Scan this with your smartphone

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561


Good News Weekly for Rising India




It is time we realised that renewables is the cleanest, safest future

Vol-1 | Issue - 49 | November 20 - 26, 2017 | Price ` 5/-

green tech

saving earth

The rise of global technological innovation to protect the earth is becoming important



niagra falls

Soon, Bangaloreans will be able to ‘visit and see’ Niagara falls, closer home

“THERE ARE TWO ICONS OF CLEANLINESS IN THE WORLDGANDHI AND MODI” - DR BINDESHWAR PATHAK Dr Bindeshwar Pathak pens the life and legend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Quick Glance The book was previously released in Delhi Author Dr Bindeshwar Pathak captures the life and times of the PM The book was released on November 17 in Ahmedabad

Swastika Tripathi


any have lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commendable awareness campaigns over cleanliness which has made its voice across the world. In a

tribute to the same, a riveting book has made its way to the market. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani along with Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, released a coffee table book – “Narendra Damodardas Modi – The Making of a Legend” with 568 kgs of

ceremonial ‘laddoo’ . The book is on the life and legend of the Indian Prime Minister. Penned by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, the book beautifully captures various incidents

of the Prime Minister’s life into photographs and unravels his untold stories, struggles and several initiatives taken by him since he took oath as country’s Prime Minister in 2014. The book has already been released once earlier by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) President, Amit Shah and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief, Mohan Bhagwat at Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi. The Gujarat Chief Minister released the book on the occasion of a preparatory workshop on National Seminar on Sociology of Sanitation, organised by Sulabh International, on November 17, at Thakorbhai Desai Hall, Law Garden, Ellisbridge, in Ahmedabad. On this occasion, Prof Dr Shailesh Zala, Vice Chancellor of Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University, Ahmedabad MP Kiritbhai Solanki, Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak and Sulabh’s Senior Vice President Abha Kumar were also present. Speaking on the release of the book, Vijay Rupani said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ignited the minds

02 Cover Story

November 20 - 26, 2017

The trio of the trees, the seas and the soil are the

three most important elements that are vital to the survival of all living species of the entire Indian population towards the development of the nation. He said that today the voice of India is being heard in the world under the leadership of Modiji. He added that governments have come and gone, but the pride of the country has been promoted by the Narendra Modi-led government only.

Modi’s patriotism proves “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikaas” across world – Vijay Rupani

The Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani congratulated Dr Pathak for doing a great job by writing a book on Gujarat’s “laadle” Narendra Modi, who has attained the status of the most popular mass leader at World level. The Chief Minister thanked Dr Pathak and Sulabh for organising a seminar focused on sanitation and sociology. He said that sanitation was crucially

important in India. PM Modi cleared the dirt by picking up his own broom. Today, the atmosphere of India has changed, whose credit goes to Modi. The Chief Minister went on praising the Prime Minister by saying that it is Modiji’s patriotism that even after holding the country’s highest office, he came forward to broom the streets of Delhi. He said that Modi has proven the slogan of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikaas’. Everyone talked about toilets, but the mindset of the people was very difficult to change. This mentality has been changed by Narendra Modi. He pointed out that Gujarat’s Surat and Vadodara have won cleanliness awards, while Somnath, Junagadh, Dwarka and Amba ji are also emerging as examples of cleanliness. Gujarat has always stood as a role model for the country. The Chief Minister said that Dr Pathak has brought social change in India by

“After Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi is the person who has made cleanliness a national campaign” - Dr Bindeshwar Pathak

giving the country a new direction. He has not only granted a new life to scavengers but also made them employment oriented.

PM Modi a true mentor of cleanliness after Gandhi – Dr Bindeshwar Pathak On this occasion, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak said that after Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Modi is the person who has made cleanliness a national campaign. He said that Modiji has shown courage by talking about toilets from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Terming Narendra Modi as a true

grassroots leader, Dr Pathak said that India is all set to ensure 100 per cent sanitation coverage by 2019. Dr Pathak added that it is his habit to work for the people and tap the opportunity given by God to serve people. He said that there should be no difference between developing a city and a village and PM Modi has proved it. Dr Pathak termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an able and true mentor for social welfare and development of India. Addressing the gathering Dr Pathak spoke about the achievement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shared

November 20 - 26, 2017

Cover Story


The Similarities Between Gandhi-Modi and Dr Pathak When we talk about the symbols of cleanliness in India, there can be no one bigger than Dr Bindeshwar Pathak higher trajectory. Today, the country is moving forward under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

the characteristics of his overall personality. Dr Pathak used these lines for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meaning thereby that without obstacles, nothing great and pleasant is achieved. He said that Modi has spread his glory, not only in the country but throughout the world, from his own work. Dr Pathak said that PM Modi initiated the campaign of cleanliness back when he was the CM of Gujarat and today he is running “Swachh Bharat” all over the country. PM Modi is the first Prime Minister of the country to talk about cleanliness. He is doing the task of advancing Gandhi’s thoughts stream. Today the whole country talks about cleanliness. Even children are becoming much aware of the importance of sanitation and toilets. All this is the outcome of the tireless efforts by the Prime Minister. Dr Pathak shared that hearing PM

Modi talk of sanitation and toilets at Red Fort in 2014, he welled up. After many years, there has come another after Gandhi who is talking about cleanliness and sanitation. This is where Dr Pathak got inspired to write this book. He said that Prime Minister Modi is not only the country’s but the entire world’s first Prime Minister to clean the soils of a river bank. Not only this, the Prime Minister also recently laid the foundation for toilets in Varanasi. Till date, no other Prime Minister all over the world has ever selfvolunteered for the task of cleanliness and sanitation. Dr Pathak said that there are two icons of cleanliness around the world: one, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and the other being Prime Minister Modi. He laid emphasis on the need for the nation to take up the responsibility to move forward the mission of Gandhi-Modi

Dr Pathak is a symbol of cleanliness - Dr Girish Vaghela The stream of cleanliness cannot be bigger than the example of Ganges and when we talk about the symbol of cleanliness in India, and then there’s nobody can be bigger than Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Every Indian has been imbued with the culture of cleanliness since the birth of the Indian culture itself. But how we proceed towards cleanliness and the environment is the responsibility of every Indian. Sulabh’s toilet technology was developed by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, a student of sociology, which he implemented as Sulabh’s two-pit pour-flush technology. The world renowned two-pit toilet is a miraculous toilet, which has changed people’s lives. Our former scavengers are not only living in society today but also call themselves Brahmin. This is a very big social change. It is a challenge for sociologists to accomplish this much in one lifetime. Dr Pathak is one individual whose efforts have made this seemingly impossible task possible. Gandhi-Modi and Dr Pathak have many similarities – Prof Dr Shailesh Zala Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Shailesh Zala said that there is a similarity between Bapu, Modibhai and Dr Pathak, and that is that these people gave importance to hygiene. Dr Pathak has done commendable work in the field of cleanliness and toilets, while PM Modi has encouraged the entire country to seriously consider the issue of sanitation and toilets to fulfil Bapu’s dream of a Swachh Bharat. This line of thinking is taking the Swachhta campaign and the country to a

Sulabh has made changes in our lives – Pooja Rehabilitated scavenger, Pooja said “I used to carry toilet waste. I used to do this work with my mother. In the rainy days, we would have a lot of trouble, our clothes would get soiled. In our society, this work is taught to the daughters of our families. Prior to weddings, they would ask us – how many people do you serve ( Jajman) and only then would they get married in that house.” “In the time of Navaratri, a Kanya Puja was organized in our school. The Principal invited me. I reached late there. All the girls stood up watching me and said that they would not eat food with me, because their families would object and scold them if they did” She added “When I heard the words -- This is the daughter of an untouchable, her mother comes here to scavenge our waste. When I heard this, I came home and asked my mother about the same. She told me that we were the people to pick up after others. That’s why we are called untouchable. In the year 2008, the Sulabh team came to our city, Tonk and conducted a survey. After the survey they found out that along with mothers, daughters were also engaged in scavenging work. Sulabh said that they would adopt the daughters along with their mothers and give them training. At first, the people of my house refused the Sulabh team and after the team spent time convincing, they agreed. First of all, my mother came and saw all the work that Sulabh was doing and after seeing what Sulabh has done for people, she called me too. Today I stitch for a living and the customers that wouldn’t even stand next to us today, give us clothes for stitching. This change in our lives has come due to Dr Pathak and Sulabh. For this, we are very grateful to Dr Pathak and Sulabh.” She concluded.

04 Cover Story

November 20 - 26, 2017

“Gujarat presented a new model of development and today the country is making records in the world” - Kiritbhai Solanki

and make India clean and opendefecation-free.

Dr Pathak doing commendable job on sanitation – Prof Dr Shailesh Zala

At the seminar, Shailesh Zala, Vice Chancellor of Maharaja Krishnakumar Sinhji Bhavnagar University, was also present. Addressing the gathering, he said that PM Modi has given new energy and direction to the country. Zala said that not only Gujarat but it is a matter of pride for the entire country that today we have got a Prime Minister like Narendra Modi who has made the voice of India audible across the whole world. The Vice-Chancellor praised Dr Pathak for doing a commendable work on the issue of sanitation and cleanliness. He said that the latter has made not only the nation but the entire world aware of the importance of cleanliness and toilets.

He informed that Sociology of Hygiene is being taught prominently in the University and it has been possible only through the efforts of Dr Pathak. “Our University is the first such educational institution in the country, where sociology of sanitation is taught. It is a matter of pride for us and the entire university that we are connected with Sulabh International. Today, it is common to see the Sulabh toilets everywhere, which always remind of Dr Pathak and his efforts. In this area, Sulabh has done a very commendable work, for which all thanks to Dr Pathak.” He said that Modiji is the first PM who has gained such popularity across the country. The entire country, together with the schemes run by his government, has created a mass campaign. This shows how wide the popularity of this Prime Minister is amongst the country’s people. “Today,

India is on the path of development under the leadership of PM Modi. All of us should support him and ensure our participation in the development of the country.”

Sulabh the biggest example of public participation – Kiritbhai Solanki

Present at the occasion, Ahmedabad MP Kiritbhai Solanki said that coming to this book launch makes him feel proud as it is written on the life of such a successful Prime Minister. With this opening note, he welcomed CM

Vijay Rupani, Sulabh founder Dr Pathak, Mayor Gautam Shah, Vice Chancellor Shailesh Jala and all the guests present at the ceremony. He firstly congratulated Dr Pathak for the laudable work done in the creation of this book and the liberation of the scavengers. He noted that PM Modi says that without the participation of the people, one cannot develop the country. Sulabh has presented the biggest contribution of public participation through its work. He said that under Modi’s leadership, Gujarat presented a new model of development and today the country is making records in the world. After Gandhi, Modi has shown the country a new path. Drawing similarities between PM Modi and Mahatma Gandhi, he said that both the personalities belong to Gujarat. While Gandhi made tireless efforts for the country’s independence, on the other hand, now Modi has generated a great fan following for India all over the world. Today the entire country is connected to his campaign and he is acting as a “Jananayak”. He said that it is our responsibility to take forward and bring to a conclusion the campaign which Modi has initiated.

November 20 - 26, 2017



Renewable Energy

A World Running on Renewable Energy There are no major economic or technical barriers to a future supported by renewable energy. Any new infrastructure built to support fossil fuels expansion, such as coal mines, power plants, oil rigs and export terminals will be a waste of money and further lock us into a path to irreversible climate change. Comment

Barish Raman


n my opinion, there is nothing askew in saying that we can look at a world solely running on renewable energy in the near future. Currently, many leading countries like Denmark majorly rely on renewable energy, it is producing 43% of its energy from renewables, and it aims for 70% by 2020. Germany, at more than 25% now and 30% soon, is going for 40% to 45% clean power by 2025, 55% to 60% by 2035, and a tremendous 80% by 2050. China, world’s most populated nation, despite many challenges, is the world’s leading source of renewable investment, as well as the largest solar

Quick Glance Solar power capacity has increased 370 per cent in past three years Today’s generation will be first to live totally on solar power Researchers believe we will run out of oil in the next 50 years or so

manufacturer. India, currently world’s fourth largest carbon emitter, has signed up for moving a step forward towards a world free of unalterable threats of climate change. Despite its highly diverse and large population, India has added 9 gigawatts (GW) of solar power in just the past two years the equivalent of 4.5 Hoover Dams - for a total of 12 GW of total solar power capacity. Solar capacity has increased 370 percent in the past three years. According to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), another 37 GW will be added by 2020. India commissioned 3.6 GW of wind power in 2016 and doubled that in the first quarter of 2017 alone. I give all these statistics to support my viewpoint that, today’s generation will be the first to live in a world totally

powered by solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. These few instances also tell us that there are no major economic or technical barriers to a future supported by renewable energy. Investing in coal mines or oilrigs is simply paying for destroying earth’s environment and buying a oneway ticket to a world ruled by unsparing global warming and climate change. The recent activities such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Nate that took place in the United States came with warning bells ringing, telling everyone about the lethal repercussions of this deadly phenomenon. Fourteen named storms and nine hurricanes of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season took place in North America this year, all consequences of rising global warming. According to NASA, Global

Fourteen named storms and nine hurricanes of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season took place in North America, all due to global warming

warming could affect storm formation by decreasing the temperature difference between the poles and the equator. The combined result of increased temperatures over land decreased equator-versus-pole temperature differences, and increased humidity could be increasingly intense cycles of droughts and floods as more of a region’s precipitation falls in a single large storm rather than a series of small ones. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a late 2014 report, “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and longlasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.” Many researchers believe that we will run out of oil and natural gas in the next 50-55 years, while it is believed that coal will totally be extinct by 2088. Investing in such intensive exhausters of fossil fuels will not only harm the environment but will also be unsustainable. Rather than using these fossil fuels in daily life, they should be preserved for the future and research purposes. Renewable energy is massive, mainstream and creating millions of jobs. Rapid renewable energy development is outpacing dirty and dangerous fossil fuel and nuclear power projects every year. As it continues to advance across the globe, renewable energy will only get cheaper, easier and faster to deploy. From micro-solar solutions that help to water crops in rural India, to vast windenergy powered data farms in the US or battery cars running on highways, globally.The incredible news is the Energy [R]evolution analysis shows our shift to 100 percent renewable energy faces no major economic or technical barriers. All that’s required is the political will to do so. With the right amount of awareness in people, sincere investments from government and ambitious targets and policies, this earth can be saved.

06 Environment Save the Environment, Save Humanity November 20 - 26, 2017

world environment protection day special

Environmental conservation and protection are more relevant than ever and it is vital for us to get together and contribute towards saving our one and only habitat mihir paul


ince the planet Earth is all we have, it is imperative to ensure it’s protection and conservation. By combining modern ways of living along with a deep respect and understanding for the nature, we can ensure our collective survival. How we live and conduct ourselves daily reflects our attitudes towards the natural world. Our daily habits reveal how much we truly value our surroundings. With the United Nations World Environmental Protection and Conservation Day coming up on November 26, it is absolutely crucial for all of us to understand the nitty gritties of environmental conservation and realize what we can do at our personal/community level to ensure the conservation of the environment that we all share as our collective habitat. While there are a plethora of things that can be done to rebuild and protect what’s left of the planet and its biodiversity, Environmental conservation, is essentially, any individual or collective effort done to protect the planet and conserve the remaining natural resources. Basically, anything that can be done to improve the quality of life of all living beings on the planet. Environmental Conservation and Protection work as a means to protect the nature by safeguarding natural vital resources and also a means to safeguard against the irresponsible business practice of large corporations that damage the environment. Green living is supposed to cause a shift in power from those that don’t have any interest in the greater good to those

Quick Glance Our daily habits reflect how much we truly value our surroundings Financially depriving antienvironment corporates is important Every part of the environment is important for our survival

who choose to do something about the problems instead. Keeping money out of the pockets of big businesses that don’t respect the environment is a something we can definitely do for the planet and our collective survival as a species on this planet. While conservation and protection have many facets, they are essentially about reminding us to be vigilant and mindful of our daily choices. Small, yet impactful changes can benefit the planet in more ways than imaginable. If we all did our part to conserve the environment we inhabit, we would surely be on our way towards major progress. We can achieve this by being mindful of using energy and

resources. Proper recycling and disposal are also essential to protecting the planet’s surface and the water table underneath. We should realize that our environment is an integral part of our collective well-being and every single facet of our environment must be protected and conserved for us and future generations. Every part of the environment gives us life and is crucial if we are to survive. Trees give us oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and prevent buildup of greenhouse gases. Trees hold the soil firmly and prevent erosion. The water in the oceans is both a shelter and a life source. Home to a rich

biodiversity, the plants in the oceans give us more than half of the Earth’s oxygen supply and store large amounts of carbon dioxide to keep the planet cool. The soil is a supporter of life. It supplies food and acts as a filter of water to the crops and plants growing on it. It is essential to producing good quality crops that feed humans and animals. Soil holds groundwater and not only stores it for our use, but also filters it so that groundwater becomes relatively safer than ocean water to consume for drinking albeit after basic purification treatments. The trio – the seas, the trees, and the ground are the three most important elements that are

November 20 - 26, 2017

vital to our existence. While there are other parts of the environment that need protection too but these three are the ones that require the most protection. Challenges and Solutions Facing a variety of troubling issues from man-made contamination, the environment is susceptible to many problems that cause long term damage to the earth’s ecosystem. Accidents in Nature Man-made accidents threaten both the wildlife and the ecosystem. While these accidents are considerably rare because of the developments in safety procedures and checks, such events still occur, many times with devastating effects. Including but not limited to – oil spills, radioactive leaks, pipeline bursts, tanker spills, and fracking accidents. The best solution to avoid such accidents is to develop more safety protocols and checks. Water Pollution Water pollution has been growing around the world. Large industries generating toxic waste are dumping that waste into water sources including lakes and rivers. Not only

The trio of the trees, the seas and the soil are the three most important elements that are vital to the survival of all living species

industrial toxic waste, but also, human waste and garbage also often ends up in water bodies. Many countries around the world have implemented their own laws to ensure the safeguards against the companies dumping toxic waste into water bodies. Individuals and communities can also participate in recycling and waste disposal to address this problem further. It is also vital for businesses to develop safety protocols and re-evaluate protocols to reduce the amount of waste that is dumped into the water supply. Hazardous Waste Hazardous waste materials that contain carcinogenic or teratogenic compounds pose an immediate and long-term risk to plants, animals, humans, and the environment. If mishandled, exposure to such waste can cause devastating effects. Compounds like pesticides, solvents,

paints, bleach, and ammonia are such compounds. Businesses and individuals handling such materials must exercise extreme caution and must ensure that such waste is disposed of with the assistance of hazardous waste-disposal experts. Ozone Depletion There’s a wide variety of airborne substances that cause ozone pollution and depletion. The most dangerous airborne substances are - - ground level ozone, particulate matter, lead, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. These degrade the ozone layer the most. They not only cause damage to humans but also to plants and animals. Various environmental protection agencies in countries around the world have their own stipulated rules regarding the control of the presence of such substances in the air. Controlling the air quality lowers the stress on the



outer ozone layer of earth. The outer layer is the one that protects us from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Soil Contamination Man-made chemicals, when released into the dirt, cause soil contamination. Soil can be contaminated by many possible activities. Some of them are -- leaching of hazardous waste from a landfill, rupture of underground storage tanks, acid rain, pesticides and herbicides, and discharge from industrial chemical wastes. There need to be stringent laws in place against such contamination. The appropriate agencies need to enforce these rules to help keep the soil safe for humans, plants, and animals. India’s Environmental Protection Living in complete sync with the environment has been one of the cornerstones of the Indian culture. Various traditional practices, religious beliefs, rituals, folklore, arts and crafts reflect this abundantly. The present day global concerns for sustainable development and conservation of natural resources spanning the two decades between the Stockholm Conference of Environment in 1992

08 Environment

November 20 - 26, 2017

and the United Nations Conference on Human Environment and Development (Earth Summit) at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 are of recent origin in comparison to the long tradition and cultural ethos of nature conservation in India. Virtually all the countries of the world have rich traditions embedded in the ethics of protecting nature. Many ancient cultures tell us how communities lived in harmony with nature, with a tradition of reverence for the elements that constitute ecosystems, drawing their sustenance from natural resources and at the same time protecting the environment that sustains them. Modern man tends to look down upon indigenous people as primitive, backward and

superstitious. They may be poor, illiterate, and disadvantaged in many other ways, but they have a tremendous understanding of ecosystems and the factors that sustain them. The worship of Mother Earth is a universal phenomenon in many indigenous cultures. There are innumerable examples of festivals, rituals, songs, and myths that celebrate the gifts of Mother Earth all over the world, revealing the intimate sense of togetherness and harmony that exists between man and nature in tribal societies. An American - Indian community, the Sioux Indians, refused to till the soil because they did not want to wound the body of their mother, the Earth. They would say, ‘Must I mutilate her flesh so as to get at her bones? Then I can never again enter into her body and be born again.’ Indigenous people in many countries attribute supernatural powers to plants, animals, rivers, oceans, mountains, the wind, sun and moon. Respect for nature is inherent in many religious faiths. Many Hindu gods and goddesses are shown to use animals as mounts. Sacred groves or

sacred forests preserved with reverence have been part of Hindu and Buddhist culture. In Christianity as well as in Islam, conservation of the environment is based on the. principle that nature and its components are created by God, and humans are entrusted with the responsibility of protecting it. Many religions and moral philosophies have professed the unity of all life on earth and the obligation of human beings to care for them. Today, when people throughout the world are perturbed by the degradation of the environment and the disastrous consequences of this, traditional ethics of nature conservation could be looked upon as a source of inspiration and guidance for the future. Perhaps no other culture can provide such a profound variety of cultural practices and ecologically sound relationship with nature as the Indian. This chapter is an attempt to bring together some of the information available on this aspect of Indian culture from various sources. Nature In Indian Culture For the people of India, environmental conservation is not a new concept. Historically, the protection of nature and wildlife was an ardent article of faith, reflected in the daily lives of people, enshrined in myths, folklore, religion, arts, and culture. Some of the fundamental principles of ecology-the interrelationship and

interdependence of all life-were conceptualized in the Indian ethos and reflected in the ancient scriptural text, the Upanishads, over 2000 years ago. It says, ‘This universe is the creation of the Supreme Power meant for the benefit of all his creation. Each individual lifeform must, therefore, learn to enjoy its benefits by forming a part of the system in close relation with other species. Let not anyone species encroach upon the other’s rights.’ The oldest visual image of the human fascination, love, and reverence for nature in India can be found in the 10,000 year-old cave paintings at Bhimbetka in Central India depicting birds, animals, and human beings living in harmony. The Indus Valley civilization provides evidence of human interest in wildlife, as seen in seals depicting images of rhino, elephant, bull, etc. Historically, conservation of nature and natural resources was an innate aspect of the Indian psyche and faith, reflected in religious practices, folklore, art and culture permeating every aspect of the daily lives of people. Scriptures and preachings that exhort reverence for nature and relate to conservation can be found in most of the religions that have flourished in the Indian subcontinent.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam; and others place great emphasis on the values, beliefs, and attitudes that relate to the crosscultural universality of respect for nature and the elements that constitute the universe. The concept of sinning against nature existed in various religious systems. Classical Indian myth is replete with similies of man in unison with the environment. Many of the rituals which to modern society may seem meaningless and superstitious were traditional strategies to preserve the intrinsic relationship between man and nature. The worship of trees, animals, forests, rivers, and the sun, and considering the earth itself as Mother Goddess, were part of the Indian tradition. Sacred Greens of India One of the finest examples of traditional practices in India based on religious faith which has made a profound contribution to nature conservation has been the

Living in a complete sync with the environment

has been one of the cornerstones of Indian culture, as has been seen in most of our scriptures

November 20 - 26, 2017

maintenance of certain patches of land or forests as “sacred groves’ dedicated to a deity or a village God, protected, and worshipped. These are found all over India, and abundantly along the Western Ghats, the west coast, and in several parts of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In Kerala there are hundreds of small jungles dedicated to snakes (Sarpakavu, Sarpa meaning snake, kavu meaning jungle). There are also Ayyappan kavus dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, the most famous of which, visited by millions of devotees every year, being the sacred hill of Sabarimala with an Ayyappan temple. In spite of the depletion of forests in many parts of India, some sacred groves still remain intact as oases in deserts, conserving rich biological diversity. The maintenance of sacred groves can thus he considered to be an outstanding example of a traditional practice that has contributed to forest conservation, albeit in a small measure. There are also examples of sacred ponds attached to temples in many parts of India. Some of these have been responsible for the protection of certain endangered species of turtles, crocodiles, and the rare fresh water sponge. Nature in art and scriptures Indian painting, sculpture, architectural ornamentation, and the decorative arts is replete with themes from nature and wildlife reflecting love and reverence, and therefore the


reflected even in the visual arts which excel in their minute depiction of nature. Indian literature effectively reflects the ethos of its deep and sympathetic understanding of animals through innumerable stories. Even amongst these one could pertinently mention are the Hitopadesha, the Panchatantra or the Shuka-saptati which abound in allegorical references to the animal world. The impact of the Panchatantra was so great that as early as the seventh century AD it was translated into Arabic under the title Kalila-waDimna and has been very popular in the Arab and Persian world ever since. Though an interior form of life, animals have been endowed with ennobling qualities which provide lessons in morals relevant even to human beings.

of various species of animals. This historical evidence, surviving to this day, is the first recorded measure on conservation anywhere in the world. In more recent historical times, Mughal Emperor Babur’s memoirs (Baburnama), Guru Nanak’s hymns on ‘Baramasa’ ( the seasons) depicting each month with a dominant bird image, and Emperor Jehangir’s memoirs showing his keen interest in and study of wildlife provide fine illustrations of this Indian tradition. The love for nature has been handed down the ages, becoming an integral part of the Indian psyche. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the martyrdom of the Bishnois in Khejarli village in Rajasthan. In 1730 AD the then ruler of a native state had ordered the khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees to be cut in order to bake lime for the construction of a fort. This sparked off a strong collective protest from the local Bishnoi community. 363 men and women, young and old, one after the other, placed their heads against the trees to prevent them being cut and were axed along with the trees. The ruler of the state was so moved by this sacrifice that he sought pardon from the people and issued an order that no green trees should in future be cut in the Bishnoi village. This happened over two centuries ago when the world had scarcely become conscious of ecological consequences of the reckless felling of trees. This legend is now celebrated by singers on stage and in the streets during the Tree Festival. This long tradition and belief in the conservation of nature is also vividly alive in contemporary times. One of the most successful conservation movements in India today is the Chipko movement spearheaded by the womenfolk of Gopeswar village in Garhwal in the Himalaya. Commercial felling of trees was effectively stopped by them by hugging the trees when lumbermen arrived to cut them. This simple yet effective action eventually saved 12,000 of a sensitive water catchment area. There was a similar Apiko movement in the southern state of Karnataka.

Ind i a ’ s historic contributions to the environment Twenty-two centuries ago Emperor Ashoka decreed that it was a king’s duty to protect wildlife and the trees of the forests. He got edicts inscribed on rocks and iron pillars throughout his kingdom, prohibiting the destruction of forests and the killing

Development and Environment India is no exception to the global phenomenon of environmental degradation brought about by developmental activities. Rapid industrialization, growing urbanization, intensive cultivation, and other developmental activities, coupled with increasing biotic

Indian scriptures, paintings, archetectural

ornamentation and the decorative arts are replete with themes from nature and wildlife ethics of conservation. A wide range of images of forests, plants, and animals are to be found in Indian miniature paintings and sculpture. The theme of the Hindu god Krishna’s life depicted in miniature paintings underlines an appreciation of ecological balance. He is shown persuading people to worship the mountain in order to ensure rainfall. Krishna swallowing the forest fire also signifies a concern for the protection of forests and wildlife. Innumerable examples of the status given to plants and animals can also be seen in the traditional sculptural art of India. The concept of vana devatas (tree goddesses), vehicles of gods and goddesses, sacred trees, tree and animal worship.’ etc. are depicted in stone and metal sculptures independently, or as part of temples, palaces, and historical buildings. In literature and scriptures too there has been considerable depiction of the appreciation and love for nature: “Mahakavi Kalidasa, a prominent poet of the ancient period (fourth century AD) visualized, a cloud as a messenger in his Meghaduta and went into raptures when describing various seasons in his Ritusamhara. Such an involvement with nature is


10 Environment

November 20 - 26, 2017

pressure has had a very adverse impact on India’s environment. The major areas of environmental concern today include, (i) deforestation, (ii) degradation of land resources, (iii) pollution of air and water, (iv) threat to natural living resources - wildlife, fisheries, etc, and (v) problems associated with urbanization - slums, sanitation, pollution. Human and animal pressures have led to considerable deforestation. Deforestation leads to soil erosion and sedimentation that shortens the economic life of reservoirs, hydroelectric facilities, and irrigation systems. The problem of water and air pollution is assuming serious proportions in various parts of the country. With eighty per cent of industrial production confined to ten cities, atmospheric pollution is concentrated principally in the major cities and industrial towns. Apart from industries, the density of traffic is also contributing substantially to air pollution. Habitat destruction has endangered the survival of a number of plants and animals. It was in the early seventies that, along with the rest of the countries of the world, India became conscious of another disquieting trend. The same efforts that had helped to bring people above the poverty line also put greater pressure on the natural resources of the country. The vast majority of our people are directly dependent on the country’s natural resources for their basic needs of food, fuel, shelter and fodder for their cattle. hile the annual per capita income in India has been rising over the years, about 40 per cent of the people are still below the poverty line. Environmental degradation has adversely affected the poor who depend upon the resources of their immediate surroundings. Thus the challenge of poverty and the challenge of environmental degradation are not

two different challenges, but two facets of a single challenge. In a developing country attempting to achieve rapid economic growth, there are often tensions between the claims of environmental protection and those of development. That environmental conservation cannot be isolated from the general issues of development and must be viewed as an integral part of it, and an essential prerequisite for sustainable development, is being increasingly understood today. Conscious efforts are now being made to integrate environmental concerns into policies and programmes relating to economic development. It is at this juncture that we should look back upon our

world environment protection day special

There existed many environmental laws even before independence, but the real impetus came after the Stockholm Summit

rich tradition of living in harmony with nature, which over the years has been overshadowed by the Western utilitarian approach to scientific and technological developments. Indian Legislations For Environmental Protection Even before India’s independence in 1947, several environmental

What you can do to conserve the environment and conserve energy By embracing and promoting alternative energy sources, Mother Earth would be relieved. If every household incorporated the concepts of sustainable living by using less and conserving more, the positive impact would be immeasurable. • Solar energy and wind power are two of the renewable energy options that we could use more often. Yet, a large amount of energy we exhaust comes from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels to power cars, the electricity in homes and much more. While we don’t completely control how energy is offered to us, there’s always room to live in a way that uses less of the energy that can’t be replenished. • Begin to conserve by making small changes to everyday routines. For example, use window light instead of turning on lights during the day and replace standard light bulbs with bulbs that are energy efficient and last for an extended period of time while requiring less energy to run. Help to replenish what is being taken away by giving back to the Earth. • Deforestation continues to be a major environmental issue. Many forests are losing countless acres of valuable trees, and because these trees are destroyed, the greenhouse gases they were storing go back into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Animals and people lose their food supply and homes, and the economic status of a region can also change because less forests often leads to less employment opportunities in the area. • Planting trees is a way to give back because it aids in the restoration of homes for wildlife, food sources, and medicinal properties that only the trees provide. As trees grow, they protect soil from harsh weather conditions and protect us from excess carbon dioxide, enabling us to live longer and more comfortably. •Help to protect the quality of soil through composting. When we feed the soil, especially by using leftover parts of food that would otherwise be thrown away, we give the soil nutrients that it craves. Enriching the soil this way sets off a positive chain of events that allows for other plants to grow naturally, leading to improved air quality and adding to the beauty of the land. • Cars are constantly driven all over the world and are major contributors to pollution. Keep your vehicle in top shape to cut back on the carbon that it releases into the atmosphere. When you go car shopping or need to replace your vehicle, look beyond the outer appearance and consider the environmental impact. Decide to purchase electric or hybrid vehicles instead of gas guzzlers as a stylish and money-saving alternative. Walk, ride a bike, or use shared transportation when possible. • Start growing your own food for health purposes and to relieve the stress placed on the soil. Commercial farms tend to have a poorer quality of soil because the ground is mistreated in order to quickly produce as many foods as possible.

legislation existed but the real impetus for bringing about a well-developed framework came only after the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972). Under the influence of this declaration, the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning within the Department of Science and Technology was set up in 1972. This Council later evolved into a fullfledged Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 1985 which today is the apex administrative body in the country for regulating and ensuring environmental protection. After the Stockholm Conference, in 1976, constitutional sanction was given to environmental concerns through the 42nd Amendment, which incorporated them into the Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights and Duties. A policy framework has also been developed to complement the legislative provisions. The Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution and the National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development were brought out by the MoEF in 1992, to develop and promote initiatives for the protection and improvement of the environment. The EAP (Environmental Action Programme) was formulated in 1993 with the objective of improving environmental services and integrating environmental considerations into development programmes. Other measures have also been taken by the government to protect and preserve the environment. Several sector-specific policies have evolved, which are discussed at length in the concerned chapters. • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Amendment 1991 • The WPA (Wildlife Protection Act), 1972 •The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 •Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EPA) •The Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 •The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 •The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

November 20 - 26, 2017



north bengal wildlife

Pachyderm protection prioritised Reduction of habitation area where there are enough food and water is seeing an increase in elephants clashing with humans Prasanta Paul


n end July this year, a herd of around 70/80 elephants pocketed in a small forest patch in North Bengal’s Kolabari routinely faced a daily dose of harassment from the locals. It is not just beating them, people even get too close to them to take selfies! A 17-km power fencing along the border has already impaired the jumbos’ traditional migratory route forcing them into new green territories of the area. Diya Banerjee, a Hyderabadbased animal activist who had been visiting the area was witness to the drama. “I was familiar with the Kolabari region; but to my utter shock, within a few minutes of our stay, a group of about 50 locals began a mad chase after the herd armed with sticks, crackers and stones. The herd could not even reach their resting place beside the Mechi river,” she said. The attack left many calves injured and some adults had marks of rubber bullets too – probably received in Nepal. Keeping such incidents in mind, the Union Environment Ministry has recently given its nod to the new National Wildlife Action Plan (20172031) that seeks to address a major issue of a spurt in the man-animal conflict. It not only aims to make those residing in the buffer zones an intrinsic part of the management process of the protected areas, the plan adopts a crucial change in its focus on the ways and means of minimising the conflict with a stress on prevention of further encroachment of humans in the protected areas. “The plan reflects an important shift towards conservation, as the authorities this time have been quite serious in their approach,” claimed Vinod B Mathur, director of Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII). Interestingly, it was after Mathur’s presentation that the ministry, headed by Harsh Vardhan, began looking into the issue and finally approved the plan. The plan incorporates climate resilience and has linked it to the

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It has laid a stress on the implementation of endangered species recovery plan of wild animals in all ecosystems – terrestrial, inland aquatic, coastal and marine. According to Mathur, the government has made an ‘in principle’ decision, while approving the plan at the last meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife, to seek funds from the private sector under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. The existing law makes it mandatory for companies to allocate two per cent of their profits under CSR. The union ministry, it has been learnt, is mulling to make implementation of the action plan as part of the conditions in the forest and wildlife approval for projects. However, the wildlife experts in the committee have contended that the government’s funding for wildlife management has not increased in a major way so far, despite a healthy

increase in the revenue from tourism, and the budget in some of the states has reflected a sharp drop despite a thrust in developing tourism. This concern did crop up during the discussion in the committee, but the officials had little solution. Keeping the North Bengal vortex in mind, the West Bengal government has not been lagging in efforts to strike a new chord in reducing man-animal conflict. Conceding that a fear psychosis has traditionally been existing among the locals living in the buffer zones of an elephant territory, the authorities in the state have decided to set up a unique elephant museum within the Buxa Tiger Reserve area in Alipurduar in North Bengal, the first such effort in India. A decision to this effect has been taken last month at the meeting of the Buxa Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation, state forest minister Benoy Krishna Burman said. According to him, the Foundation authorities have

The museum intends to showcase elephants from

Indian, other Asian and African countries, and even the Burmese white elephant

Quick Glance Till now in 2017, more than a hundred persons have been killed Humans disturb elephants, even going up close to take selfies with them The state government has decided to set up an elephant museum

been asked to prepare a detail report and submit the same to the ministry by end-December, after which the actual work can start. Asked what prompted the decision of the government to build the museum, Burman said he had been advised by many an expert of the forest department, that one of the major reasons behind the man-animal conflict is the lack of awareness among the people about the tuskers. A museum on them might sensitise people to a great extent. “The museum will help generate awareness about elephants and the need to protect them, which in the long run could be a contributing factor in reducing the man-animal conflict,” he stated. The Foundation authorities are in the process of preparing a list of national and international consultants and experts in the related field, whose assistance might be sought once the detailed project report is prepared. “I hope to make the museum fully operational by the middle of next year,” Burman said. The museum has been planned to be located near the check post of the forest department in the tiger reserve. It will feature exhibits detailing the structure, nature and habits of elephants all over the world. The museum intends to showcase elephants from Indian, other Asian and African countries, and even the Burmese white elephant. It will also have facilities for an audio-visual presentation about elephants worldwide. According to a data of the state forest department, in the first six months of this year, a total of 112 people were killed by tuskers. The state government has recently acquired four special vehicles for tracking and tranquilising the rogue tuskers.

12 Green Technology

November 20 - 26, 2017

world environment protection day special

environment green technology

Tech which Can Save the Earth Around the globe, conservationists are employing the latest technological advances to make a difference for people, wildlife, oceans, forests and clean water mihir Paul


n honour of — World Environment Protection and Conservation day on November 19th, a day to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet earth here a list of some of the most useful and inspiring technological advances that are assisting conservation. Electric cars Corporations like Tesla, founded by the visionary -- Elon Musk are at the forefront of the era of green cars. Cars like the ones manufactured by Tesla Motors not only run on electricity but also get recharged in 30 minutes and can go over 200 miles on a single charge. These electric cars are making sustainable development a reality. Artificial Intelligence Many governments are turning to Terra-i, an artificial intelligence program that uses real-time rainfall

data to predict how green a given habitat should be — and then matches that prediction up against images of the habitat from an Earth-monitoring satellite. Differences in greenness between what is predicted and what is observed — right down to the pixel — suggest habitat conversion by human activity. Terra-i “learns” as it analyzes, using a neural network to “learn” which actual levels of greenness go with which amounts of precipitation during the year. The result allows conservationists a view of forests and other habitats across an entire continent. Drones Drones quickly moved from science

fiction to something you see hobbyists deploying at the city park. Conservationists were quick to recognize the applications of drones, too. The list of uses is seemingly endless. Drones allow a view of wildlife and habitats that could never have been achieved by simple observation. From measuring El Nino impacts to monitoring rare vultures in the remote steppe of eastern Mongolia to assessing Caribbean coral reefs, drones have proven themselves to be essential tools for savvy conservationists. Camera Traps Camera traps have now become so inexpensive and accessible that even backyard naturalists utilize them to

With the rapid advancement in technologies, environmental conservation efforts are being supplemented by state-of-the-art tech

Quick Glance Electronic cars are now more affordable and can go long distances Conservationists are using drones to track wildlife and ecological changes Artifical intelligence systems track changes in the environment

keep tabs on the local foxes and racoons. Conservationists employ them in remote habitats, allowing them to monitor the presence of rare birds and better understand the habits of nocturnal critters. Camera traps have helped land managers spy on the movements of over-abundant elk and conduct inventories of wildlife roaming on conservation easements. With technological improvements and field savvy, some practitioners capture images that rival the best of wildlife photography. Live Camera Feeds Cameras can also allow naturalists to spy on wildlife while sitting at the computer, a live nature documentary that runs 24/7. These live feeds include everything from African waterholes to salmon streams, but the most popular is undoubtedly bird nest cams. The primary use of these is to educate the public about the lives of birds, allowing them to see everything from eggs hatching to daily feedings. The Conservancy’s popular osprey cam has been running for four years and continues to attract a host of fans, as do similar nest cams for great-horned owls, bald eagles, peregrine falcons and many others. Bioacoustics How do you accurately assess biodiversity in a remote, rugged habitat like the forests of Papua New Guinea? The soundscape – the noises of the forest including every squawking bird, chirping insect and peeping frog – holds clues. This technology is at the forefront of monitoring techniques used to analyze wildlife. Using the latest acoustic monitoring equipment, scientists record the sounds of the rainforest and then analyze them for further classification and study.

November 20 - 26, 2017

Assam Silk Worm

World’s first in-situ wild silk worm sanctuary Seized of the threat to the most expensive silk in the world, Assam’s Muga, the state has embarked upon this in-situ programme Raj Kashyap


ortheast India, more particularly Assam, produces one of the finest and most expensive silks in the world. Produced by the semi-domesticated silkworm Antheraea assamensis, which is only found in the Brahmaputra Valley, this silk is called Muga(meaning “yellow” or “amber” in Assamese) – and is often called golden silk. The production of golden silk in Assam dates back to 321 BC and is an inextricable part of the life and culture of Assam. Unfortunately, silkworms are highly sensitive to climatic conditions since they are grown outdoors. Recently unpredictable rainfall patterns, a rise in temperature and persistent floods have endangered Muga cocoon production across the state. Seized of the threat to Muga, Assam’s Sericulture department and Central Silk Board Guwahati has embarked on an ambitious project to set up what could be the world’s first in-situ wild muga sanctuary. The State’s Forest department has already given clearance for the project at a reserve forest in Upper Doigrung, about 50 km from Golaghat town in the eastern Assam. The project aims at future conservation of the threatened wild silk moths and muga as well as helping research. State’s Sericulture director Mukta Nath Saikia said that a core area of about 100 acres has been identified in the Upper Doigrung forest for the project. “The area has been identified on the basis of the presence of silk moths and host plant availability. The area is secluded and so free from inorganic materials,” he said. “Silkworm is wild. Continuous rearing of silkworm has resulted in the loss of its certain wild characters including their resistance or tolerance to microbial infections. But those in the wild are better resistant breeds. We need to conserve them to deal with any crisis in future. The objective is to save the muga,” Saikia said. Over the years, global warming, fluctuating

temperatures, deforestation and pollution have taken a heavy toll on the muga. According to Rajesh Kumar, scientist at the Central Muga Eri Research & Training Institute, the wild muga silk moth, Antheraeaassamensis Helfer (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) constitutes a significant component of wild silk moth genetic diversity that cannot be ignored in the conservation and utilization of its potential to increase the muga silk production in general and to increase the income of farmers in particular. “There are many factors affecting the muga habitat adversely like increased human population followed by over exploitation of forests, urbanization, clearing of forests for industrialization, overgrazing in forest areas, monoculture and planting of exotics in forestry, use of pesticides in agricultural operation and air pollution,” he said. Due to rapid

urbanization and deforestation in North East India, the forest is declining and ultimately the wild silk moth species feeding on host plants will fight to adopt the available climate if not the species will die soon, he said. Due to deforestation, the climate is also changing unusually day by day. This issue was seriously viewed by Ministry of Textiles and the Central Silk Board initiated the work of In-situ conservation of wild silkmoths in collaboration with the State’s Sericulture department. “In future, it will also solve the basic seed of muga silkworm and another wild silk moth, which is also endemic silkworm species and Pride of North East India,” he said. The Central Silk Board and Sericulture directorate have identified the core zone, buffer zone and peripheral zone of the proposed sanctuary through GPS. Weather stations are also being set up for research work. An estimation of silk

The silkworm needs temperatures of around 30-35 degree Celsius and a humidity level of 80-85% in order to thrive

Silk Worm


Quick Glance Assam produces Muga, one of the most expensive silks in the world Part of Assam’s culture, it dates back to 321 BC Climate change and heavy rains are now threatening its existence

moths in the core area will be conducted within the next couple of months. “We will not rear muga in the core zone. The core area will be kept untouched. However, those moths which migrate to the peripheries will be collected and reared and multiplied ex-situ in the periphery where a 15-hectare plantation has been done for the purpose. But there will be no commercial production. The focus would be on producing better seed cocoons,” Rajesh Kumar said. He said a village of about 25 households – Bogidhola - on the periphery of the core area has been adopted and implementation of various schemes there has already begun. The villagers are being trained and given rearing houses. There are also plans to convert the place into a silk worm park in future. Around 41 species of wild silk moths have been identified in the Northeast. The largest share (above 90 per cent) of eri silk production in India is contributed from NE India and it shares 77 per cent of the total nonmulberry raw silk produced in the country. According to data from the Assam Sericulture department, there has been a decline in Muga production over the years, and in the past few years, the state has been far behind the expected target of 150 metric tons a year. The silkworm needs temperatures of around 30-35 degree Celsius and a humidity level of 80-85% in order to thrive. Dhemajidistrict in Assam suffered heavy losses in Muga production in the last couple of years as silkworms died out due to the increase of air temperature and humidity, according to the Sericulture Department of Assam. The current records show the annual rainfall of the district ranges from 2600 mm to 3200 mm, the relative humidity varies from 90% to 73% while the temperature varies between 38 C in summer and 5.9C in winter. Changes in temperature and humidity lead to diseases like Flacherie, and Grasserie that can wipe out an entire lot of silkworms. About 2.32 million people are associated with the Muga trade in the form of Muga farmers, labours and salespersons.

14 Environment

November 20 - 26, 2017

world environment protection day special

climate conference

seals migration

Antarctic Seals Flocking To Australia

Increasingly flocking to Australian shores, the juvenile leopard seals of Antarctica are migrating in large numbers due to cyclical changes in Antarctica Quick Glance More than 10 individuals have migrated over the last three months This spike in migration is observed every seven years or so There is a driver potentially due to different sea-ice levels



uvenile leopard seals are increasingly flocking to Australian shores, an expert has found. Sam Thalmann, a marine biologist with 20 years of experience based in Tasmania, said that in a typical year there were three to five leopard seals spotted in the island state, Xinhua news agency reported. “This year we’ve seen more than 10 individuals just over the last three and a half to four months,” Thalmann said on Tuesday. The seals that have been spotted in Tasmania were usually not yet of breeding size, Thalmann found. He said that the spike tended to

wall risk

US-Mexico ‘Wall’ may Pose ecological Risks US-Mexico border wall may cause major environmental disruptions

Antarctic seals

migrating to Australia may be part of a cycle that’s related to environmental cycles within Antarctica happen once every seven years or so. “In their young years, as they discover their range, they can disperse a lot further than the adults do,” Thalmann said. “There is a little bit of a driver IANS


he border wall between the US and Mexico would be an environmental “disaster”, a United Nations official said. “The wall is going to be a disaster for different reasons ... and one of the ways is that it is going to be a disaster at the environmental level,” Xinhua news agency quoted John Knox, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, as

potentially due to different sea-ice levels in Antarctica.” “The cycle that we see may well be related to environmental cycles within Antarctica, but we don’t think this is anything to be alarmed by.” Tasmania’s Department of Environment has used the opportunity to study the Antarctic predators and monitor their diets. “We’ve documented about six separate individuals that are foraging on different kinds of seabirds, from kelp gulls to sea gulls, penguins, cormorants and even fur seals,” Thalmann said. “And these are all diet items that are typical of leopard seals foraging within the Antarctic, and the subAntarctic and around Tasmania. “We do expect them sooner or later to head back down to Antarctic waters where they’ll start to look to moving into their adult lifestyle and start to breed.” Researchers on Macquarie Island, a sub-Antarctic Australian territory, and in New South Wales (NSW) have also observed a record number of the seals.

Bonn Hosts 20,000 Delegates Hosting nearly 20,000 delegates, the German city, Bonn, is preparing to host the annual UN Climate Change conference IANS


his German city is hosting over 20,000 delegates and environmental activists from nearly 200 nations for the annual UN Climate Change Conference, Indianorigin Mayor Ashok Sridharan said. “We as Bonners are very proud to have the COP23 here and we want to be the good host for all the delegates coming from all over the world,” Sridharan said in a video tweet. “We are expecting more than 20,000 people over here, which is a big challenge because we do have 320,000 inhabitants but all the people living in Bonn are very much looking forward to COP23,” he said. Bonn was also the venue of UN Climate Change Conferences in 1999 and 2001. The two-week climate change talks with the attendance of officials of 197 nations and thousands of nonstate actors opened here last week with a commitment to go ahead of the 2015 Paris Agreement pledges to counter climate change, which Trump is barricading.

saying at a forum on biodiversity. “Biodiversity and the ecosystems don’t care about political borders, they don’t stop where the wall begins,” he added. Knox said that a solid physical barrier could interfere with the movement and survival of regional species. In October, it was reported that eight prototypes of the wall have been erected along the border between the US city of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

November 20 - 26, 2017



mithila Release

‘The Living Legends of Mithila’ released “Dr Pathak should be honoured with Bharat Ratna” – Vivekanand Jha Ssb Bureau


n a bid to spread the word about the legends belonging to the holy land of Mithila, Bihar, a book entitled “The Living Legends of Mithila” as well as its Hindi edition were released at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi. Authored by Vivekananda Jha, the book was released by India’s Waterman and Magsaysay Award winner Dr Rajendra Singh, Jharkhand’s Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Food and Supply Department Saryu Rai, former Governor T N Chaturvedi and eminent writer and professor Madhu Kishwar. When one talks of “The Living Legends of Mithila”, the name of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement Founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak automatically pops up on the top. Hence, the author of the book, Vivekanand Jha, on this occasion termed Dr. Pathak as the “Bhishma Pitamah” of Mithila and an ideal for all. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi from this forum to award Dr Pathak with the highest honour of India – Bharat Ratna. Jha said that he is speaking these words not just because Dr Pathak belongs to Mithila, but because of his admirable works done towards the betterment of the society and the nation as a whole. If seen, Dr Pathak is the true follower of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Dr Pathak devoted his entire life to realize and bring to reality the dream of Mahatma Gandhi and showed the country a new path.

‘The Living Legends of Mithila’, a history in itself – Vivekanand Jha

Vivekanand Jha went on to talk about the book and told that this book is about 25 well-known veterans of Mithila, who dedicated their whole life to the development of the region and the country. Not only this, the contribution of these great legends of Mithila has given

India a different identity even at the global stage. Jha said that this is not just a book but a history in itself. It took two years to write this book, and for that Jha had to travel many different states of India as well as Nepal. He said that the land of Mithila has given such legacies to the country that it has extended the pride of the whole country beyond the boundaries. He said that this book narrates the stories of the contributions of these great people of Mithila. He termed the book as an inspiration for readers.

Quick Glance The book was released at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi Vivkekanand Jha is the award winning author of the book The book features the exemplary works of social reformers

by ‘polluters’ – Dr Rajendra Singh

Waterman and Magsaysay Award winner Dr Rajendra Singh complimented the book’s author Vivekanand Jha. He said that I hope Vivekananda will write a book on those people who are not known by the society but have secretly done a lot for it. He said that this book boasts of Mithila’s language and its simplicity. Luckily, Mithila has not been polluted yet, unlike some parts of the country which have been affected by pollution and breathing there has become difficult.

Mithila is a land of veterans – Saryu Rai

Environmentalist and Jharkhand’s Minister Saryu Rai said that Mithila has been the land of veterans and there are many great legends from the land sitting here. Mithila’s veterans have enhanced the pride of the region from their contribution towards the country. The history of Mithila is also associated with the glory of Bihar. In spite of so much merit in Mithila, even today, Bihar has not received the reputation which it should.

Hindustan’s identity from its regional diversity - Madhu Kishwar

Eminent writer and professor Madhu Kishwar said that we can truly recognise India only when we recognise its regional diversity and celebrate it. But it is not being done adequately. He hoped that after “Living Legends of Mithila”, Vivekananda Jha will be able to introduce the people to the non-

living legends of Mithila too. The Professor said that for any person it is necessary that his people recognise him and it will be possible only when his work and contribution will be celebrated amongst all. He shared that he had a glimpse of this in Gujarat, when PM Modi was the then Chief Minister there and started a new practice. Modi used to celebrate every national festival in different districts apart from Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad and the local legends were honored there.

Mithila remains untouched

“Dr Pathak is Mithila’s Bhishma Pitamah” - Vivekanand Jha

Veterans included in the book

Nishchalananda Saraswati Maharaj, Parmanand Jha, Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement - Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, Amitabh Chaudhary, Sharda Sinha, Dr Birbal Jha, Anjani Kumar Singh, Rajesh Jha, Dr Dinesh Mishra, Tariya Devi, Usha Rani Jha, Dr Jagannath Mishra, Nirmal Chandra Jha, Ramakant Jha, Asha Jha, Manas Bihari Verma, Nar Narendra Jha, Krishna Kumar Kashyap, Usha Kiran Khan, TN Thakur, Dr Janardhan Jha, Dr Mohan Mishra, Arvind Singh and JN Singh have been included in ‘The Living Legends of Mithila’ and its Hindi version. At the ceremony, these veterans of Mithila were honoured with shawls, flowers and mementoes.


November 20 - 26, 2017

world environment protection day special

nirupama paul Nirupama Paul has been a journalist and Blogger since 1995


The Plight Of Our Collective Future Twenty years after the first global summit on environment, we have to review our efforts


it is all about our children Children’s Day and the Environment


ecently, one had an instance of a boy, a poor boy of four, telling his sister of six, who had kept the tap open while brushing her teeth: “Didi shut the tap, don’t waste water!” We grown ups are today talking about world environment, climate change, sea level rise, desertification, ozone layer and much else that is couched in adult jargon. If one could learn just that much from a four year-old-boy, and done so since 1972, after the Stockholm Summit, we need not have spent so much time and money discussing Paris Agreement and so forth. We all keep on telling our children, “We love you, you are all we care for,” and so forth. Do we mean it? Let us frame the question differently: Do we care to recall this in all our actions? Do we take the metro for a Sunday outing with the family if it takes us to the desired destination? Do we switch off the lights for a few minutes before leaving a room, or do we just think: “Ah, but I will just come back, what’s the issue!” Do we care to segregate our waste and put the non-biodegradable in a separate basket for disposal? Above well, when we are shaving or brushing our teeth, does the four-year-old coo in our ears, “Don’t waste water?” Just as we are saving our every penny in investments and insurances for our children’s future, we need to look upon environmental conservation as an investment and as insurance for these very dear little ones. For money will not buy clean fresh air. And if all the money goes to buy clean, purified water, what good will be all our financial investments? So we need to stress, environment, it is about our kids!


Kumar Dilip Edited, Printed and Published by: Monika Jain on behalf of Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation, owned by Sulabh Sanitation Mission Foundation Printed at: The Indian Express Limited A - 8, Sector -7, NOIDA (UP) Published at: RZ - 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam - Dabri Road, New Delhi - 110045 (India) Corporate Office: 819, Wave Silver Tower, Sector - 18, NOIDA (UP) Phone: +91-120-6500425 Email:,


here are many issues plaguing our world that need our immediate attention. One of them is – environmental degradation. Since we are the generation that has encountered this problem, it is our responsibility to make the right decisions that would ensure an abundant life for future generations. We are currently stuck in a way of thinking that needs an urgent perspective shift in a modern world of evergrowing populations. Rather than being stuck in red tape that inhibits prompt action, and being trapped by the fear of losing individual material wealth, we could simply start looking at environmental conservation as an investment for our future. Our future is the future of human race and the future of existence of our species. The UN General Assembly established the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1983. The WCED was to investigate the crossroads between global environment conservation needs for development. Our Common Future – the final 1987 report’s clarity and vision prompted urgent introspection. The report called for sustainable development as a means for world political transformation. This would allow a seamless integration of the two parallel problems – environmental degradation and development. Intergenerational equity was the key principle at the 1992 UN World Conference on the Environment and Development. While present generations can and do steward the earth’s resources to further their own development needs, they should not approach it in a manner that would infringe upon the rights and needs of the future generations. Over 190 countries recognised this. The long-term effects of our activities must be taken into

account. Sustaining the earth’s resources and protecting the environment for the benefit of those who live on this planet after us. The approved plan – Agenda 21 focuses on making sustainable development a reality in today’s world. The plight of future generations had become the subject of ethical study and debates among scholars even before 1992, and following thereafter. the Future Generations Program of the Foundation for International Studies at the University of Malta were notable initiatives supported by UNESCO, and the Institute for the Integrated Study of Future Generations, in Kyoto, Japan, founded by Katsuhiko Yazaki of Japan and Tae-Chang Kim of Korea. Both produced conferences and essay volumes in the 1990s. The Foundation for the Rights of Future Generations in Germany also raises awareness and engages politically through conferences and publications in German and English, among them the peer-reviewed Intergenerational Justice Review. Now, 20 years after the first global sustainability summit, we have to re-evaluate the results of our efforts. While we do our best to tackle and meet our targets for climate change mitigation, biodiversity, ocean protection, poverty eradication, health, and social equity, we sometimes miss them by a long shot. This shouldn’t be happening considering the fact that our technological advances and better scientific measures telling us that the pressure to act is increasing tremendously high. What do we need to change? What needs to change to make this a possibility? One solution is to bring the future generations to the negotiating table. We are ready to let go of the technocratic

While we do our

best to tackle climate change mitigation, we often miss it by a long shot

November 20 - 26, 2017

We should give a real and respected person the right to speak up for the future generation of our species

jargon regarding sustainability and think about our decisions from the point of view of the people that would be on this planet a fifty years from now. It is their quality of life that should be the benchmark when debating environmental protection, youth unemployment, sustainable pension systems, the level of public debt, and so on. While some of us will still be alive to be around these people, we don’t have any way to ensure that the future we share with these people would be a better one. We should give a real person the right to speak up for the future generations of our species. That person’s voice would be respected and acknowledged in the decision making to everyone whose lives and rights will be affected. Functioning as temporal checks and balances in the structural short-term orientation of our democratic institutions, these guardians would prove vital to ensuring a better future. If such a person had unrestricted access to information in all government departments, he/she could work to minimise the risk of economic goals trumping resource regulation, policy incoherence, instead they would initiate early cross-issue exchanges and thereby improve policymaking. The guardians would actively engage with different departments to help decision makers understand the effects of their particular decisions on the living conditions of future people, further building on sustainability assessment mechanisms, and avoiding significant future adverse effects that would cost much more to clean up than to prevent. In due time, the office of such a guardian would become a centre of long term well-being and integration expertise that could determine broader, more integrated political goals and targets. If we keep our collective future in view and analyze the rationale behind our decision-making that might support or harm our collective future, we can help nurture a new common purpose – enabling the future generations to lead happy and abundant lives. We would need to shift our attention from individual bargaining power and winning zero-sum games to the well-being of my children and your children could trigger collective responsibility. Even before the internet boom in the mid 1990s, over nine million people from 106 countries signed the Cousteau Society’s petition calling for a Bill of Rights for future generations, which led to UNESCO’s 1997 Declaration on our responsibility towards future generations.



Spiritual Ecology – An emerging field

mihir paul

Mihir Paul is a graduate of Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

We are one with the environment and thus it becomes necessary to realize that we need to address the spiritual facets of environmental conservation



n viro n me n t a l conservation and protection are not only crucial for our collective survival as biological beings but also for the salvation of the spiritual aspects of us (The Soul). Like the ancient Hindu traditions believe that we are made of the five elements of nature, it follows that we are one with the environment we inhabit. Thus, it becomes necessary to introspect and realize that we need to address the spiritual facets of environmental conservation and protection as well. Spiritual Ecology - - An emerging field in conservation, academia, and religion. Spiritual ecology acknowledges the spiritual aspect to all issues related to environmentalism, conservation, and stewardship for the Earth. People who support spiritual ecology stress the need for contemporary conservation work to integrate spiritual elements and for modern religion and spirituality to integrate awareness of engagement in environmental issues. The major players in the field of spiritual ecology believe that environmental issues have spiritual elements at their roots. They further stress the critical need to

recognise and work towards improving the spiritual logistics present at the root of environmental degradation. Largely evolving via three individual streams of formal study, Spiritual ecology is made up of -- science and academia, spirituality and religion, and ecological sustainability. Spiritual ecologists argue that sustainability and ecological protection depends upon spreading of spiritual awareness and an attitude of responsibility. This is seen as both the recognition of all creation as sacred and worthy of protection and behaviours that honour this sacredness.

Spiritual ecology has simple principles – To tackle the environmental issues like global warming and extinction of species and reassess our beliefs and attitudes about the earth and our inherent spiritual responsibilities towards the earth. Spiritual ecology recently came into the limelight with Pope Francis’ speech at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in May 2015. This just goes to show the growing popularity of this emerging field. Examples like these show that faith and environmental protection can work together indeed. There is a recent environmental movement that expresses the need for an ecological approach founded on spiritual awareness as opposed to religiouslyoriented environmentalism that is grounded in scripture and theology. Although the individuals advocating this approach may come from a religious background, their vision for ecological protection comes from their personal spiritual awakenings and experiences. Thus spiritual ecology explores the importance of this dimension in relation to our current environmental issues.

letters to the editor

talking toilets The article ‘Talking Toilets: Down History’ is a very informative article which talks about the history and the evolution of toilets throughout

the world. The best part was the way in which the writer incorporated the medieval, Victorian and modern toilets while keeping their development in mind. It has been a major topic but no one knows enough about it. It is a topic for which everyone feels EYYYUUU! Or SHIT!!!. And no one wants to know about its importance, relevance and does not even want to talk about it. We need to change this from being taboo to debatable topics and its perception in front of others. We need to give equal importance to this subject to change our perception of sanitation. Kumkum Jha, Bihar what a visionary! Mahatma Gandhi was


visionary who could take up seemingly ordinary issues with the profound. The amazing truth about his perception was that he could link up everyday practice with the spiritual in life. His commitment to the country was not just political but also moral. This is why the process and not simply the goal was important to him. Your article about Gandhi’s views on sanitation proves that the father of the nation was keen that free lndia learns to respect the land by keeping it clean and that it realizes the meaning of real equality among the citizens. Gandhi knew that there cannot be selective progress. All people must be involved in the journey towards success. Sanchay Tripathi, Delhi

Please mail your opinion to - or Whatsapp at 9868807712

18 Photo Feature Environment Scenes

November 20 - 26, 2017

The UN Environmental Conservation and Protection day is on November 19 and such a day urges us to evaluate and introspect our collective commitment towards protecting the environment Photos Courtesy: jai ram

November 20 - 26, 2017

There’s only one planet that we inhabit and since we are the children of the earth, it is our responsibility to ensure we are committed to protecting and conserving the environment and wildlife that it supports not only for our survival but the survival of our future generations. What we conserve today, will sustain our tomorrow!

Photo Feature


20 Farming

November 20 - 26, 2017

world environment protection day special

uttar pradesh farming

Money is mushrooming, literally! Easy technique, least investment, little need for water, fertilisers and pesticides has seen Eastern UP farmers rake in more mushroom moolah Srawan Shukla


nce known as ‘rice bowl’ of Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh is now fast turning into Oyster Mushroom farming zone to double the income of farmers. Not perturbed over shrinking of jobs, young farmers in districts of this part of the state are growing Oyster Mushroom to make fast bucks. Emboldened by the enthusiasm shown by young farmers, many rural agricultural institutes in the state have added free Oyster Mushroom training programmes under Modi government’s Skill India Mission to train unemployed youth in villages to create additional income. “We give one month’s training to unemployed rural youth. The best part of mushroom growing is that you don’t require a big investment, good soil, big fields, fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation facilities etc. It can be grown in two or three rooms at home, using straw as soil. It requires water less than plants consume at home in pots,” pointed Manoj Patel, a trainer at the Rural Agricultural Institute, Allahabad. He claimed that the institute has trained about 600 rural youth in Oyster Mushroom farming. “Majority of them are now growing Oyster Mushrooms at their homes and making good money,” said he. The trainer claimed that the institute also provides good quality Oyster Mushroom seeds which are procured from Ranchi for the farmers at low cost. “The investment

Quick Glance Many institutes are imparting free training to local youth Now young farmers are making up to Rs 180 a kilo by selling mushrooms Oyster Mushrooms are tastier, more nutritious than button mushrooms

Farmer Sunil claimed

that now people have developed a taste for Oyster Mushroom and are buying them for home kitchens in mushroom farming is very low. You only require investment to buy seeds and straw, which are easily available in the market. Mushroom farming requires very small amounts of fertiliser and pesticides at the time of sowing seeds in the bundles of straw,” said Patel. The trainer claimed that in a 10 X 10 feet room, a farmer can sow 6 to 7 kgs of mushrooms seeds and within a month or two months start producing 10 to 12 kgs of mushrooms every day. “Since mushroom is a major source of protein (about 47 per cent), and is also iron-rich, its demand in the market has gone up three to four times in the last four years,” said the trainer. Oyster Mushroom sells between Rs 120 to Rs 180 a kg in the market depending on its size and colour.

Oyster Mushroom is among the tastiest of all species of mushrooms. Hundreds of farmers in Jaunpur, Varanasi, Sonebhadra, Mirzapur, Azamgarh and other districts are growing mushrooms in addition to their traditional farming to make a good profit and double their income. “I had started Oyster Mushroom farming in two rooms at my home about a year ago. Now I sell about 10 to 12 kgs a day and make a good profit,” claims Sunil Kumar of Sonebhadra. Sunil claimed that initially, he had faced difficulty in selling his produce since people were not used to buying expensive vegetables. “I started supplying it to restaurants and hotels and they paid me a good price,” said he. The 27-year-old farmer claimed

that now people in his own district have developed a taste for Oyster Mushroom after knowing its rich dietary value. “The demand now comes from the local market also,” he added. Farming of Oyster Mushroom is getting popular in comparison to Button Mushroom due to its taste, bigger size, easy sowing and less investment, besides containing higher protein, amino acid, iron and folic acid. “We prefer Oyster Mushroom over Button Mushroom since seeds of Oyster Mushroom are cheaper and these grown within 10 to 15 days. The crop is ready within a month-and-half for sale. Its size and weight are bigger than button mushroom and it fetches more profit,” pointed Arun, a mushroom farmer in Jaunpur. Mushroom farming expert, horticulture department’s Dr N.K. Singh claimed that the department too promotes farming of Oyster Mushroom than any other species for all these reasons. Giving tips about mushroom farming Dr Singh said that first the straw is soaked in water with pesticides and fungicides for about 10 to 12 hours to prepare the soil. The straw is then drained and spread out in the open to get a little dry. The moist straw is then put under a polythene sheet of 16 X 24 inches after sealing its lower side. About five layers of one or two inches are created under the polythene after spreading Oyster Mushroom seeds mixed with compost between each layer. The polythene is then sealed from the upper side also and put it in a dark place in the room with holes all over the polythene for air to go in. “Within seven to 15 days, seeds germinate. Polythene is removed from the bundle of straw. Water

November 20 - 26, 2017



reservation transgenders

Transgenders to get reservation in education At present transgenders do not any importance to education, as they feel that whatever the qualification they have will not get them a job

G Ulaganathan

The room space can be

best utilised by creating a bamboo structure for multi-layered farming, and this is paying rich dividends to farmers is sprinkled on the pot of straw whenever there is less moisture. Within a month-and-half, it starts yielding good quality mushrooms. Each pot made from straw produces about 3 to five kgs of Oyster Mushrooms,” Singh said. A room of 10 X 10 can house over a hundred of such straw pots. Room temperature and moistening straw from time to time are two important things in Oyster Mushroom farming. The room space can be best utilised by creating a bamboo structure for multi-layered farming. “It costs a little but then the yield is doubled or trebled, and so is the profit margin,” pointed Dr Singh. Jitendra Kumar of Mirzapur, who started multi-layered farming about a year ago, produces four to five times more Oyster Mushrooms than other farmers, who are just doing the traditional farming. “In the same space, I make four times more profit than my relatives who have also started growing mushrooms,” said Kumar proudly. Encouraged by the response, the horticulture department is now trying for community farming of high-quality Oyster Mushroom across the state to increase its production. “We are also trying to have tie-ups with export-oriented marketing agencies to sell our products abroad for more profits to Oyster mushroom farmers,” said Dr NK Singh.

order to remove the negative portrayal of transgenders in literature and language books. The government has decided to roll out the policy guidelines in a phased manner over the next 36 months.


he Karnataka government has drawn up a policy for the education of transgenders, an important of which is setting up separate toilets for them in educational institutions. This is one of the first pioneering acts of any state government, besides whatever NGOs, are doing, it is learnt. Law minister TB Jayachandra says much thought was given to the policy, and the first step that was to bring all transgenders into the educational sphere. At present, the transgenders do not give any importance to education as they feel whatever educational qualification they have, they are unlikely to get a decent job. “The policy aims at bringing the transgender community under the ambit of quotas, categories of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Right to Education (RTE) Act and other such programmes to promote literacy and reduce the number of dropouts,” says the minister. Karnataka is among the handful of states which have a large T community. The policy says the labour department had, in fact, recommended quota in vocational courses by reserving five seats each for transgenders in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics across the state, to make them job-ready. The policy also emphasises on “preferential” seat allocation in higher education for transgenders in a phased manner. Toilets in institutions On toilets for transgenders in educational institutions, Jayachandra said: “The provision must be incorporated.” The government plans to rope in Anganwadi workers to reach out

to family members of transgenders and educate them about getting a proper education. Now most of them either resort to begging on street corners or get into world’s oldest profession to earn their livelihood. In cities like Bengaluru, one can see them on almost every traffic signal and coerce the traveller to go part with some cash. The policy also speaks of sanitizing school curriculum in

The policy says that the

Karnataka government had, in fact, recommended quota for the transgenders in vocational courses of up to five per cent

Free education at IGNOU Meanwhile, with a view to encouraging the third gender to pursue higher studies, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to provide free education to transgenders from its July session. The move is aimed at bringing universalisation and democratisation in education. So far, IGNOU has provided free education to sex workers, jail inmates and weavers. There are over 3,000 study centres and 54 regional centres in India. In UP alone, there are close to 150 study circles. Officials, however, say there is hardly any provision for transgenders to pursue a regular bachelor course in any university. Even if there is an option in the admission form for transgenders, they are shooed away as they lack formal documents. Transgenders enrolling in IGNOU for higher studies will be on edge as they don’t have to provide any documents like transfer and migration certificates. Their identity can be verified by documents like Aadhar, or any certificate issued by central government, state government, medical officer or any other competent authority. IGNOU offers 228 academic and professional courses in psychology, social sciences, sciences, tourism, education, management, rural development and others. Admissions at IGNOU for July session are already underway.


November 20 - 26, 2017

Quick Glance

Mumbai NMMC

Petrol Pumps To Give Public Access To Their Toilets: Navi Mumbai Toilets in petrol pumps have been asked to open for public access and to ensure that there are no instances of open defecation

UROOJ FATIMA / Anand Bharti


he Licence Department of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has issued notices to all petrol pump owners to set up toilets on their premises. Navi Mumbai, despite being declared as ODF, continues to witness occasional instances of people defecating in the open because a behavioural change at a universal level is yet to come to the city. To counter this immediately and ensure that the ODF status of the township is maintained, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has directed all petrol pump owners to set up toilets on their pump premises and grant access to those who wish to use them. The notice, which is in line with the Swachh Bharat guidelines as well as directives issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has already been notified to petrol pump owners. The Corporation took this decision to strengthen the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. In this regard, the Petroleum Ministry has issued this order to the petrol pumps across the country. Under this, all pumps of toilets will now take the form of public toilets. Nobody can be prevented from going there. People around that pump will also be able to go. It is being said that after this directive,

NMMC hopes that this decision will end the hassle of common people and the city will also be clean

the number of public toilets will increase significantly. The city is open defecation free but there have been reports of open defecation from certain parts. To make more toilets available to people, we have passed this notice of accessibility of toilets in petrol pumps. This will ensure that more toilets are available for use to people in Navi Mumbai, said Tushar Pawar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner and Director of Solid Waste Management, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation. There are 29 petrol pumps in Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation. All these have been instructed by the Municipal Corporation to let the common citizens go to the toilets located on their premises. In this regard, they have been asked to put the board of public toilets also. NMMC hopes that this decision will end the hassle of common people and the city will also be clean. It is also being said to the common people that they should use the toilets built on the pumps.

Navi Mumbai has 320 public toilets, as well as 11 mobile toilets which can be accessed on a pay-per-use basis. Seven organizations are responsible for maintaining the public toilets under NMMC’s jurisdiction. The notice asks all petrol pumps to give access to toilet and water facilities, even if they have not come to the petrol pump for fuel purchases. The NMMC has also formed separate teams who keep an eye on the open defecation situation, submitting weekly reports on areas where the concentration of open defecation continues to be high. But despite its efforts, open defecation remains an existent problem, prompting NMMC to pass the notice. The Maharashtra government has announced that it will allot space for 100 petrol pumps along the state highways where it will be mandatory to have public toilets. The state will also identify 100 more petrol pump locations where these facilities will be introduced in a phased manner.

Toilets in petrol pumps have been asked to give access to public Maharashtra government has announced that it will allot space People will now be able to use toilets pumps without having to pay

“We are planning toilet facilities every 500 metres on state highways. With this parameter in mind, we need to set up 400 toilets,” said public works department minister Chandrakant Patil. “The lessee will have to comply with the construction conditions such as the specified design and size for the toilets. The facility will be free of charge and large enough to cater to busloads of passengers at a time. This has been chalked out to address the problem of the lack of toilets, which especially inconvenience women passengers.” The minister said the responsibility of maintaining these facilities will lie with the operator of the petrol pump. “The government expects revenue from leasing out these plots,” Patil added. It is mentioned in the list of a survey conducted under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan last year, Navi Mumbai ranked number one in the cleanest city of Maharashtra and eighth in the country. This year, he is trying to reach the top spot in the entire country list. People will now be able to use the toilets in petrol pumps without having to pay any charges. In cases of any emergency, or if they spot a petrol pump nearby, they can use the toilet facilities there instead of defecating in the open. Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation was established on 1 January 1992, and since then it has been playing an active role for the betterment of its area. In the past, the new Mayor of the Nationalist Congress Party has been elected as Joint Secretary, while the post of Deputy Mayor has come to the share of Mandakini Mhatre.

Classified Ad

November 20 - 26, 2017

Science & Technology

nasa new mission


NASA Seeks Nickname For New Horizon

Karnataka To Use Nanotech For Ecosystem Creation

NASA’s New Horizon mission next flyby destination offers ‘namers’ a chance

Karnataka government plans to create a business ecosystem using nanotechnology including engineering, medicine, energy, communications, and transport

Quick Glance This will be the farthest planetary encounter in spaceflight history The Kuiper Belt Object is more than 6.5 billion km from Earth


NASA seeks public help renaming the MU69 for its next mission


he Karnataka government would create an ecosystem for bringing all stakeholders to use nanotechnology across verticals, including engineering, medicine, energy, transport and communication, said renowned scientist C.N.R. Rao here on Thursday. “Our endeavour is to create an ecosystem for bringing industry, research and academia on one platform with the state government support to use nanotechnology and nano science across verticals,” Rao told reporters at a preview of the “Bengaluru India Nano 2017”, here on December 7-8. Organised by the state Department of Information Tec h n o l og y, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, the event would see the participation of over 500 delegates from countries including India, US, Japan and Britain, belonging to the industry, academia and research. The two-day event would discuss various trends of nanotechnology like nano sensors, nano in the energy sector, nano manufacturing and scalability and nano-medicine. The ninth edition of the event to be held this year, would have the core theme of ‘Nano Horizons’, said the Principal Secretary, IT, BT and S&T Gaurav Gupta. “The event will be looking at the latest industry trends as well as emerging business ideas by startups and young researchers,” he added. There would be a nano exhibition as part of the event that will showcase the emerging technologies and the companies working on them. The event would also give out Nano Excellence Awards including to Professor C.N.R. Rao Bengaluru India Nano Science Award, Bengaluru.




hink you are good at making nicknames? Read on, because NASA has an excellent opportunity for you. Scientists at NASA have started a campaign inviting the public to choose an informal name for the New Horizons mission’s next flyby destination, which is going to be the farthest planetary encounter in the history of spaceflight, the US space agency said last week. On January 1, 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, frozen world in the Kuiper Belt – 1.6 billion km past

Pluto and at the outer edge of our solar system. The Kuiper Belt object (KBO) -currently named as “(486958) 2014 MU69” or MU69 -- is more than 6.5 billion km from Earth. As per telescopic observations, the MU69 is either a binary orbiting pair or a contact (stuck together) pair of nearly like-sized bodies with diametres near 20 and 18 km. NASA and the New Horizons team have sought public’s help in giving “MU69” a nickname to use for this exploration target, the report said. “New Horizons made history two years ago with the first closeup look at Pluto and is

NASA’s campaign

for naming the MU69 mission is open to public and they are currently accepting entries

looks aliens

What Would Aliens Look Like?

New research suggests that aliens are potentially shaped by the same processes and mechanisms that shaped humans IANS


umans could have more in common with our extraterrestrial neighbours than initially thought, new research suggests. The findings, led by scientists from the University of Oxford, revealed that aliens are potentially shaped by the same

processes and mechanisms that shaped humans, such as natural selection. The new theory supports the argument that foreign life forms undergo natural selection, and are like us, evolving to be fitter and stronger over time. “In the study, we offer an alternative approach, which is to use evolutionary theory to make predictions

now on course for the farthest planetary encounter in the history of spaceflight. “We’re pleased to bring the public along on this exciting mission of discovery,” Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said in a statement. “We’re excited for the public to help us pick a nickname for our target that captures the excitement of the flyby and awe and inspiration of exploring this new and record-distant body in space,” added Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Once the flyby mission gets over, NASA will choose a formal name based in part on whether MU69 is found to be a single body, a binary pair, or perhaps a system of multiple objects, the space agency said. The campaign, open to the public, will close at 3 p.m. on December 1. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January. that are independent of Earth’s details. This is a useful approach b e c a u s e theoretical predictions will apply to aliens that are silicon based, do not have DNA, and breathe nitrogen, for example,” said Sam Levin, a researcher at the varsity. Using this idea of alien natural selection as a framework, the team addressed extra-terrestrial evolution, and how complexity will arise in space. The study also makes specific predictions about the biological make-up of complex aliens.

24 Health

November 20 - 26, 2017


Smoking & Driking on lifestyle

Smoking, Drinking Can Cause Dental Filling Failure Drinking and smoking not only damage teeth but also lead to increased incidences of failure in dental fillings

Vitamin-D Boosts Recovery In Burn Victims Patients suffering from severe burns with higher levels of Vitamin-D recover more successfull than those with lower levels IANS


atients with severe burns who have higher levels of Vitamin D recover more successfully than those with lower levels, researchers claimed to have found. A study that is claimed to be the first to investigate the role of Vitamin D in recovery from burn injuries suggests that Vitamin D supplementation may be a simple and cost-effective treatment to enhance burn healing, the researchers said. “Major burn injury severely reduces Vitamin D levels and adding this vitamin back may be a simple, safe and cost-effective way to improve outcomes for burns patients, with minimal cost to NHS,” said Janet Lord, Professor at the Institute of Inflammation and Aging in Birmingham. Vitamin D is known to have antibacterial actions that may help combat infection and therefore aid in wound healing of burn patients. In order to investigate the role of Vitamin D in recovery from burn injuries, researchers assessed the recovery progress, over one year, in patients with severe burns and correlated this with their Vitamin D levels. The study, presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate, found that patients with higher levels of Vitamin D had a better prognosis, with improved wound healing, fewer complications, and less scarring. The data also showed that burns patients tend to have lower levels of Vitamin D.

Quick Glance The gene MMP2 determines risk of filling failure MMP2 is matrix metalloproteinase - an enzyme found in teeth MMP2 can degrade the bond between filling and tooth surface



ndulging in drinking alcohol or smoking may not only damage your teeth but also lead to increased incidences of failure in dental fillings, warned researchers. The findings, led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, showed that within two years of the dental procedure, fillings failed more often in patients who drank alcohol, while the overall filling failure rate was higher in men who smoked. Furthermore, people with a difference in the gene for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) -- an enzyme found in teeth -- were at increased risk of filling failure. This could be because MMP2 might be able to degrade the bond between the filling and the tooth surface, potentially leading to failure,

the researchers said. The results, published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, suggest that genetic analysis might help dentists to personalise treatments for their patients, which could lead to improved outcomes. “A better understanding of individual susceptibility to dental disease and variation in treatment outcomes will allow the dental field to move forward,” said Alexandre

Opioids Diseases

Opioids, Anti-Depressants Increase Bone Diseases Patients with rheumatoid arthritis prescribed opioid painkillers and anti-depressants are at a higher risk of developing bone fractures IANS


onsuming opioids and anti-depressants may increase the risk of developing bone fractures among people who are already suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, says a new study. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and limitation in the motion and function of multiple joints and organs of the body. Chronic inflammation and pain in arthritis patients further lead to several diseases like cardiovascular, mental and gastrointestinal disorders. People take multiple medications in such cases that sometimes influences the risk of osteoporotic fractures or a disease caused due to reduced bone density, the researchers noted.

“Even at younger ages, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with a twofold increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures due to chronic inflammation and glucocorticoid use. More importantly, osteoporotic fractures significantly contribute to the disability, health-related costs

Vieira, a researcher from the varsity. “In the future, genetic information may be used to personalise dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes,” Vieira added. For the study, the team from America and Brazil analysed dental records of 807 patients. Fillings can fail for a variety of reasons, including re-emergence of the initial tooth decay or the filling becoming detached. The researchers also examined if newer composite resin fillings are as durable as traditional amalgam fillings, which have been in use for more than 150 years but which contain mercury, a toxic metal. The researchers found that overall, there were no major differences between patients receiving amalgam or composite fillings in terms of filling failure rates.. and mortality with substantially higher complication in rheumatoid arthritis patients,” said Gulsen Ozen, a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre. The researchers evaluated 11,049 rheumatoid arthritis patients, aged 40 and above, with no signs of osteoporotic fractures prior to the tests. After a median follow-up time of 5.7 years, the study found 863 patients affected with osteoporotic fractures. The patients who developed fractures were significantly older and had higher disease risk and bone fracture risk at the baseline than those patients who did not experience fractures. The results presented at the ACR/ARHP annual meeting 2017 in San Diego mentioned that the osteoporotic fracture risk increased within 30 days when the patients were given opioids. The associated medications also led to falls in certain cases. “Knowing the risks associated with the use of these medications can guide rheumatologists and other physicians in choosing the most appropriate management strategies in patients, particularly the ones who have a high fracture or fall risk,” Ozen added.

November 20 - 26, 2017

Boost Memory

Hormone Therapy Can Boost Memory Hormone replacement therapy for women undergoing menopause can protect as well as improve working memory for some IANS


ndergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy -- used for menopausal treatment -- may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study. Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones -- oestrogen and progesterone -- to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing. The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo. “Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera,

a researcher at the University of Southern California - Davis. To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66. Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol -- a type of oestrogen therapy -- for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo. The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,

Hormone replacement therapy is used for menopausal treatment Oestrogen and progesterone are usually used for the therapy Oestrogen lowers cortisol levels and elevates working memory

collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone. They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one. While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to the stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks -- A higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots -- of the treatment. Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.

Quick Glance

Scientists Decode Secret To Quit Unwanted Thoughts

Inhibitory neurotransmitters inhibit unwanted thoughts

A key chemical within the “memory” region of the brain has been identified that allows one to suppress unwanted thoughts

GABA’s release can suppress neuronal activity including thoughts


cientists have identified a key chemical within the “memory” region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts. The findings showed that the ability to inhibit unwanted thoughts relies on a neurotransmitter -- a chemical within the brain that allows messages to pass between nerve cells -- known as GABA. GABA is the main “inhibitory” neurotransmitter in the brain, and its release by one nerve cell can suppress activity in other cells to which it is connected. GABA concentrations within the hippocampus --a brain area involved in memory -- predict

people’s ability to block the retrieval process and prevent thoughts and memories from returning. The results may explain why people suffering from disorders such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts, the researchers said. “Our ability to control our thoughts



Quick Glance

memory brain



GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in human brains

is fundamental to our well-being,” said Michael Anderson, Professor at the University of Cambridge. “When this capacity breaks down, it causes some of the most debilitating symptoms of psychiatric diseases: intrusive memories, images, hallucinations, ruminations, and pathological and persistent worries -key symptoms of mental illnesses such as PTSD, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety,” Anderson added. In the research, published in Nature Communications, the team used a task known as the “Think/NoThink”, where participants learned to associate a series of words with a paired, but otherwise unconnected, word, e.g., ordeal/roach and moss/ north.

PCOS upset Mental Health in Women New research shows that women suffering from PCOS are more likely to develop mental health problems in the future IANS


re you experiencing anxiety, depression and panic attacks? Beware, as your PCOS problem may be affecting your health. New research has warned that women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to suffer from mental health problems. PCOS is a chronic disease in which elevated male hormone levels can cause a range of distressing and lifelimiting symptoms, including reduced fertility, irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair and acne. The research also added that the high levels of testosterone during pregnancy have been reported to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD and autism, in children. “The effect of PCOS on mental health is under-appreciated. Our work shows that screening for mental health disorders should be considered during clinical assessments,” said Aled Rees, Professor at Britain’s Cardiff University. The researchers assessed over 17,000 women diagnosed with PCOS and followed them for a period of six months regularly. When compared with unaffected women, matched for age, body mass index and geographical location, the study found that PCOS patients were more likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. The results, presented at the Society for Endocrinology Annual Conference 2017 in Bristol, noted that the children born to mothers with PCOS were also found to be at greater risk of developing ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.

26 NorthEast

November 20 - 26, 2017

Majuli tourism

direct flight

on Cycles

from Assam to Singapore

A sustainable tourism development project for the world’s largest river island

NorthEast Bureau


hief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has urged the Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan to take steps for introducing a direct flight from Singapore to Guwahati in a bid to boost connectivity in the region and improve trade & commerce. Sonowal requested this to the Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister while holding a discussion with a delegation of Singapore Government in Guwahati. Stating that better connectivity between Assam and Singapore would lead to higher tourist footfall in both the destinations, the Chief Minister stressed that the move would augur well with trade & commerce as well. Sonowal also mentioned that improved air connectivity with Singapore would provide greater scope to Assam in showcasing its potential amongst the South East Asian countries. “We have launched our tourism policy which offers many incentives for entrepreneurial interventions,” Sonowal said adding that investors from Singapore could take advantage of the policy.

raj kashyap


ajuli, the biggest inhabited river island, is all set for a different tourism experience as Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched an ambitious sustainable tourism project christened ‘Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project’ which is aimed at not only encouraging a carbon free tourism experience in the world’s largest river island but also creating an environment protocol for tourism industry in the island. As part of the project, Chief Minister Sonowal launched modern

reorientation NE Council

North Eastern Council to be reoriented The minister says that this will be done in keeping with the changing times and PM Modi’s vision NorthEast Bureau


orth Eastern Council (NEC) will be reoriented and developed as a state-of-the-art resource centre for the North Eastern States with necessary resources, knowledge and skill to execute the innovative and strategic vision for the region, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh has said. The Shillong-headquartered North Eastern Council is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region which consists

of the eight States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The council was constituted in 1971 by an Act of Parliament. Singh said the reorientation of the council will be in keeping with the changing times and the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi as laid down by him during his visit to Shillong to attend the NEC Plenary meeting in May, 2016. He said the NEC was set up with the intention to give special focus to the development of this region. However, he said, much has changed since then and with the setting up of an exclusive and

orange cycles tours resembling the colour of the magnificent sun set in the island to add a new dimension to carbon free travel experience in Majuli at a programme held at Circuit House campus at Garmur, Majuli today. These cycles will be up for rent for the tourists from the circuit house campus itself. Chief Minister Sonowal himself rode the cycle and urged upon the tourists to take the advantage of the unique tourism project and help Majuli to sustain and preserve its pristine and halcyon character. As part of the project 30 orange cycles, all high quality BTWIN rockrider cycles with gear, will be put in to service to enable the riders to experience riding comfort at even the difficult terrain. Majuli Sustainable Tourism Development Project daily story telling cycle rides to different Mishing villages and Xatras in the island where the Root bridge story tellers will explain the stories and legends of the mystic separate Ministry of DoNER in 2004 during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there has also been sometimes overlapping of the functioning of the two institutions. Therefore, he said, the NEC requires to be reshaped after the identification of thrust areas and critical gaps in order to take up as many development initiatives as possible within the annual budgetary allocations. During the last three years of the Central Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said the budgetary allocations for both Ministry of DoNER and NEC has been Dr Jitendra Singh

Quick Glance The ambitious project aims at a carbon-free tourism experience The cycles will be bright orange to resemble the rising sun The project also envisages different kinds of eco-interventions

island to the tourists. The project also envisages different levels of interventions starting from promoting carbon free travel to capacity building programmes and creating environment protocol for the tourism industry to act as a catalyst in funding for women and indigenous communities who are working for the promotion of art and crafts. The project is a joint initiative between Assam Tourism Development Corporation and Root Bridge Foundation, an NGO. Launching the project, Chief Minister Sonowal expressed hope that the tourism project launched synchronising with the celebrations of the Raas Mahotsav would augur well in promoting Majuli as the carbon neutral tourist hotspot which would spread its tourism potential in sync with nature. increased. Moreover, the execution of the various development works has been expedited and in the about last two years, the spending of funds has been increased by 65% to 70%. This has happened partly because of bringing in the ease of procedures as well as by using the modern technology for submission of DPRs and UCs through space satellites and other means, he added. Dr Singh said the NEC will have the role of a visionary as well as a strategic leader for all the eight states of the region, wherein it could lay down the roadmap for each of the separate States and areas based on specific requirements, specific attributes and specific needs. In this context, he said, NEC could also take up the leading role of promoting the bamboo industry as well as food processing entrepreneurship. Dr Jitendra Singh issued instructions for initial written draft underlining the new format of the North Eastern Council, to be prepared within a timeline of one month, which could be discussed and redrafted within a short time.

November 20 - 26, 2017

North East

skilling youth

MoUs with Singapore for skilling youth and greening Guwahati The state government has signed two MOUs with the island country for skill development as well as for greening of the state capital Guwahati raj kashyap


ssam government has signed two MoUs with Singapore entities for skilling youths of Assam and beautification of Guwahati. While the MoU for setting up the North East Skill City in Guwahati was signed between Skill, Employment and Entrepreneurship Department, Government of Assam and ITE Education Service, Singapore; the MoU for Guwahati city greening was inked between the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Singapore Corporation Enterprise. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that Government of Assam aims to create a workforce empowered with upgraded skills, knowledge and internationally recognized qualifications to gain access to employment and ensure India’s competitiveness in the dynamic global market with support from Government of Singapore. The MoUs were signed in presence of Foreign Affairs Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. Informing that the state government will provide skill development training to 78,500 poor rural youth during 2016-19 under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUJKY), Sonowal expressed the view that the partnership with Singapore would greatly boost the initiative. “As the state aspires to become the New Engine of Growth for the country through Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s Act East Policy, I am glad to acknowledge Singapore’s cooperation

Quick Glance IPA Singapore is a world class institute for vocational studies Assam government wants to develop a high-skill workforce The capacity of the permanent skill city will be around 10,000

towards achieving this goal by skilling our youth through Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to usher in a period of rapid socio-economic development by sharing knowledge and building capacity”, the Chief Minister said adding that the NESC will train up to a total of 400 students each year who would contribute towards generating a skilled human resource pool. The North East Skill City will be implemented in two phases. In phase 1, a center will be started from temporary hired location which will be in 50000 sq ft built up area with world

class features. In Phase 2, the centre will be shifted to a permanent location which will be in minimum 200 bigha land where there will be school of hospitality, school of tourism, school of retail sector, school of beauty and wellness sector, school of automative sector, school of horticulture, school of petroleum and natural gas, school of tea etc. The capacity of the permanent skill city will be 10,000. “ITE Singapore is world class premiere institution for vocational training and they have shown excellence in this field. ITE Singapore will provide training to our teacher, administrative staff and they will help us in equipment setup. They will

extend technical support, knowledge support and all other support to run this institution for 36 months. Thereafter the institution will be run by our own people without any help,” Assam Skill Development Mission mission director AP Tiwari said. The budget for the first phase of the project is estimated at Rs 12 crore. Sonowal further stated the state government has initiated an innovative Project for the beautification of Guwahati City and improvement of the quality of life of its inhabitants through a Project called ‘Guwahati Open Space and Park Integrator (GOPI) Network’. “Guwahati has a large number of water bodies, open spaces, parks which can be holistically developed as one large potential area for green space. This unique Project is sought to be designed and developed on the model of “Park Connector Network” being implemented by National Park Authority in Singapore”, the Chief Minister mentioned. It will be implemented in two locations of Guwahati, one near the State Zoo and another on the Brahmaputra banks. The Chief Minister also highlighted the immense natural resources of the state and its tourism potential and sought Singapore government’s cooperation for showcasing it to a global audience. Sonowal also expressed hope that the signing of MoUs between Government of Assam and Singapore would open new vistas for the youth and requested the Singapore Government to join hands for more such collaborations in future. The Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan termed the occasion as the beginning of a lasting friendship which would be beneficial for both Assam and Singapore. “Assam is a beautiful land with hills and mountains which are full of greenery. This land is strategically located and has huge potential. We are mandated by the Prime Ministers of both the countries to work for mutual growth”, Balakrishnan said.



$262.40mn World Bank loan for Assam agri project

NorthEast Bureau


ssam government has signed a tripartite agreement with the Union Government and World Bank for a 262.40 million US dollar loan (equivalent to Rs. 1784 crore) for taking up the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART). The project aims at adding value and improving resilience of selected agriculture value chains. The project would focus on smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs in targeted districts of Assam. The project period is seven years up to 2024. According to the project agreement, farmers and entrepreneurs in Assam will be benefitted by APART through increased price premium of commodities sold, improved market access due to higher share of selected commodities sold through new marketing channels, and higher number of farmers adopting climate resilient agricultural technologies. The project will be implemented in 16 districts of Assam. Over 500,000 farming households, including 30 per cent of women, will directly benefit from the project. The project would support value addition in production and postharvest segments of selected agriculture value chains; stimulate establishment of new small and medium agri-enterprises; facilitate agribusiness investments to better manage increasing production and commercial risks associated with climate change. Official sources said the project would facilitate setting up and strengthening of new institutions such as Assam Bureau of Investment Promotion (ABIP) which will support about 300 agribusiness investments under APART, Enterprise Development and Promotion Facility (EDPF) to support about 1500 Agribusiness Enterprises. Further the project will also set up dedicated Agribusiness Fund of about Rs 200 crore to encourage private sector investment in agribusiness in Assam.

28 Railways

November 20 - 26, 2017

railways NEFR

New Schemes



Railways have been lagging behind, with the region being paid little attention, but now many projects are in the offing ssb bureau


he Centre has decided to fasttrack projects in Assam and the Northeast which include double-tracking, electrification and the sanction of another bridge at Saraighat near Guwahati. Work on doubling of tracks was begun last September after the scheme was flagged off by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain at Hojai. The project will focus on the stretch between Bongaigaon to Guwahati via Goalpara in the eastern region of the state. A final location survey (FLS) is also going on for the Bongaigaon-Agyathuri section via Rangia and once this is finished, doubling of tracks on this section is also expected to begin. In the past decade or so, the Centre has focused upon expanding and upgrading the railway infrastructure in the Northeast including connectivity with all the state capitals. So far, only Itanagar (Naharlagun) in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura are linked besides Guwahati. Survey work has been completed to lay tracks connecting Shillong and Tura in Meghalaya. The single bridge over the Brahmaputra that connects the north and south banks of Assam was inaugurated in 1966 at Saraighat near Guwahati. Survey for one more bridge over the river at Saraighat has been completed and funds are expected to be sanctioned soon. There are also plans for a third bridge at Silghat in

upper Assam that will be linked to Tezpur. Last August, minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain told the media that surveys have also been approved for new routes in the Salona-Khumtai, Sivasagar-Jorhat and Tezpur-Silghat sections. He informed that said that Rs 7,000 crore has been allocated this year to Northeast for various railway projects. He also added that the tender process for electrification work from New Jalpaiguri to Guwahati has been carried out. A ‘Rail Neer’ water bottling plant will be set up at Jagiroad and land is being surveyed for exact location, he added. Gohain said that plans were afoot for a high-end Northeast Safari Train for boosting tourism in the region. A meeting with the secretaries of tourism of the different states had been also been convened to discuss the implementation of the new schemes. The minister informed about other plans that would soon be considered by the government which included upgradation of the Guwahati, Lumding, Tinsukia and Agyathuri railway stations, an executive lounge with airport type facilities at Guwahati. In the schemes under consideration were also two Shatabdi trains from Tinsukia to Guwahati and from Naharlagun to Guwahati, a fully AC 3-tier train from

Guwahati to Bengaluru via Kolkata, he added. An official said that the railways have plans to complete the ongoing electrification project on the Raninagar Jalpaiguri-New Bongaigaon-Guwahati section of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) by December 2019. The project for electrification from Raninagar Jalpaiguri to New Bongaigaon and then from New Bongaigaon to Guwahati was entrusted with Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL), a Mini Ratna public sector undertaking under the ministry of railways in 2014 and 2015 respectively on turnkey basis at a total cost of Rs 655.55 crore. Under the project, 382 kms of the route and 687 kms track of railway lines will be electrified. After the completion of the project, Guwahati will have an electrified route to cities like Kolkata and New Delhi and it will also eliminate the need for c h a n g i n g locomotives from electric to diesel and vice versa at certain junctions. It will also ensure reduction of journey time and open up the possibility of increasing speed of trains. Various organisations and local citizens of the state, including the Assam Rail Passengers’ Association (APRA) had been for years demanding electrification of the tracks in the

The project will

also include upgradation of signalling system in the section for faster movement of trains

Quick Glance People in the state have been demanding electrification for long Now along with that, more bridges are being planned to increase speed Survey work has been completed on Shillong and Tura in Meghalaya

region. Electrification of railway routes from Katihar to Raninagar Jalpaiguri is in an advanced stage. An official explained that the 25 KV railway electrification project of the R aninagar-Jalpaiguri-New Bongaigaon-Guwahati section will also facilitate the introduction of the economical and environment-friendly mode of high-speed and Main Line Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) trains providing faster suburban transport similar to Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. The electrification project will also include upgradation of signalling system in the section for faster movement of trains. Signalling upgradation work will be taken up at around 35 stations along the route. The electrification project of Raninagar Jalpaiguri-New BongaigaonGuwahati section will include setting up of seven 220 and 132 KV traction substations and seven maintenance depots and sheds. Last year, former railway minister Suresh Prabhu had announced that the railways would electrify 24,400 km of additional railway lines under ‘Mission Electrification’ within the next five years

November 20 - 26, 2017



nagaland initiative

Breakfast with Nagaland CM! Aimed at strengthening the government-citizen relationships, the meet saw the CM interacting with young bloggers who have been giving positive suggestions Quick Glance The programme also aims at improving local governance Many such suggestions have already come from young bloggers The meet covered issues like roads, power, arts, sports and tourism

ssb bureau


n an attempt to deliberate on issues constantly raised by youths on social media and to allow youngsters to share information, opinions and ideas, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has started a unique initiative ‘breakfast with CM’ during which he would interact with young entrepreneurs and students over breakfast. According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the objective of the initiative is to strengthen the governmentcitizen relationship. On the first day of the initiative, Zeliang interacted with eleven young bloggers for over three hours at his official residence. These young bloggers had been posting positive suggestions, ideas and opinions on a regular basis with regard to local governance were hand-picked for an interactive discussion with the chief minister. The 11 youngsters were

Young invitees at ‘Breakfast with CM’ pose for the lens with Chief Minister, TR Zeliang, at CMO, Kohima, last week

Jenpu Rongmei, a social worker, Temsusenla Kichu, an entrepreneur, Imtisunep Longchar, entrepreneur and proprietor of e-commerce website www.; Lovi Chophi, Mumbai based entrepreneur; Khrolo Lasushe, a student; T. Amen Jamir, a government employee; Tsalila Rudy, a fresh graduate; Vikato S. Aye, an activist; Steve Chophy, a student leader; Inaka Achumi, a young advocate; Mughabeto Ayemi, young visiting lecturer at IFCAI University, Dimapur and Jacob Thuu, a student leader. The ‘breakfast with CM’ initiative also aims at improving local governance in the state, the CMO stated. “The image of Nagaland in social media is being adversely affected due to irresponsible criticism, rumours and statements posted and circulated without

proper authentication in recent times. However, on the other hand there were also several bloggers who come up with ideas and suggestions worth utilizing for good local governance,” the CMO said. The State Government under the leadership of chief minister TR Zeliang was determined to streamline government working system and work tooth and nail while allowing youths to interact and participate in the governance process, it said. “Youths are the backbone of society and they are our assets, our future and our leaders for tomorrow and to inculcate in them, the importance of integrity in governance while giving them the privilege to understand its functioning will go a long way in choosing the right approach to build a vibrant society,” it said.

The interactive session covered various topics pertaining to the state ranging from roads, power, art, sports, education and tourism to youth policies, students’ scholarship and mid-day meals. CMO assured that the government was putting-in its best effort in addressing various issues. While appreciating the moves of its citizens in airing grievances, the Chief Minister called upon all to inculcate a practical and democratic approach to solving issues at any given point in time. The need of the hour was to guide and lead the youths into the mainstream of society by educating and inculcating in them the true spirit of leadership and integrity, he said. The Chief Minister said that unless youths join hands with the government and broaden their understanding on the complexities of problems in the state, neither the practice of confronting the government physically nor spreading irresponsible and false information on social media, would take the society to the desired level. The government was also of the view that without serious effort to integrate youth participation measures into development policies, sustainable development goals of the government cannot be achieved. Dimapur Sumi Students’ Union (DSSU) general secretary, Steve Chophy, during the breakfastcum-interactive session, suggested establishment of an additional government college and higher secondary school at Dimapur. The Chief Minister has sought a feasibility report on the suggestion from the Education Department. The ‘breakfast with CM’ will be a regular feature at the CM’s residence.

30 Replica

November 20 - 26, 2017

bangalore tourism

Quick Glance

Soon, ‘Niagara Falls’In Lalbagh

The tourists can enjoy the falls site from a height of 25 feet Thw water from two lakes will be feeding the artificial falls Dr BR Shetty, Abu Dhabi-based businessman will fund the project

Soon, Bangaloreans will be able to ‘visit and see’ Niagara falls, closer home

One of the two beautiful lakes that will supply water for the 25-feet waterfall for this Bangalore creation

G Ulaganathan


replica of the majestic Niagara Falls in the United States and Canada will be opened to the public soon at the Lalbagh Gardens in the city. Almost 70 per cent of the work has been completed and the remaining work will be over in two months. According to sources, tourists can enjoy waterfall from a 25-ft height. Water will be drawn from the existing two small and big lakes at Lalbagh for the project. The Horticulture Department had earlier envisaged a plan to build Niagara Falls in a meeting in which environmentalist Yallappareddy and water expert Ravishankar attended. Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States; more specifically, between the province of Ontario and New York state. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls form the highest


flow rate of any waterfall in the world that has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Dr M Jagadish, joint director, parks and gardens, Lalbagh, says “The small lake is surrounded by a stone quarry bed. We thought this would be ideal to build a waterfall-like structure. Water from the big lake will be pumped into the small lake.” The department is spending Rs 2.7 crore for the project and the work began about six months ago. “About 70 per cent of work has already been completed and the rest of the work will be completed in two months,” Jagadish added. “Water flowing from Kanakanapalya, Siddapur, Ashok Pillar and other areas will get stagnated in the 30-acre lake located in the garden and this will not be utilised for any purpose as it will help

Dr BR Shetty, an

Abu Dhabi settled businessman has agreed to foot the entire cost

improve groundwater level. Fish, water hens, ducks and others are in the lake,” he says. Once the Niagara Falls is ready for public viewing, the government is planning to levy a small visitor fee to recover the cost over a period of time. “The expert committee will fix separate timings. Technical experts will look into the power consumption aspect of the falls. Based on their opinion, a decision will be taken on the visiting hours,” he told SSB. Incidentally, Karnataka is also readying a famous tourist spot, the Jog falls as a round-the-year attractiondestination. At present, the falls get water only during monsoon season starting from August September and go completely dry during summer months. The tourist’s flock to this Jog falls, which is about 300 km from Bengaluru, only during monsoon season. A popular NRI, Dr B R Shetty, an Abu Dhabi settled businessman has agreed to foot the entire cost, is estimated to be around 1000 crore. He is from Mangalore and has made it big after migrating to Abu Dhabi about 40 years ago. He also heads the UAE Kannada sanga and renders a lot of help to Kannada workers and labourers all over UAE. The proposal to make Jog falls function throughout the year is pending for environmental clearance.

November 20 - 26, 2017

saving forest women power

How a forest was saved from timber mafia

Defying the ongoing Naxal violence, the group has managed to conserve 50 acres of forest land, along with its precious flora and fauna IANS


rmed with just water bottles and sticks, a group of poor tribal women in Muturkham village of Purbi Singhbhum district of Jharkhand trekked miles to the saal forest that surrounded their habitat. Their mission: To save the forest from being plundered and denuded by the “forest mafia”. Accompanied by just a dog for their safety, these determined women made frequent forays into the deep forest -- with which they shared a symbiotic relationship -and have been able, over the years, to successfully conserve 50 hectares of forest land and its flora and fauna deep in the heart of a territory that has also been a battle zone between government forces and left-wing extremists. This group was brought together by Jamuna Tudu, 37, who has spent the last two decades of her life fighting against deforestation. It was in 1998, after her marriage, that Jamuna took up this challenge of preserving the forest by making villagers develop a stake in it. Today, her Van Suraksha Samiti (Forest Protection Group) has about 60 active women members who patrol the jungle in shifts thrice a day: Morning, noon and evening. And sometimes even at night, as the mafia set fire to the forests in random acts of vandalism and vengeance. Jamuna’s fight has not gone unnoticed. The President of India has honoured her conservation efforts. “Few days after my marriage, when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and a few other women from the village took me to the forest to cut wood and get it to cook food, I felt that if we keep cutting the trees this way, all our forests will be wiped out,” Jamuna recalled in an interview to IANS. In her quest, she had to battle against the mafia that was chopping down trees for their precious saal timber with complete disregard for the law or the tribal tradition that prohibits cutting of the trees. Realising that she would get little help from authorities, who may well have been hand in glove with the

Jamuna realised that

cutting forests for fuel wood would soon Longevity cause environmental problems for them

mafia, she took matters in her own hands. She spoke to a few women of the village who were quite aghast at the task she had taken on. We won’t do it; this will require us to fight the men in the village, they told her. But Jamuna, who has studied up to Class X, foresaw a bleak green-less future for herself and her community with no trees and forests to sustain or protect them. ‘Jungle nahi rahega toh paryavaran kaise bachega (how will we protect the environment if the forest is destroyed)?’ she asked. Jamuna’s clear understanding of the issue soon trickled down to the other women and even men in her village. “I was brought up with a love and respect for nature. My father used to plant numerous trees in our farms in Odisha. That’s where I learnt the importance of the environment,” she said. Pointing out how the mafia was exploiting the wood from Muturkham to fund their alcohol needs, she said she was bewildered by the passive response of the community at their

habitat being slowly destroyed. “I went on to speak to a few women in the village. I held a meeting with them several times to be able to convince them that we needed to protect our beautiful forests,” she said. Gradually, she mobilised a group of 25 women from the village and armed them with bows and arrows, bamboo sticks and spears, they marched into the forest to take on the forest predators. With time, many men also became part of the campaign against deforestation, but most of the effort has continued to be from women, said Jamuna. There are many daunting challenges that came their way, but their single-minded dedication towards their cause kept them going. “There were too many altercations with the village people initially.. many scuffles with the mafia... and I told those women that in this journey, we



Quick Glance The group has been set up by the committed Jamuna Tudu Sixty of them patrol the forest in three daily shifts Jamuna has been awarded for her work by the President of India

would come across both good and bad times, but we have to struggle to keep the forest,” said Jamuna. The group convinced the railway authorities to bar the plundered wood from being exported. “Some time in 2008-09, we were brutally attacked by the mafia,” she said. “They pelted stones at us while we were coming back from the railway station after speaking to the station master. Everybody got injured,” she added. For obvious reasons, Jamuna, the woman whose initiatives were hampering their business, was their main target. She and her husband suffered most in the assault. “My husband got hit on his head as he tried to save me. It was dark and we somehow managed to run away. We narrowly escaped death that day.” But she did not give up.Over 15 years of many fierce encounters with the mafia and relentless sensitisation of the community, Jamuna, and the Van Suraksha Samiti that she formed, have succeeded in protecting and conserving the 50 hectares of forest land not just surrounding her village, but around many others as well. Tribal communities cannot survive without wood. They need it for various things -- mostly to cook food. But they ensure that their requirements remain within sustainable limits.“We don’t cut trees on purpose any more and use the fallen trees and branches for all our needs,” Jamuna said. “The amount we are able to save up during the rains is sufficient for the whole year.” The Forest Department has “adopted” her village, which has led to Muturkham getting a water connection and a school. In 2013, Jamuna was conferred with the Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award in the ‘Acts of Social Courage’ category and this year in August, she was awarded with Women Transforming India Award by the NITI Aayog. Today, she runs awareness campaigns through various forest committees in Kolhan Division.



November 20 - 26, 2017

the Honest Chennai Porter of Tambaram


32 Unsung Hero




Meet the Honest Chennai Porter Who Helped Restore a Lost Bag With Rs 5.75 Lakh Cash!


hat would you do, if you found a bag containing cash over Rs 5 lakh? While greed is likely to take over and it wouldn’t take many a lot of time to flee with the bag, one licensed porter from the Tambaram railway station decided to do exactly the opposite. Poyyamozhi, who has worked as a porter at Tambaram for over than 15 years, helped a passenger who lost a bag containing Rs 5.75 lakh, get it back. 1 November was a usual day for the porter until around 3.45 am, he found an unclaimed bag on platform number 5, immediately after the Salem – Chennai Egmore Express

departed. When he saw that the bag lay unattended with no owner in sight, he decided to inspect it. The old porter was taken aback at the amount of cash it contained. Jumping into quick action, he rushed to the duty pointsman and Station Master, who then as per protocol, alerted the Railway Protection Force in Tambaram. The inspection of the bag revealed it had over Rs 5,75,720 lakh in cash alongside used Poyyamozhi & Naveen Gulati clothes. It took hardly any time for the Railway Protection force to trace the Chennai Egmore. When the owner of the bag who was to reach passenger after realising he had lost

the bag, filed a complaint, he was immediately ensured that the bag was found. It was successfully restored to him. Moved by the porter’s honesty and selfless act, the man wanted to reward Poyyamozhi with some cash, but Poyyamozhi was quick to decline it, stating he was only doing his job, matter-of-factly. Poyyamozhi is not only known for his honesty but also for having reunited several runaway children with their parents in the past years of service, reports the New Indian Express. Though the porter refused to take any money, the Chennai Divisional Railway Manager Naveen Gulati lauded his work by personally visiting Tambaram station on Wednesday and bestowing upon Poyyamozhi a memento — a small model of a Railway Coach from Rail Museum, to thank him on behalf of the Railways.

MC Mary Kom

MC Mary Kom feels she proved herself yet again Every medal is a story of struggle, says the indomitable M C Mary Kom, who bagged her fifth one


ary Kom, a multiple world champion and Olympic bronze- medallist, scripted history by becoming the first boxer to claim five gold medals at the continental meet in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh. “This medal is very special to me just like all other medals I have won,

because it has its own story of struggles. Every medal I have won is a story of a difficult struggle. I am hoping this medal, which has come after I became an MP, will enhance my reputation even further. I hope my stature grows,” Mary Kom told PTI in an interview. Besides being an active and toplevel boxer, the 35- year-old is a sitting RajyaSabha MP, whose attendance in the house has never been brought into question, a government observer for boxing in the country and a “very busy” mother to her three sons. Add to this, she is also involved in the running of her academy in Imphal, along with her husband OnlerKom. “I have been an active MP, I am attending Parliament regularly and despite that I trained hard for this championship.

Since I am a government observer, I have to be present at meetings related to the running of the sport as well. I hope people realise how tough it is,” she said. “I have been juggling so many roles. I am a mother too, I have three sons to take care of. I don’t even know how I manage to pull it off sometimes,” she added. The diminutive Manipuri has been the face of women’s boxing not just in India but all over the world, earning the nickname ‘Magnificent Mary’ from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) back in 2010. She was last year honoured with the AIBA Legends’ award for her long and sparkling career, which also includes a gold medal at the the 2014 Asian Games. The pace of her life is sometimes hard to keep up with, admits Mary Kom but throwing in the towel is not an option for her. “After this (the Asian Championships), I have to travel to Lausanne for an IOC athletes forum. And I hate journeys now. The travelling wears me down, it is actually quite horrible to go from one airport to another in a matter of days. But you can’t walk away from your responsibilities and commitments,” she explained.

Sakthi Ramesh

ers ak New New s smma kers



or the nomadic community of Narikuravars in Tamil Nadu, the only mode of livelihood comes from selling beads on streets or worse, begging. However, one young boy’s perseverance has not just earned him the tag of being the flag bearer of the Narikuravars, but also the nomination for this year’s International Peace Prize for Children. He has achieved this by convincing about 25 other children to follow the path of education to change the fate of their community. One cannot entirely claim that the children in the community have no access to schools or education. In fact, many had been inducted in local government schools.

RNI No. DELENG/2016/71561, Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing) Delhi No. F. 2 (S-45) Press/ 2016 Volume - 1, Issue - 49 Printed by Monika Jain, Published by Monika Jain on behalf of SULABH SANITATION MISSION FOUNDATION and Printed at The Indian Express Ltd., A-8, Sector-7, NOIDA (U.P.) and Published from RZ 83, Mahavir Enclave, Palam-Dabri Road, New Delhi – 110 045. Editor Monika Jain

Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 49)  
Sulabh Swachh Bharat - (Issue 49)  

"There are two icons of cleanliness in the world Gandhi and Modi" - Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak