, who presented the Upanishads in a modern style in the Western world, was shaking up Western thought itself, describing the value of life and the way to bring it out and express it. The notion that ‘sin is the greatest sin’ was enough to shake up the whole thinking of the West.Many Western geniuses inspired by Vivekananda are proof that this gospel of power has transformed the Western world. The French philosopher Romain Roland, Margaret Noble, Tesla and Maxller all enriched that column by saying that the wise men could be heard as electric shocks.Swami Vivekananda is considered to have achieved ‘universal victory’, perhaps because of his re-establishment of worldview in this way by highlighting the theories of the Vedas.

This influence on the field of thought can be summed up by borrowing the words of Nataraja Guru: ‘Swami Vivekananda has made a permanent investment in the West. Anyone can be there for the interest. ‘ An important truth accepted by the whole world about the message of Vivekananda is that, as Tagore said, ‘there is nothing negative in Vivekananda’. Even that form of Vivekananda is reminiscent of eternal youth and eternal inspiration.

This is the only place in the world where you can see tigers in the mangroves

The Sundarbans is the only place in the world where you can see tigers in the mangroves. Situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, this mangrove forest stretches across India and Bangladesh. Sunderbans is located at a distance of about 120 km from the city of Kolkata.

The area where the river and the sea meet is rich in mangroves. Sunderbans is the most diverse mangrove area. 78 species are found here. Sundarbans or Sundarbans got its name from the abundance of mangroves called Sundari.

Declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1977, the area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987. The place has also been declared a Tiger Reserve to protect the tigers.

The tigers here can be considered as ‘amphibians’ that can easily land and water. Their behavior has changed to suit the life in the mangroves. They can travel long distances through the water. These tigers are also good at hunting fish and crabs from the water.

Sunderbans are more dangerous than the Bengal tiger in general. They have a habit of crawling behind and attacking. Every year, many villagers are injured in tiger attacks. Some even die.You can take a boat ride through the small islands and see the sights. There have also been incidents of tigers swimming near the boat carrying tourists. In addition to tigers, the Sundarbans is home to deer, a variety of crocodiles, other reptiles, and a variety of birds.The Royal Bengal Tiger Tour, the Sunderbans Weekend Tour, the Tigers & Renault Tour and the East India Wildlife Tour are some of the packages available for visitors.

How To Reach

By Air: Nearest Airport: Jodhpur (280 km / 5 hrs)By Rail: Jaisalmer station has connections to Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahemedabad and Jodhpur. Good options are Delhi-Jaisalmer Express, Jodhpur-Jaisalmer Express and Surya mail linking Mumbai and Ahemedabad.

By Road: Luxury buses from Jodhpur, Jaipur and Bikaner serve Jaisalmer daily

HIMALAYAN GLACIER MELTING DOUBLED

The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century. Joshua Maurer, from Columbia University ‘s Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory, used a computer tool that enabled converting US spy satellite images of mid-1970s into 3D maps. It led to declassify the satellite data to create the first detailed, four – decade record of ice along the 2,000km mountain chain. The scientists thus found the changes in 650 Himalayan glaciers. On average, the glacier surfaces sank by 22cm a year from 1975 to 2000.But the melting has accelerated, with an average loss of 43cm a year from 2000 to 2016.The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually.

As per the report at least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya ranges was already doomed to melt by the end of the century. Serious consequences will be felt by those who rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. Increasingly, uncertainty and irregular water supplies will impact the 1 billion people living downstream from the Himalaya mountains in South Asia. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Man, of course, even in natural state is born with certain rights. He has right to live. Even animals recognise this. But in a civilized society which we witness today and for which the man has spent thousands of years of his existence, witnesses abrogation and violation of his ordinary Human Rights. As civilisation advances, more disrespect is shown to human rights. We cannot confine this accusation to a particular country but to the whole world.’Amnesty International’, the universal supervisor, though not a silent spectator, has failed to achieve the targeted results.

Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. It is not a mere statement of psychological or philosophical nature. But today is material reality. Even in western civilisation like America ‘s great leaders like Lincoln and Martin Luther King who fought for the human rights of blacks in yesteryears fell victims to bullets. Racism has been an eyesore to any civilised society. Man would have better been in jungles.

If it is racism in western world, it is casteism in countries like India. It is appalling note that even today two – tumbler system exists in remote villages of India. As the whole system revolves around this vicious circle, violation of human rights is a everyday phenomenon in India.

Though the Indian Constitution clearly enunciates and defines the Fundamental Rights of citizens and their guardians, need has arisen to create extra-constitutional bodies to protect human rights. Human Rights Commission at National level and at State level have been created to deal with violation of human rights. The high-handedness of the police which is the enforcement body of laws, custody deaths, filing of cases under provisions not related to their pretty crimes committed to satisfy either their superiors or their political bosses have received condemnation from all quarters. The incidents in Tamil Nadu after May – 2008 elections, were subjected to wild criticism. The political vendetta and vengeance by political parties and their leaders are not healthy signs of democracy. Gone are the days when the policies and not individuals were subjected to valid criticisms.

As far as India is concerned, we have enough laws, but the violations arise only when they are implemented. To a large extent, though the violation of human rights can be traced to a large scale illiteracy prevailing in India, it can be safely concluded that the system of education practised in India does not emphasis much on human values. The system needs total revamping. Strict enforcement of law is the need of the hour but violation of human rights is strongly condemnable.

We are in a civilised democratic country. In the words of Churchill, ‘Democracy is the worst form of Government but, we do not know better than that’. Hence, what is required is ‘respect for human values’.

COVID-19 AND MENTAL HEALTH

It is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear,worry and stress when they are faced with uncertainty in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic.Added to the fear of contracting to the virus significant changes in our daily lives as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slowdown the spread of the virus faced with new realities of working from home, temporary employment, home schooling of children and lack of physical contact with other family members , friends and colleagues .It is important that we look after our mental as well as our physical health.WHO together with partners is providing guidance and advice during COVID 19 Pandemic for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children , older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally to help us look after our mental health.

         Preliminary evidence suggest that symptoms of anxiety and depression(16-28percentage) and self reported stress(8percent) are psychological reactions to the COVID 19 Pandemic and may be associated with disturbed sleep. A number of individual and structural variables moderate this risk.Studies prove that more vulnerable groups identified are older adults , the homeless, migrant workers and children.

       Lack of knowledge among mental health professionals and difficulty in obtaining the cooperation of patients for preventive measures leads to psychotic disorders. As the number of patients affected by this pandemic continues to increase social distancing , using mask and sanitizer were the common measures used to prevent the pandemic and promote the BREAK THE CHAIN program.

      Quarantine, isolation and social distancing in the times of a raging pandemic can be psychologically distressing for many people.Giving Confidence and support to them and to their family is an important factor.FIGHT THE DISEASE NOT THE PATIENT should  be our motto.

AYURVEDIC REMEDY FOR ALLERGIES

Allergies are something that bothers many people. This problem usually occurs when our body comes in contact with unsuitable substances or the atmosphere. Climate, food and medicine are some of the factors that contribute to this. These types of allergies, such as dust allergies, are also common. Allergies are not a disease, but the body’s immune system, so to speak. This is the body’s mechanism to expel what it does not fit into the body. This is the body’s immune system. But this allergy is often one of the things that bothers us the most. Some people have a permanent problem such as dust allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, especially when you wake up in the morning, and frequent sneezing and colds. According to Ayurveda, there are some remedies for such allergies.

According to AyurvedA

According to Ayurveda, allergies are caused by rheumatism, bile and phlegm. Allergic substances cool the body’s fire. It cools the body. Decreased body temperature can lead to many problems, including digestive problems. It is one of the major causes of rheumatism, bile and many disorders. Common symptoms of allergies include sneezing, persistent runny nose, shortness of breath, itching, vomiting, and bloating.

In Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, diet and lifestyle are said to be the cure for allergies. Ayurvedic prescriptions include eating a snack, drinking plenty of water, and eating watery cucumbers, cucumbers, plantains and squash. Similarly, Ayurveda also recommends avoiding foods that are high in protein and difficult to digest. Ensure good testing as well. A good test is one that helps the body expel toxins and toxins.

Turmeric and gooseberry

Turmeric and gooseberry are anti-allergic substances. These can be included in the diet. They also strengthen the body’s immune system. Make it a habit to adapt to climatic foods. People with allergies should stay away from substances that cause it. It is best to stay away from dust, pollen, animal dander and hair dye chemicals.

Dust allergy

Dust allergy is a major problem that is affecting more and more people. For those who have it, it is better to add a teaspoon of triphala powder in hot water at night. Turmeric and honey can be mixed with lukewarm water. Ayurvedic treatments such as nausea, vomiting and nasal congestion can be very beneficial. Do these only as prescribed by your doctor. Some people experience itching when they are dusted. As a remedy, salt can be added to coconut oil and neem oil and applied on the skin.

Ginger and cinnamon

Ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cumin and red chillies can be added to the diet. This is good. Eat foods that do not cause mucus. If you eat these foods, adding a little ghee while cooking or eating them will be very beneficial. It is best to drink ginger boiled water and ginger tea. Ginger also improves the immune system. Exercise, especially exercises like pranayama in yoga, can help the body fight off allergies.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT – A CHALLENGE

Before the arrival of motorized transport horse drawn traffic was the main stay of all major cities. In Newyork alone there were more than 100000 horses which produced more than a million kilo of horse manure which had no system for disposal. Millions of flies bred on this manure creating yet another urban public health issue. The problem was faced by cities after cities around the world. But there was no solution.

Urban solid waste management remains a challenge around the world even now. Cities big and small, from countries developed and developing face major challenges in dealing with waste management.

Anything which is solid and is considered by its owner to be not worthy of continued use become a solid waste. The composition of the solid waste varies vastly depending upon the economic situation of a society while used automobiles and white goods are a major component of urban solid waste in developed countries. The culture of repair, reuse, and recycling in developing countries ensures that these do not end up in the waste piles.

Solid waste can be classified into seven

1.Household solid waste

2.Agricultural solid waste

3.Industrial solid waste

4.Waste from ships and Aircrafts

5.Hospital waste

6.Demolition of debris

7.Waste created by conflicts and disasters

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous to our health or the environment. The following waste are often considered hazardous.

1.Industrial chemicals

2.Pesticides

3.Waste from oil Industry

4.Batteries and fluorescent lamps

5.Medical waste

6.Radioactive waste

7.Discarded pharmaceutical products

8.Discarded asbestos

9.Mixed Waste

In the last century Reduction, Reuse and Recycle (3R approach) reached significance. There are some global issues in waste management that is Trans boundary movement of waste, Technology transfer for waste management and disappearing land fills and it goes on……..

CRYPTOCURRENCY


Cryptocurrencies are non-physical virtual currencies or currencies based on cryptography. Cryptocurrency is made up of very complex programs. These can also be referred to as software codes. These are called ‘cryptocurrencies’ because they use encryption technology. The cryptocurrency was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto

The major cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Lightcoin and Stellar. The most valuable and popular of these is Bitcoin. This is also the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is currently valued at $ 10,000 against the dollar. Bitcoin is traded through Bitcoin exchanges

Cryptocoin is not a new concept. But the full credit for turning the octopus into a grass-eating cow goes to some individual or group known by the nickname Satoshi Nakamoto.Satashi introduced the Bitcoin protocol in 2008 and introduced it in 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly disappeared from the world of bitcoin in 2011 without even giving a hint of who he was, building the Bitcoin protocol and related software and providing all the infrastructure needed for further development.Media outlets such as The New Yorker and Fast Company have been scrutinizing the identity of Satoshi, but no definite answer has been found. Shinichi Mochisuki, Japanese mathematician, computer engineer and economistTed Nelson, the father of ‘hypertext’, believes that Satoshi has no choice but to become. He gives no clear evidence for this. Ted Nelson argues that the character traits of Mochisuki, who withdrew after publicizing his findings and giving the public the necessary guidance, are in perfect agreement with Satoshi.The concept of Bitcoin is not just for a mathematician or a computer engineer. These conclusions are underlined by the fact that it can only be achieved by someone with extraordinary insights into economic, social and humanitarian issues. Moreover, good knowledge of the English language is required to discuss this concept with the outside world in a way that does not interfere with its meaning. Mochisuki is one of the few Japanese who can speak English fluently. But Mochisuki has denied this, so Bitcoin’s father still hides behind the nickname Satoshi.

In all existing monetary systems, the value of a currency is controlled by a centralized institution. For example, the value and distribution of our currency are controlled by the Reserve Bank. In this type of centralized control system, consumers are always at risk of being exploited. Moreover, black money poses a major challenge to the monetary system.This is where Bitcoin comes into play. No individual can exploit the Bitcoin system in a harmful way. The production of counterfeit coins is also impossible. Unlike other currencies, there are accurate estimates of the maximum number of bitcoins that can be marketed. 210 lakh bitcoins will be marketed only in predetermined proportions. This completely eliminates inflation.

Bitcoin and the Bitcoin network are protected in two ways. The first is through highly secure cryptographic technology. According to this, the full right to spend and keep is reserved for the Bitcoin owner only.The second is the Bitcoin exchange account known as the blockchain. That is, a blockchain is a register that encodes information on all completed Bitcoin transactions.Here too, one can look at the shortcomings of the common banking system and understand the relevance of the blockchain. Withdraw more than the amount in the account in the normal banking system. Banks use centralized books to avoid errors such as paying checks for unaccounted money. However, we do not accept checks from unbelievers. Because of the fear of bouncing. Moreover, the misconduct of the bank officials may result in loss of money. All of this is excluded in the Bitcoin currency system.The Bitcoin Blockchain is a public account book that encodes all Bitcoin transactions and systematically connects them to each other under the clock. The process of making bitcoin blocks and updating the ledger is known as bitcoin mining. Bitcoins are rewarded by the Bitcoin community.The reward for this is the number of new coins entering the Bitcoin network (down from the previously mentioned 210 million coins). Once the index reaches 210 lakhs, new bitcoins cannot be mined. According to estimates, we will have to wait until 2140 to reach this magic number. Once the 210 lakh coins have reached the market, the new coins will be exchanged for the renewal of the books of account and the exchangers will have to pay a fixed percentage of the amount for the renewal of the books of accounts. As the competition intensifies, so does the exchange rate.

The main argument before the ban was that the proliferation of digital currencies could weaken the banking system. The fact that counterfeit money is on the rise and is prone to financial irregularities and fraud still keep governments away from cryptocurrencies.

Apart from India, countries like China, Nepal, Russia, Vietnam and Bolivia have also banned virtual currencies, including Bitcoin.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank will impose restrictions on cryptocurrencies. The ban was aimed at curbing irregularities that could affect economic growth.

CARBON TAX AND CARBON CREDIT

A carbon tax is a tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel such as coal, petroleum and natural gas and is released as carbon dioxide CO2 when they are burnt.

Carbon taxes offers a costeffective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Products produced through dirty processes will became more expensive thereby making it possible for other products produced through cleaner processes to compete on price. By raising the cost of using fossil fuels, a carbon tax would tend to increase the cost of producing goods and services especially things such as electricity or transportation that involve relatively large amounts of CO2 emissions.

Carbon credit is a permit representing the right to emit one tonnes of carbon dioxide or the mass of another green house gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent. One carbon credit is equal to one metric otonne of carbon dioxide.

Carbon market can be divided into two

1)The voluntary market.

2) Regulatory or compliance market. In the compliance market carbon credits are generated by projects that operate under one of the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) approved mechanism such as the clean development mechanism (CDM). Credits generated under this mechanism are known as certified emissions reductions (CERs)

In voluntary market carbon credits are generated by projects that are accredited to independent International Standards.

This week Canada ‘s Federal Govt took the latest step when it extended its carbon pricing program Nation wide. More than 40 Govts world wide have now adopted some sort of price on carbon. Economists suggests this is a way to curb emissions.

Now the COVID 19 pandemic has so far slashed global carbon emissions by more than 8 %. But this is only temporary

INDIAN SCENARIO OF CHILD ABUSE

In a nation wide survey on child abuse across 13 states of India report released in 2007 by Ministry of Women and child development Government of India in which 12447 children participated, more than half, 53.22% subjected to one or more forms of sexual abuse. The age wise distribution showed abuse started at 5,gained momentum 10 years onwards, peaking at 12 to 15 years. In 9 out of 13 states reported higher percentage of sexual abuse in boys as compared to girls, Delhi reporting a figure of 65.64% boys. Children at work faced the highest at 61.61%.Out of the total children interviewed 20.90% were subjected to Severe form including sexual assault. Preadolescent to Adolescent children seemed to be more at risk of suffering Severe form. It was also distributing to note that age 6 to 10 years also face severe form of sexual abuse.

Assam, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar reported maximum sexual abuse. There is no legislation on child physical abuse but its moral duty of all adults to report the abuse and stop further harm to the child.

Child sexual abuse is a Universal problem with grave life long outcomes. Is a complex life experience, not a diagnosis or a disorder. An array of sexual activities is covered by the term CSA.

After the enactment of the new law “Protection of child against sexual offences (POCSO) Act 2012” the concept and management of child sexual abuse (CSA) in India has changed a lot safeguarding best interest of the child in every respect at each step including rehabilitation, compensation and all legal procedure.

This law applies to all persons up to 18 years of age, is gender neutral, gives set of guidelines for all the stakeholders to perform their role as even the maintaining silence to allow sexual abuse to happen to the child is a crime and punishable offence under the law of the land, law of the land does not allow consensual sex to any person under 18 years of age, there is provision of mandatory reporting to the police under the Act.

The first step towards prevention is awareness and save the child from further abuse. Hence, stringent measures should be taken for the prevention and control of this hidden public health issue.

The abuser can be of any age, gender and socio – economic class, at times can be a family member. Sexual abuse may not be necessarily penetration, force, pain, or even touching. Most sexual abusers know the child they abuse.

World wide reports have indicated boys are equally abused as girls and have suggested that protective shield should be provided not only to the girls but also to the boys right since they are born. Children can be sexually abused even by their lawful guardians.

SIGNIFICANCE OF NIA

It is a central agency to counter terrorism under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India. In all countries there are investigation agencies like this. It is not easy to write about all agencies in the world. So, mention here is about the NIA in India. It was created in 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack that year. It can investigate terror cases without the permission from the states. It specially investigates terror offences, waging war against the country offences on nuclear facilities. It can be put into fence only after the country passes an act or the ruling authority gives permission. Always it keeps the global standard.

It is also a storehouse of information on terrorism. With regard to NIA its headquarters at New Delhi, and 8 other regional offices across the country. Always it is headed by a Director General (an IPS Officer). It uses the most scientific methods to investigate cases. There is an utmost importance to human rights and dignity. Facilities a speedy and effective trial. It maintains a cordial relations with the central and state governments and other law enforcement agencies of the country. It also helps the states with the investigation of terror related cases. There was an Amendment Act of NIA in 2019. Now it has to investigate the following new offences.

1.Counterfeit currency or bank notes related offences.

2.Sale or manufacture of prohibited arms.

3. Human trafficking

4. Cyber terrorism

5. Offences under the explosive Substances Act 1908

Now it has the authority to investigate offences that are committed outside Indian territory subject to International treaties and domestic laws of other nations. There is also a special court to conduct trial of scheduled offences. Now there are 38 special NIA courts across the states and seven across the union territories.

Now NIA is dealing with gold smuggling case in kerala.

COMPULSORY MILITARY TRAINING FOR YOUTH IN INDIA

Defence is an important and integral part of a nation’s life. For centuries wars have been fought among different people. Even in modern times, wars have not been removed from life. In some part of the world or other two nations have been at war with each other during the past decade or two. Many of the developed nations top are spending large amounts for the defence of their borders. In the name of defence they have been accumulating weapons of war. New techniques and new technology are utilised in building up arms. In short, every nation is interested in strengthening its military power. The preparations for defence have diverted huge amounts to defence while they could have been used for progressive measures and developmental projects.

WWhen importance is given to military power by some nations, it is quite natural that other nations, especially in contiguous parts, should also think of improving their defence. Hence, it has become a pertinent question whether India too should go in for the strengthening of its military power and whether military training for her youth should be given without delay.

For any country a standing armed force is essential. Every nation has its own army, air force and navy. Much money is spent on recruitment of people for these wings of the defence set up for their maintenance and development. These forces are expected to defend the country. But it is felt that a second line of defence would be necessary. Many feel that compulsory military training should be provided for our youth. This is based on the experience in other countries.

Compulsory military training is only one of the means through which youth could make themselves useful to their country. It is said that in many foreign countries such a training is given. When young men reach a certain age they have to give up whatever occupation they might be following at the moment and take up a course in military science be they students in the universities or workers in factories. They may go back to their original occupation, if they so desire, after the training is over, or they may take up a regular course in military science. Such a training helps them to defend their country in times of emergency when there is pressure on the regular armed forces. This training is compulsory for all able bodied persons.

Apart from this aspect, military training is useful in other ways. Life in our country today has become notorious for acts of violence and indiscipline in many walks of life, in many parts. Regionalism, Communalism and linguist and religious fanaticism breed indiscipline and chaos. Under these circumstances, military training will be of great value in making everyone understand the worth of discipline. It is found that the students in NCC or the ACC are different from others in many ways.

Military training is also useful in other ways. The sense of discipline that is instilled into youth, the habit of service and dedication and selfless work help people in peace time activities also. When there are natural calamities like floods, quakes and drought, those who serve in the armed forces can do service to the distressed people. They can be expected to be quick and efficient in doing their duty and in the execution of any work that may be given to them. If the country is to derive valuable benefits, compulsory military training must be an indispensable factor of life.

DOWRY SYSTEM

Much has been said about the condition of women in free India. Statesmen, politicians and women who spend their time in social service and women’s Organisations have been talking day in and day out about the appalling state of women in India . There are many evil practices prevailing in India. One of these evils is the dowry system.

When one stops to think how this system must have caught such strong roots in Indian society, one can find it to be born out of convenience. Several explanations are given for the prevalence of the dowry system. Some trace it to the custom followed by many kings of the past and princely chieftains when they gave away their daughters in marriage. It was felt that the life of the daughters should start on a convenient and happy note. So when they were sent to their father- in-law’s house they were given large gifts. The kings or princess or the aristocratic classes wished to give their daughters a gift that would be consistent with their own dignity and status. The motive behind this was to ensure the happiness of the girls in their new homes. This settlement was a revelation of a natural affection of a father towards his daughter. But in later times the practice took a new turn.

It is one of the weakness of human beings to follow what others had done before. Very often they choose from past experiences only what is convenient for them without stopping to think whether it is good or bad. Similarly, when they saw that gifts accompany girls when the latter went to their new home after marriage, some unscrupulous men began to make this practice a convention. They saw in this practice a means of earning some easy money for themselves. The pawn in their game was the helpless girl. Parents of eligible bachelors see in the girls parents a gold mine which has to be exploited to its full capacity. So they began to demand certain things from the girls parents. In this way, what started as a convenience and a matter of personal prestige turned out to be a custom. What was received by the bridegroom’s father as a gift in olden days took on the nature of a ‘demand’ in later times.

What was once a voluntary gift became transformed into a custom known as dowry. A curious explanation is given by some people who demand dowry for their sons. They cite economic conditions as reasons for their demand. Since they have to satisfy many relatives and friends they require large funds and it is this that they expect from the other party. They do not require it is for themselves! This explanation is quietly and conveniently forgotten when they have to give away their daughter in marriage and when such a demand as theirs is made by a boy’s father. In other words, they want to GET but not to GIVE. At such times they forget that economic conditions are the same for all people and are not their own special lot alone. In this manner, the dowry system has come to stay in our society. During the recent past it has become common to all levels of society. Even men with large property and high income demand dowry.

Greed for money and wealth thus perpetuates an evil. To a certain extent the girls themselves are responsible for this. The admirable qualities of obedience, tolerance and patience prove to be disadvantages to them under these conditions. They dare not oppose these practices and refuse to yield to the ‘demands’. In the case of the boys, they plead their helplessness and inability to oppose their father. The very same boys would have protested to their father and even fought for their liberty in matters like getting a scooter and other things.

Today, the dowry system has become a positive evil. Avaricious vultures ill treat their daughter-in-law in many ways. There are a number of what have come to be known as dowry deaths. Girls are tortured and sent back to their parents and are refused readmission into their father – in-law’s house unless they come back with the demands fulfilled.

The remedy, therefore, lies more in the hands of the younger generation. But society cannot wash its hands off the whole affair, leaving the responsibility on the shoulders of the young couple. Voluntary Organisations must come forward to educate the public on the evils of the dowry system and also see to it that those who are intransigent are bought to book. What the machinery of the Government cannot do effectively must be attempted and accomplished by these Organisations and by individuals with a sense of duty and service. The ways may be difficult, but the evil MUST be driven away from life. Unless it is done at the earliest the malady will pass on to the future generations and posterity would inherit this.

THRESHOLDS IN LIFE

Modern civilisation is the result of the discoveries and inventions made by eminent men and women in the past. Achievements, however, were not made overnight or at one strock. They were the products of the efforts of people at various stages of life. Every small effort in anything is a threshold crossed and life consists of many important thresholds. For instance, a child sitting with its slate or with a paper and pencil before it attempts to write the first letter of the alphabet. It is a task for it to form the different lines or curves but when it completes the letter, A, or whatever the first letter of the language might be, it feels as if it has achieved something really great. As far as the child is concerned, this is a threshold crossed. Similarly, a child taking the first step in the act of walking also crossed a threshold. Though such beginnings a further development is effected.

There are many thresholds in life for everyone of us and for every country. From the stone and metal ages, mankind has come to the electronic age, making off several achievements at one stage or another of its civilisation. When one effort is successfully accomplished another difficulty is confronted and this is followed by yet another. Thus human beings, have to overcome obstacles and solve problems that appeared one after another, like waves of the sea. Thus they have to continue the process of crossing several thresholds in the course of life till the end.

The attitude of people towards this aspect of life differs very much. There are people who wish to have a life of ease and comfort and who are averse to facing problems. They have the escapist mentality which makes them feel that life should be enjoyed as it is and no effort should be taken to get new experiences. A rich man, for instance, feels contented in just spending his money and does not consider it necessary or useful to invest it in profitable ways or spend it to help other. Others avoid mental and physical labour. Taking an example from the life of students, it is possible to see that some students skip some subjects or parts of a subject and attempt to study only such as they can tackle easily. In other words these people do not try to cross new thresholds but prefer to remain where they are. For them, life is only stagnant and there can be no progress. If new thresholds had not appeared at different stages of life, man would have been still a savage, living in the jungle.

On the other hand, there are many who seek knowledge that is infinite. Knowledge is the horizon towards which human beings always go and to reach it they have to cross several thresholds. There are several arches through which people have to pass, but still they might not reach the horizon. Each arch crossed reveals one more and yet the spirit of man takes him through many arches. For them, life holds an infinite variety of experiences, everyone of which is a significant threshold. History gives us instances of many who achieved remarkable successes in their own fields of activity, after they had passed their prime. A scholar who spends the early part of the life as a teacher in a school or a professor in a college or University helps students to cross many thresholds. Such men in different walks of life assist others and in every attempt at helping others they add to their own knowledge. They do not feel any regret when they reach middle age. In their activities they find the pleasure of selfless devotion. When they reach middle age or retire from service their training makes them yearn for new pastures.

Rabindranath Tagore won early fame as a versatile artist and writer. What he wrote was only in his own mother tongue and not in English which he learnt only at a later stage. Such was his genius that he has not only learnt a new language, but also mastered it to such a remarkable extent that he won the Nobel Prize. Hilary and Tenzing were not the first to attempt to scale the Everest. Many had attempted it earlier and failed in the attempt and some had even sacrificed their lives in the effort, before the peak was conquered. The threshold opened out by earlier mountaineers contributed to the ultimate success. Since that first conquest the everest has been climbed by many men and women. Thus, till the final moments of a man’s life new thresholds can be sought and entered. The only thing required is perseverance and indomitable will to win, to cross new thresholds, whatever may be the risks and dangers encountered in such a cross3. One must strive seek and not yield, but must preserver in the path of life, crossing threshold after threshold. Man is ever keen to cross every hurdle towards new horizons. It is in the crossing of thresholds than the dignity of man is enhanced.

ACCIDENTS DO NOT HAPPEN, BUT ARE MADE

Accidents do happen almost daily in one part of the country or the other just because we don’t care or just start worrying about it only after the inevitable has overtaken us. It may be a boat tragedy in Bihar, or a collision between a speeding train and a bus at an unmanned level crossing, or hundreds of road accidents happening in cities or the countryside, or the occasional train accidents, or air crashes, or the deluge triggered when a check dam gives way sweeping away habitations, or infernos in schools, cinema halls, marriage pandals, or fire in high rise buildings. The list of such accidents could be endless. When such things happen, we blame everything else except ourselves.

Take road accidents. A rough estimate long ago put the number of deaths on the roads in India at around a lakh every year. It must be more now with lakhs of vehicles of different descriptions entering our highways, city streets and village roads. None knows the number of injured and those incapacitated for life. Speed kills, especially, when the man behind the wheel goes beyond the legally permissible limits in certain zones of the city. You court disaster when you lose your sense of judgment and start driving after fully drunk at a dinner in a part or a hotel. Often you come across the hoarding. “Don’t mix driving with drinking”.

On Highways between Delhi and Jaipur or other cities like Chandigarh and Ludhiana or Chennai and Trichy, one would daily notice a goods carrier overturned with the voluminous contents of the vehicle scattered on the road. Here are drivers who work for prolonged hours for their living and they wouldn’t know when they fall asleep. Fatigue and overwork take their toll. A brake failure or a mechanical defect, all caused by failure by the vehicle owners to get their vehicles checked up or serviced periodically.

In several instances of road accidents, the government turns out to be the number one villain. Speed breakers or humps are not properly marked with the result riders of two wheelers coming at high speeds, can easily be thrown off their seats and can cause fatal accidents. Roads are in bad shape in many cities in several States. Different departments – the Electricity Department, the Telephone Department, Sewerage Wing and the Water Department – working with the least coordination among themselves, dig up the sideways of the roads or across the road by turn and leave them in awful condition creating the right conditions for accidents. And nobody takes any responsibility if any mishap happens.

Boat accidents create small news inside cover pages. Road accidents are routine even though they kill 1,00,000 people in the country every year. A rail accident or air crash is a good subject for banner headlines or for the channels to “break news”. But wherever an enquiry is conducted, one would find human error as the underlying factor. Accidents are bound to happen when a boat carries more than the capacity it is supposed to take. Vehicles collide with a speeding train at an unmanned rail crossing as the driver of the vehicle commits a fatal mistake and has to pay a dear price because of his error of judgement.

Now the situation has been changed due to Covid 19 pandemic. The accidents has decreased.There is no traffic jam. People are not busy with their work so the main streets are clean without waste and noise. An invisible virus is now able to control humanity which restricts the movement and actions where the law failed.

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

It is generally said that we remember many of our misfortunes and on very few occasions only do we remember our joys. The recollection of the past normally appears to be sweet. Very often what gives one unhappiness at the moment it happens, may appear in a different light when thought of at a later date. It so happens that some feel that their past had been happy, in spite of many unfortunate or sorrowful incidents, or, disappointments. Similarly, others may feel that their past was not worth remembering so full of misfortunes it had been. In the same manner, such opinion ‘s may be held about our childhood.

A person may not like to remember his childhood days because they might have contained misfortunes or unpleasant experiences. At the beginning of life, a child is at the mercy of its parents. The child does not have any freedom of action or speech. Under the pretext that the child is prone to do mischief, others put it down and command implicit obedience from it. Sometimes, the child becomes the butt end of ridicule or punishment of even servants. When the child attains school – going age, he is under the control of teachers. In most of our schools children in the lower classes are expected to observe absolute silence. This breeds in them an inferiority or fear-complex. It is not generally understood by teachers in the lower classes that children should be given much freedom only retraining for themselves the privilege of controlling the children who might be wayward or mischievous, or when they tend to go beyond the limit of right conduct.

When such is the experiences of childhood, many persons may not like to think back upon those days. The bitterness felt in childhood is best be forgotten, they feel. It would be an unwelcome or bitter thing to bring back into the mind, the memory of unpleasant incidents or experiences and allow them to spoil the happiness of later life. In a country like India,where poverty ignorance and illiteracy dominate daily life, a child in the lower strata of life has to experience much misery. Each day of existence is one round of journey through hell. To add to these difficulties, if the surroundings and family circumstances are uncongenial, the child’s life may be absolutely intolerable and miserable. This child may in course of time be successful in life through a change of fortune or by dint of honest efforts at improvement, thus revealing a forceful character such cases, the person concerned may not like to remember childhood days. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suffered a lot during his childhood days but now he became an inspirational character in History.

However, it cannot be said that childhood days are always bitter and to be forgotten in later life. There are children born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In a family, where discipline is given foremost importance or in a family in which children are brought up with strictness tempered with mercy and kindness, the child may have happy experiences. It may be treated with kindness and understanding and may get all advantages of good breeding and training. The memory of such a childhood would be sweet to one who rises to an eminent position or is reasonably happy later on in life. It may also so happen that one who had several advantages in early life turns out to be bad or goes astray as one grows up. This may be because such a person growing up with several advantages might not be aware of the pitfalls of life. Such people also might not like to think of their childhood.

Life however is not of one uniform quality. It is neither wholly happy nor wholly unhappy. It is a mixture of the good and the bad, virtue and vice, it has its rosy side as well as the seamy side. In the life of an individual childhood consists of both these aspects and therefore, the memory of childhood may not be entirely bitter or sweet. The natural tendency of human beings in such cases is to think more of sorrow than of the joys experienced. Sorrows and miseries and misfortunes leave an indelible mark on the humankind. When one looks at one’s life in retrospect, only these experiences come first to the mind. Joyful experiences find only a secondary place though at the time they happen, they afford pleasure and satisfaction.

A successful novelist like Charles Dickens gave greater importance to the sorrowful and more unfortunate aspects of life than to the good fortunes enjoyed by some of the characters in his novels like ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Oliver Twist’. The life of these two characters might be said to be almost reflections of the novelist ‘s life or the mirror of the miserable life of society of the times. Very rarely do people remember the joys of the earlier period. It is such an idea that Shelley speaks of the lines, “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of the Saddest thoughts” – words full of wisdom and experience.

ANCIENT INDIAN HERITAGE

India has a long history behind it, though as an independent nation it is still a rich. India is rich in almost every aspect of human activity. This richness is not of the recent past but dates back to thousands of years. We, living today, are heirs to a rich, healthy heritage which is the envy and admiration of the rest of the world. Our culture is one of the best and oldest. The nations which are highly developed and which hold an important place today in the comity of nations, were little known at a time when the glory of India was widespread. Many things have contributed to the proud heritage that has been handed over to us by our forefathers.

Evidence of our heritage and culture can be got from the excavations made in Harappa and Mohenjodaro. The Indus Valley Civilisation is one of the oldest and offers proof of a great culture that existed in the distant past. The Vedas and the Upanishads, the oldest of literatures are rich in pearls of wisdom. Spiritual and moral ‘tenets’ and guidance are got in plenty from these. They transcend boundaries of nations or creeds or religions, but apply to the whole world. Among the greatest epics of the world are the Ramayana and the Mahabaratha. The Bhagavat Gita is a Universal Document of Wisdom and Truth, holding a rich store of knowledge in various aspects of life. One who is an avid reader and follower of the Gita will get its truth instilled into one’s nature and such a one will be looked upon with love, respect and admiration by others, such is the value of the classic.undefined

Kings and Emperors in ancient days were patrons of art and literature. They have had counsellors who gave them valuable guidance and advice not only religious matters but also on the economic, social and political aspects of life. There were also men of genius who entertained the kings and the people with their poetic skill and imagination. There is no subject left untouched or unadorned by our ancients. Great men like kalidasa and kautilya will live as long as human beings inhabit this world. “Shakunthalam” and “Meghadoot” of Kalidasa and “The Arthasastra” of Kautilya are immortal. The latter is a treatise on political philosophy of the highest order.

Art, architecture, painting and sculpture, weaving, music and dance…. there is no field left undistinguished by our ancients. Artists of every description were patronised by great Emperors and Kings some of whom were themselves eminent in the arts and music.Temples are repositories of architectural beauty and monumental proof of the artistic skills of people of the past. Many examples of beautiful temples can be found. The Brihadeeswara Temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is a standing testimony to the technological protection that was the hallmark of such structures. It offers proof for the technical proficiency of the builders who did not have any of the advantages that modern technology offers to builders.

Arts and architecture of the ancients were developed later by others and even foreign rulers of India admired them and made them blend with other cultures. Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Kathak and Manipuri among dances, the Kushan, Gandhara and Guptha forms among art forms, were revelations to the innumerable foreign travelers who visited India at various times in the past. Painting was not far behind these, as is evident from the Ajantha paintings. A modern marvel of art and architecture that had its roots in the past and which is a fine legacy left to us in Mamallapuram or better known as Mahabalipuram near Chennai.

Considering all these facts, it may be said that our heritage is one of the valuable treasures handed over to us by our forefathers. Western education, adoption of Western modes of dress and ways of life, faith in rationality, disbelief in religious tenets and truths tend to undermine the value of our heritage. It is the bounden duty of everyone, every Indian worth his salt, to preserve the ancient heritage handed over to us, so that we would be in a position to pass on this wealth of wisdom to posterity. We have to see to it that divisive tendencies do not destroy the cultural heritage that has come down to us through the centuries. India and culture should ever be an inseparable combination that should act as a model and a beacon light to the rest of the world.

CARE OF THE AGED

Now we are living in a world with developed science and technology. Society has undergone a number of changes owing to the advancement of technology. A significant effect of technological developments is felt on institutions like family and religion. It is generally in the economic field that the effect is felt more.

A family is generally defined as an association of a man and woman with or without children, when their association is a legal one. Joint family system is one of the important forms of the family. When different generations of the same family live together it is known as joint family. Here all the members live together, the affairs of the family being in the hands of one member, generally the oldest. Even today there are a number of places where the joint family system exists. But with the increase in technology and science there begins a split in this system. Joint families are replaced by single unit families. The reasons for this are obvious.

A member of a joint family may have to go to a long distance to be in time for his work. To avoid the waste of time, money and energy he may prefer to live near the work spot and so may set up a separate household. This divides the family. Again, during these days women also come out to seek employment, because there is a realisation that with spiraling costs it would not be possible to run a family with only the earnings of one member. So when women also get employed and when both the husband and the wife begin to earn, there is an improvement in the family income. But the same advantage is also combined with a shortcoming. The older members of the family have to fend for themselves, since the assistance of the young members is not available, even if the parents live with the children. But if the sons or daughters live away from their parents who live alone they feel helpless in their old age.

In some families parents also live with their married sons or daughters. In such cases there may be clashes of temperaments and differences of opinion. The younger generation may feel that parents are a hindrance and obstacles in the way of their happy life. They, therefore, develop a tendency to ignore or neglect their parents. In such circumstances the old people feel the intensity of their loneliness and unhappiness. They feel that they are unwanted and suffer great humiliation thereby.

In addition to such old parents neglected by their children, there are others who, in their old age, suffer the pangs of poverty and penury because they do not have any one to look after them. They might have lost their children and may be at the mercy of other people on whom they rely for their support. The condition of these people would be miserable, without money, without people and without friends.

The life of old people is so miserable that they yearn for company and help. It is such cases they should be pitied. Today, society has come forward to assist them. The government has formulated a number of schemes to help the helpless old people. Old age pensions are given to all people who pass a certain age and who are destitute. Here also some unscrupulous people take advantage of the old people’s condition. In some families, the sons make their parents apply for these pensions and then taking away that money make the parents suffer. But such cases are not many.

Governments and some private charitable institutions also conduct homes for the old and helpless. Helpage Homes are meant to offer protection of the old and helpless. At these places, old people are not merely taken care of, but also are offered means of recreation. In some of the institutions, the inmates are induced to take up some occupation or other according to their aptitude and ability. They are encouraged to perform some work or other and in some places they are even paid small sums for the work done. This helps them spend their time happily and profitably.

The care of the aged has now become the responsibility of the Government and the Society. Yet, there are many old people who are ignorant of the existence of such places, or they do not have anyone to help them to get into such institutions. It is, therefore necessary that more people, especially wealthy people and social service Organisations should come forward to take care of the old and aged. The aged deserve such help. While young and active they would have done their best in their own way to serve the society of which they were parts. But since they are neglected in their old age, something should be acknowledged and in their helpless state they should be given the consolation and peace that would make them reasonably happy.

CLONING :A BOON OR CURSE?

Cloning is a process of asexual reproduction by which genetically identical individuals may be produced. The successful cloning of a sheep (Dolly) was reported by scientists from the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK. But, the world’s first cloning of a dog has raised concerns that scientists are one step closer to replicating human beings, despite the breakthrough pointing to treatments per currently – incurable human diseases. A group of scientists from Seol National University has unveiled their furry creation, a black and white Afghan hound name Snuppy that is genetically identical to its three – year old father. undefined

Cloning, which is thought to be one of the latest technological developments as most of the people think, is actually an age-old scientific technique. Humans have knowledge of cloning from before at least 2000 years. Most of the plants we see today are cloned. Unlike animal cloning, plant cloning doesn’t involve any sophistication. Just grafting the cut plant does the job where as animal cloning involves mitosis.

Recombinant DNA technology is important for learning about other related technology such as gene therapy, genetic engineering of organisms, and sequencing genomes. Gene therapy can be used to treat certain genetic conditions by introducing virus vectors that carry corrected copies of faulty genes into the cells of a host organism. Genes from different organisms that improves taste and nutritional value or provide resistance to particular type of disease can be used to genetically engineer food crops.

Scientists hope that one day therapeutic cloning can be used to generate tissues and organs for transplants. To do this, DNA would be extracted from the person in need of a transplant and inserted into an enucleated egg. After the egg containing the patient ‘s DNA starts to divide, the embryonic stem cells that can be transformed into any type of tissue would be harvested. The stem cells would be used to generate an organ or tissue that is a genetic match to the recipient. In theory, the cloned organ could then be transplanted into the patient without the risk of tissue rejection.undefined

There are some risks of cloning too. Reproductive cloning is expensive and highly inefficient. More than 90% of cloning attempts fail to produce viable offspring. In addition to low success rates, cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of infection, tumor growth, and other disorders.

‘Should humans be cloned?’ is the new question of many scientists and physicians. Due to the inefficiency of animal cloning and the lack of understanding about reproductive cloning, many scientists and physicians strongly believe that it would be unethical to attempt to clone humans. Several cloned animals have died prematurely. The same problems would be expected in human cloning too. In addition, scientists do not know how cloning impact mental development. With so many unknown concerning reproductive cloning, the attempt to clone humans at this time is considered potentially dangerous and ethically irresponsible.

THE ASSASSINATION OF A GREAT LADY

Through the centuries the world has seen many acts of hooliganism and inhuman acts. Men like Abraham Lincoln fell victims to the bullets of assassins. The twentieth century has also its quota of assassinations. Since the death of Mahatma Gandhi, the country never experienced such a tragedy as that which took place on October 31,1984. It was the assassination of the then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

When Mrs. Indira Gandhi reeled and writhed on the ground riddled with bullets from the guns of her own security gaurds it marked the beginning of the end of a great era. An epoch making personality left the scene which she had dominated like a colossus. It was a tragedy beyond description. It was an end as sudden as it was tragic, an end to a glorious career, but the misery and pity of it was that such a life should come about in this way in Blood. The greater tragedy it was that she was gunned down by her own trusted security gaurds in her own house. The gardener had destroyed his own garden.undefined

Mrs. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her security guards as she was leaving her residence to appear in a television documentary, then being produced by the world – famous actor and director, Mr. Peter Ustinov. She was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Research where a team of a dozen doctors fought a vain battle with death to save her. On the next day her mortal remains were moved to Teen Murthi Bhavan to lie in State to enable people to pay their last homage to the departed leader. An unending stream of people, tears streaming down their cheeks, filed past the body. But for the tragedy in it, the proof of the people ‘s love for the loyalty to Mrs. Indira Gandhi would have been a marvellous spectacle. On November 3, 1984, Mrs. Indira Gandhi left her residence on her last trek along a route lined by lakhs of people among whom, four thousand and more Army personnel maintained order and discipline. At 16-30 hours the mortal remains of the immortal Mrs. Indira Gandhi, one of the greatest fighters for freedom and one of the greatest figures of the 20th century world was consigned to the sacred flames, the funeral pyre lit by her son, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister.

No adjectives would do any justice to the greatness of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Coming on the Indian Political scene even before her tenth year – when most children of her age would have been at their pranks- she had her political tutelage under her illustrious father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. From that period till she shed her blood in her own house, gunned down by traitors there was no looking back for her. To list her achievements or to mention her many meritorious qualities would require volumes. But among her achievements could be mentioned a few like the bold step of nationalising banks, her heroic leadership and exhibition of indomitable will in the war with Pakistan when she was dubbed THE DURGA and her 20- point programme aiming at the amelioration of the poor and the downtrodden. More than all these, her personal approach to problems of men and matters and her secular outlook and attempts to carry the people with her irrespective of considerations of caste, creed or religion gave her the stature that she retained till the end. Her incessant mission of striving for international peace and understanding could find proof in her work as the Chairperson of the NAM. The only homage that the people of India can pay her are not mere tears, but their practical action in eschewing violence and in striving to complete the various tasks that she had been prevented from performing by the cruel hand of death.

PARENTAL PRESSURE

undefined

One of the currently discussed topic in society is about parent children relationship. Family is the basis of all economic activities. Bonds can be a blessing and also a curse.

Parents always prefer their children to perform well. They often dream of their children attending the best of universities and then securing a most respectful job in society. They work hard to earn money to take care of their children. Now, students are experiencing tremendous pressure to keep their grades to a near-perfect level. The sources of pressure are both internal and external. This pressure sometimes lead them to commit suicides as a solution for every problems. Many awareness classes are organized in schools and colleges. But every year thousands are committing suicides. Literacy or illiteracy is not a matter of choice.

Parents tend to apply pressure because they are worried about whether or not their child will be successful and also if they are a good enough parent. Marks are always considered as a parameter for judging their children. So, they pressure children to get full marks. High parental aspiration led to increased academic achievement, but only when it did not overly exceed realistic expectation. When aspiration exceeded expectation the children ‘s achievement decreased proportionately.

Too much pressure damages a child’s self esteem and can lead to severe consequences,including depression. It can lead to stress causing headaches, stomachaches, neck aches, lack of sleep and even anxiety attacks.

Parental pressure creates a sense of worthlessness which was discovered to be one of the chief reasons why teenage suicide rates increased from the 1950’s, according to a study done at the University of St Thomas.

What parents can do?

undefined

  1. Managing children’s frequent tantrums – Not to react immediately to the situation, Calm oneself before reacting.
  2. Tackling disobedient children-Disobedient children do not want to stamp their autonomy on the household.Try to hear their side of the story and once they are done put across your opinions.
  3. Mediating in sibling rivalry – Understand the psychology of the children and discipline them separately without judging who is right and who is wrong.
  4. Stopping children from telling white lies – They often lie to their parents to turn adverse situation in their favour.
  5. Removing study related fears.
  6. Don’t criticize in each and every act.
  7. Avoid spending too much time talking about hardwork.
  8. Don’t focus on how they need to win or be the best.

Encouragement coming from parents can be a child’s stepping stone to success. They are key player in children ‘s life to learn confidence, hardwork and excellence. It is the responsibility of each parent to teach their child to accept failure withoutllosing heart. Failure is a cue to seek opportunity and not an occasion for mourning. Make sure that child is happy with what they are pursuing and don’t let them miss out on opportunities to learn from their own life experiences. Every person in the world are unique. Home is supposed to be a sanctuary for the whole family not a place where kids come to get probed, lectured and controlled. Create a restful home full of divergent opinions, healthy debates and spontaneous self expression.

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

Source :Google

“A man can be destroyed, but not defeated” ~~Ernest Hemingway

Author :Ernest Hemingway

Country :United States

Language :English

Published :1952

Pages:127

Awards:Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1953),Nobel Prize in Literature (1954)

ISBN- 0-684-80122-1

Dewaj Decimal – 813.52

LC class- PS3515. E37

‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is one of the most popular novel written by Ernest Hemingway. While, he is known as the master of brevity, his concise works also are much more complex than they would first appear, and ‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is no exception. The book was published on 1952.The story goes through the life of an old man named Santiago.

Santiago is a old fisherman who has gone for 84 days without catching a fish. His dream is to catch a big fish, so that he can prove his life is not a failure. On the 85th day old man sets out to the open sea. He goes a little farther out than he normally would in his desperation to catch a big fish. After sometimes he saw a big fish, but it is very difficult for him to handle. He expertly hooks the fish, but he cannot pull it in. Instead the fish begins to pull the boat. For two days they battle and Santiago wins that battle, but on the way back to his home scavenger sharks came and ate the flesh of the big fish. The skeleton was only there when he reach the shore. As soon as he reached, he fell asleep. undefined

The story is told with incredible economy of words and description, yet nothing is sacrificed which drives home the power and inner strength of this man, who just takes it as what he does, what it is to be a serious fisherman.

There is a side tale as well. This great individual the old man who stands alone, is not alone completely by choice. He has developed a friendship, a working relationship, a love with a young boy who began fishing with him, when the boy was only five. Now the boy has moved on to another boat, a more successful one,at his parents behest, but he pines to work with Santiago, and when the battle with the great fish has been engaged Santiago pleads over and over :”I wish the boy were here”.

The novel seems to be a simple story. It however has lots of hidden meanings which reflect on society and human’s personality. I got three lessons from this novel, which are patience, courage and friendship. Santiago’s patience is suggestive of satisfaction and happiness after the patience. We are faced with lots of hardships and suffering. We often give up and feel desperate from it. It is not easy to struggle with those. Santiago’s life and challenge encourage us not to be frustrated.

At last, I suggest that this novel is valuable to read. It is not only because this novel is famous or interesting but also there are morals and messages and even courage.