Pollution causes blindness

Air pollution is a global malice. It destabilzes the climate, punishes our lungs and now according to a new study could possibly affect our eye sight or might make you blind.

The research was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, it analysed 115,000 participants over 14 years. At the start of the study in 2006, these people have no eye problems but in the latest medical examination , 1,286 of them reported A.M.D (Age related Macular Degeneration). It is the leading cause of blindness among the people aged 50+ in rich nations. There are 200 million people living with this condition.

There appears to be a link between A.M.D and air pollution. People exposed to fine particulate matter are more vulnerable to A.M.D, nearly 8% vulnerable and this isn’t from industry level exposure. Even relatively low level of air pollution could be triggering A.M.D.

Effect on eye sight

The eyes have particularly high flow of blood. This leaves them vulnerable fine particles that flow through the body. It’s important to note that this study is observational. It cannot categorically establish a link between air pollution and A.M.D. However there has been similar study elsewhere with the same results. And the link between smoking and A.M.D has always been known.

The threat from air pollution has always been clear, but new studies are revealing more dimensions of this threat.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution contributes to 7 Million deaths annually. This leaves us with another cause of concern, toxic air could leave you blind.

Why India can’t have an Official Language

Our Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned about promoting one nation, one language in one of his tweets in 2019. He also added that it should not be done at the cost of other languages. Some of us might know that 14th September is celebrated as Hindi Diwas in our country. So why can’t we have Hindi as an official language?

Critics

After Amit Shah statement, critics said that if Hindi becomes the official language, then other languages like malayalam, tamil, telugu and more, will lost their importance. South Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said “this one nation, one language will never be a reality” because it will never be easy to have a common language in India.

Also in the New Education Policy (NEP) draft in the year 2019, Hindi was asked to make mandatory in every state. This was also criticized by the South Indian governments and they refused to dilute the state’s two language formula. This resulted in changing the draft and not to have Hindi as an official language.

Steps taken

India is a big nation, so there should be a language that will represent India on world stage. Talking about Hindi, it is spoken in India, Fiji, Suriname, Mauritius, Trinidad, Tabogo and Guyana. So India is working actively to have Hindi recognised as an official language of the UN.

Advantage of having an official language

A Chinese research concluded that

  1. When we have an official language, it can even help to eliminating poverty. As China have experience in fight poverty so we can also learn the power of having an official language.
  2. China also mentioned that an official language also helps in having communicate without any language barrier.
  3. Official language also help to built unity among the citizens
  4. Also helps when people migrate from one city to another, as they can communicate in the same language.

Disadvantage of having an official language

According to the 2001 Census, 41% of India population are native speaker of Hindi dialect. But what about 59% of the population who are non – Hindi speakers? Politician Shashi Tharur said

India should not even try to add Hindi to the list of official language of UN because what if in future our PM is from South part of India and does not speak Hindi, then how will he give speech in Hindi on behalf of India.

But apart from all these we still agree that there should be an official language for a country to function.

As per as official language is concerned,

  1. English is also been promoted in India. Promoting English can result in heavy school fees, as we’ll have to teach the whole population to speak English.
  2. Enough English teacher will also be required and if not then it won’t be successfully become the official language.
  3. This will also result in neglecting the weaker section of the society who won’t be able to speak English and their career opportunity will get affected.

Eventually we need to figure out to take a right decision about official language and keeping in mind of the consequences that could possibly be in long terms situations.

Countries that haven’t reported a Single case of Covid-19.

Most of the world has been struggling to contain COVID-19. The disease which was first reported in China, has become a global pandemic that many countries are still trying to get under control. But a hand full of nation have not reported a single case of COVID-19 to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most are in southern and central area of Pacific ocean.

  1. Federated States of Micronesia
  2. The Marshall Islands
  3. Naru
  4. The Solomon Islands
  5. Vanuatu
  6. Tuvalu
  7. Kiribati
  8. Samoa
  9. Niue
  10. Tonga
  11. The Cook Islands
  12. Palau

These small islands are all technically Covid-19 free. Health experts these 12 countries escaped the pandemic because of a combination of remoteness, small number of people as their combined population adds up to just 1.6 million and because they closed borders when the Corona virus that causes Covid-19 began to spread widely. But just because they haven’t reported any Corona virus cases, does not mean these nations have entirely dodged the effect of the pandemic.

Tourism plays a major role in the economics of most of these countries. And as in many around the world, a lack of visitors has left hotels and restaurants struggling. The owner of the hotel says since March 2020 they have lost their whole business and have zero income.

Palau is one of the island nation feeling the economic pain of Covid-19. Streets that are normally bustling with visitors from abroad have been all but empty for months. With no guests, hotel in the country have also had to make serious cuts. A hotel owner says

No one in our hotel is making their full salary. Most people are 50% or below. Everybody is feeling the pain as thers is no economic opportunity left.

The Palau government recognized early on the economic toll of shutting it’s borders to foreigners. He says

Our capacity, our reality a situation here its that you’re better of with prevention than trying to do something about it later on. So, it became a question of economics or people’s lives, and the right thing to do for anybody in this world is to consider people’s lives.

The Government provided generous subsidies of up to US $10,000 for local people and a few hundred dollars for foreign workers affected by the halt in tourism. Not all Pacific countries rely on tourism as a main driver for their economies.

Countries like Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia rely on fishing and farming and financial aid from the US. But with limited health care facilities and population spread across many islands, the nation’s priority has been keeping COVID-19 from their shores and educating citizens about thorough handwashing, social distancing and other precautionary measures.

Other than Island Nations

In addition to these tiny island nations, there are other countries that haven’t reported a single case of COVID-19 to the WHO: North Korea and Turkmenistan.

North Korea closed its borders in January 2020 and it’s leader Kim Jung-un has repeatedly said the disease is a “potential” threat. He even put the town of Kaesong, which borders South Korea, under lockdown in July 2020. But many observers are are sceptical about the country’s official statistics. They say North Korea’s weak healthcare system may not be able to confirm Corona virus infections, or that the ruling party may simply not be very transparent about whether there are any cases.

Health experts are also wary of Turkmenistan’s claim to be COVID-19 free. It is among the hardest countries in the world for foreigners to enter, and it also closes its borders early on in the pandemic. The authorities government in Turkmenistan also says there are no people in the country living with HIV or Aids, a claim most scientists say is just not plausible.

Back in Paula, where people are doing their best to ride out the economic toll of the pandemic, hotel owner have a bleak prediction about the future. They’re predicting how long will they continue to lose money before suspending more operations or total operations and just wait for the whole world to settle down? Because it’s a financial question arises, we’re willing to lose money, but how much money are we willing to lose?

So while border control, good hygiene and social distancing seem to have effectively kept the disease away from these places, there is no defence against the economic devastation caused by the global pandemic.