A Liberal Point of View to Life

Fight to Save Yamuna

yamuna

The advent of Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 instils fear in me. Yes, fear more than the pride. For more than a year now, I have been reading about Delhi Government’s mega plans for Commonwealth village. Of course, government’s decision for Commonwealth village is commercially driven. This article will tell you how much Commonwealth Games Village would be worth.  The construction of Commonwealth Games village started in August this year amidst protests from various quarters.

In a capital city, where we always face a power and water crisis, building new luxurious villages is nothing out of norm. The thing that Government got wrong this time is that it plans to build its Commonwealth Games village on Yamuna floodplains. If Yamuna floodplains are stifled with permament structures, Delhi will be prone to floods in the monsoon. Because Yamuna will not be able to manage excess water without the spacious floodplains. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) report clearly states this fact. Yamuna has always been flood-prone. Just this year in September, low-lying areas of Yamuna have been evacuated.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rags-to-Pads

A fundraising project, called Rags-to-Pads, to bring sanitary pads to rural Indians requires your attention and donation.

Poor Indian women risk vaginal and urinary tract infections (and thus illness, incontinence, and infertility) during every period from puberty to menopause. You can find more information at http://ragstopads.com/.

Rags-to-Pads Initiative

Rags-to-Pads Initiative

This initiative is by Jenny and Dave, who also write at Our Delhi Struggle blog about their experiences in India. You can read more about it on their blog here. Their target is to collect 5000$ for the project. Your donation will help the Pardada Pardadi Girls School create a business that:

  • provides extremely low-cost pads and
  • creates employment opportunities for women in a region that has almost none

If you can not donate, please spread the word through your blog or email.

RJ has vowed to use CFLs, I too have been chief advocate of CFLs myself. I have also posted a Common Craft video that tells us CFL, though expensive, prove useful in longer run. But in my own house, I am having trouble to implement CFLs. Reason? CFLs do not last long. In 6 months, 3 CFLs have perished. My grandfather is now steadfast to avoid CFLs as he is convinced they are bad quality. Of course, I tried to reason with him, explained my reasons. But he refuses to invest in CFL that he thinks is waste. Yet I invested in more CFLs. Our argument did not finish here.

But I had two new questions in mind. One, I wonder are we not getting good quality CFLs in market? Do your CFLs last long?

Second, why does not government take a step to phase our incandescent bulbs and focus energies on CFLs. That way none of us would use incandescent bulbs. Most countries are phasing these out, and some countries have already banned. Greenpeace, in India, did start a campaign against bulb manufacturers. Though CFLs are mandatory in India in all institutions including hospitals.

Anyway, I had forgotten the argument at home. My grandpa reminded me of our argument when he told me CFL also required careful waste disposal (thank our newspapers!). CFLs have toxic mercury, apparently a Swedish firm has been authorised to collect and recycle CFLs in India. If we are not careful with disposal of our CFLs, it may be part of landfill site or may contaminate public water system.

Dinsan also sent me a link about people living with zero waste. Other time I complained about lack of gradens in my city, Shefaly sent me this interesting article about vertical farming.

May we make zero waste, dispose what we must carefully, plant as much as possible. 🙂

Turtles

Olive Ridley turtles is usually found in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is one of the smallest species of sea turtle and are listed in the Endangered Species Act of the USA.

In the Indian Ocean, a major nesting ground for the species can be found in the Indian state of Orissa. Beaches in Devi, Gahirmatha and Rushikulya are known nesting sites for the L. olivacea Indian Ocean population. In 2007, around 130,000 turtles nested on the beaches of Gahirmatha. Unfortulately, the beaches of Orissa provide one of the last nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley turtles in the world.

Olive Ridley turtles rely on an inexplicable, in-built navigation system that guides them, when it’s time for them to reproduce, back to the precise coast on which they were born. Hence, protecting the nesting ground becomes imminent to the survival of these endangered species.

Read the rest of this entry »

Love Your Body

I am sure title was bit startling. But it is a unique way to undo the societal pressures of maintaining a advertisement and beauty-pageant inspired insecurities about your own body. Read it from the this page of National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation:

Do you love what you see when you look in the mirror?

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts — lips, legs, breasts — airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards. TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem. Is it any wonder that 80% of U.S. women are dissatisfied with their appearance?

National Organization for Women Foundation has launched this unique 2009 love your body poster contest where you will create posters “that demonstrate beauty is not limited by body size, body type, ethnicity, age or physical appearance.” Great! Isn’t it? So when are you sending your entries there? Deadline is December 1, 2008.

October 5 is officially Love your Body Day 2008. 🙂

We have in past written about Child Sexual Abuse.

One of the grouse our readers have expressed is about us not a providing solution to a problem. We agree writing about a issue is only the first step toward awareness. But acting on the solution is the most important next step.

One of our friends, Amyth, has taken this action step. His NGO, Elaan deals with this issue of child sexual abuse. Please hop over to his Elaan blog to show your support. 🙂

Since ages now, a “boy” child has been prefered over a “girl” child in the vast population of India. The obsession for male child is not just prominent in the worker class of India, but also in the educated class, business class, affluent class, not-so-affluent class… in fact, amongst all the “classes” of India!

The sad part of the story is that this is unfortunately ingrained in the minds of Indians. So even after living abroad, in the plush society of countries like UK, Indian women are sent back home to India, to detect the sex of their unborn child and to terminate it, if the child is a “girl”.

Some facts here:

  • Female infanticide occurs in 80% of Indian states
  • Worst-affected states include wealthiest areas
  • 927 girls born for every 1,000 boys
  • Infant mortality rate: 60/1,000

woman.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »