Campaigns

5th June, World Environment Day is organized to encourage people to get outdoors(out of their comfort zones) and appreciate the beauty of our planet and promote awareness among our future generation about the significance and protection of healthy environment.

But an integral question is: Is 5th June just a day to turn our attention towards cleaning our planet or planting saplings?

Maybe it is. Because we are too reluctant with our environment and too busy with our daily hectic schedule that we don’t get time to focus our attention towards the environment. So, June 5th is not just a day to read about the problems affecting the countryside instead it is a day which makes us get off from our place to do something that helps to preserve nature like litter picking outing, hiking in your local park, planting trees etc.

The World Environmental Day is also celebrated to inculcate new seeds of thought and opinion regarding our environment in the minds of people. We are living in smart era so, why not we promote the importance of healthy environment through our smart technologies like snapping some beautiful shots of the great outdoors and sharing them online.

This year is all about connecting people to nature. The theme was chosen by this year’s host country CANADA which will be the center of World Environment Day activities. Celebrating World Environment Day began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events. But this year the theme itself is so lively that it motivates the people to plant more trees, for cleaning up their neighborhoods and taking action against wildlife crimes.

Make your environment pollution free by planting saplings in your garden or in your nearest parks that directly links you up with nature. Don’t think much just go out of your house to your local parks and don’t enjoy the beauty by watching idly. Connect yourself with the nature by jumping straight into the lake. Get off your shoes and enjoy in the mud, let your feet and hands get dirty and sense the amaglamation of mud with water, and feel it’s pleasant smell. Decorate your home with beautiful fresh flowers at different places .

And all these steps are not only for 5th June, try to do this whenever you get time and feel aesthetic!

What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see a disabled person? So many of us have this feeling , oh! He or she is not one of us, he or she is not normal. But why? What crime did they do to get abandoned from our society like this. Was it their fault that their physique is somewhat different. And even if it is, they are also human beings and their emotions are same. According to a report, 40-80 million people are disabled in India. Which in itself is a community, so how can we say they are not normal.

Think about how you would feel if the whole class will see you when you are not as capable as them, and you are not included in the class activity. Think about the mental trauma that disabled people have to go through, every moment.
First of all they have some physical problem, and then by making them realising it, again and again,we are making it harder for them. Instead of appreciating them that even after being a disabled person, they are standing in front of us. ‘Nick Vujicic’, a very famous motivator, has no limbs or arms. We all know, how people would have teased him before he reach there? But yes, it is not possible for everyone to reach there. Someone very rightly said, “we are as delicate as glass, a small ignorance and you are broke”. It is ironical, that in this case, the culprits are us, whereas they are getting punishments.

We should appreciate the move of ‘Mr. Narendra Modi,’ where he refrained people from calling them ‘Viklang’ and devoted them a new word, ‘Divyang'( special qualities).

‘Shekhar naik’ the captain of Indian blind cricket team, has blindness because in his case it is hereditary. But still, last month his team won t20 blind cricket wold cup. There are a number of examples, which will make you feel disabled with their level of success. So start appreciating. Be human, do humanities.

One of the most important topics that have come to debate in the recent past is the one where one’s culture is being influenced by the west. India is a culturally rich country having more than thousands of diversifying cultures which have their history dated back to the beginning , yet it has now fallen prey to the western influence. Thanks to globalization and education. In this forum I would like to bring to the reader’s notice that this has been written in a completely subjective note and hence it is merely voicing out my opinions.
The culture and heritage that we have inherited from our forefathers and ancestors have definitely created an identity for us, a one that has strongly established our existence in the world and making a stamp on everyone’s page signifying our importance and what we represent. There were/are some conditions and superstitions that we would question and yes we have succeeded in removing many forms of evil from our cycle. But at this junction right now, we are blatantly beginning to question the basic elements which are the roots of our culture. The questioning spirit brought about by the rise in intellectual knowledge has fuelled our inquisitiveness to an extent where we question our own identity (indirectly). Further the concept of the world as a global village has further reduced the proximity amongst the different nations thus bringing them closer. This has resulted in cultural interaction and learning one another’s culture. This interaction is very beneficial for all cultures as it educates the others and also increases their knowledge. It might also help them in a certain way to counter problems they face. However the people have now started blindly accepting the western culture without any basic questioning or logic. They have rather started to accept the culture largely because it is followed worldwide and is a pseudo trend. The world then believed that racially the westerners were superior to the rest of the world and now they believe that the lifestyle and culture of the westerners is the global standard for people and society. They however fail to realize that their own indigenous culture is the oldest and has some original meaning concealed in various layers and also it is the one which the world respects. Unlike the American culture which is borrowed from all over the world, ours is one which makes us proud.
We have seen people who forget their mother tongue to start conversing in English so that the world believes that they are educated and literates. We have seen people move on from dhotis and pajamas to jeans and t shirts. People have also moved on from roti and ragi to pizza and pepsi. Let us not forget our staple food is staple to us because it suits the climate and the weather and not because it is the only thing that we could afford. Let us remember that with questioning comes logical thinking and scientific reasoning. When 3/4th of the world respects India today, it is not because India is changing rapidly. Its because India has still managed to retain its vibrant culture even though so many centuries have gone past. Unlike what we do always we should not let our cultures go extinct and then try to revive it back. Rather let us set out on a path where we pay equal importance to all cultures and yet forget none.

When ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ came on the cinema screen, it made a lot of news, with a good box office opening. They did not even have to struggle a lot for promotions. This all happened because it was a real life story. And then the trend continued ‘Mary Com’, ‘Pan Singh Tomar’, ‘Neerja’, and so many other real life stories were screened on Indian Cinema. All of them went well on screen. This is the reason, in last twelve months, ten Biopics have been released. It is not that this is happening for the first time in India. Earlier also movies like ‘Gandhi’, ‘Bhagat Singh’, ‘Mangal Panday’ and so many other biopics came but they were not as hiked as today’s Biopics.

One of the benefits that the producer gets from these films is they have less budget. These movies are real life stories so you do not have to spend a lot of money in crashing cars, collapsing building, graphics, shooting different scenes in Switzerland, Paris, Jammu and Kasmir or other stunning tourist spots. Neither you need a lot of co-actors or beautiful actresses. Nor you have to construct a fake ‘Sheesh Mahal’ like what was constructed in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was made on a budget of 30 crores whereas it’s total collection in Box office was not more than 1 crore, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ was made just on a budget of 4.5 crores and collected approx. 40 crore as a total.

These are also time friendly projects to work on. They do not demand a hectic long year to complete  the shooting of the film, it is just a matter of months. As real life stories mostly revolve around two to three cities, there is no requirement to shift the cast and crew from one palace to another.

The most important thing in this kind of movies is these are highly beneficial for our society. They just don’t tell stories but help people to get inspired. Previously people watched romantic fictions or action movies and thought that even he or she can run his/her car at a speed of 300, or he or she will meet his beloved in some bad situation like while fighting with rowdies. These movies only mislead people, in a contrast, biopics are helpful. They give us a lot and lot of information. Like the movie, ‘Rustam’ tells us, how the judicial system worked before 1959. ‘No One Killed Jessica’ and ‘Talvar’ have shaken us totally by telling us the deepness of corruption that is prevailing in Indian Politics as well as the security system. ‘Pan Singh Tomar’ was such a film, which made regret ourselves as well as our system. Tell me who knew about the ‘Manzi- The Mountain Man’? Who cut the whole mountain all alone. No drought, cold or hot weather were able to stop him.

Biopics also helps in giving the appropriate respect and recognition to the deserved personalities. For example, ‘Airlift’, nobody was aware of ‘Mathunny Mathews’, A Kuwait-based business man. A great man who kept everything he has at stake to safely evacuate Indian citizens living in Kuwait to India, during the Iraq-Kuwait war. Even the latest ‘Dangal’ tells the devotion of a father (Wrestler Mahavir Singh Phoghat) towards getting his flag flying on the top of others.

Nowadays this trend is practiced by all kinds of actor. Whereas non-commercial actors like Nabazudin Siddiqui, Irfan Khan adopted this technique. Commercial actors like Shahrukh Khan and ‘Salman’ Khan are also not left behind in this process with their movies ‘Raees’ and ‘Sultan’ respectively.

We have a number of biopics releasing soon in the line. Ranbir Kapoor will be seen playing the role of ‘Sanjay Dutt’ in his biopic. Kangana Ranaut is playing the lead role in a movie based on ‘Rani Laxmi Bai’. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Padmavati‘ is also coming starring Deepika Padukone. Then Arjun Rampal will be seen in ‘Daddy’, based on the life of Don Arun Gawali. Shraddha Kapoor will be seen in the film based on the life of Dawood Abraham’s sister ‘Haseena – The Queen’. Then 1911, which is based on Football player ‘Shibdas Bhaduri’. John will be playing this role.

If this is to be continued, then I think those days are not so far when sacrifice, struggle, devotion, and the creation of every individual will get it’s recognition and respect on a big screen.

India has the world’s second-largest mobile phone user base with over 929.37 million users as of May 2012. In the year 2008 mobile phone changed the way it was. Mobile Phones became smartphones. It was not only for calling but useful for other purposes too. Before some years, mobiles were there just to call and converse with people if needed. But later on it became the approach for anything and everything. And I don’t think that anybody will deny the contribution of Android in this outcome. But very few know the story behind it.

Most of us think that Android was founded by Google, but it is not the reality. It was built by four not so known software engineers in the year 2003. ‘Andy Rubin’ was one of them. The intention behind it was to make a smart phone with an advanced operating system for digital cameras. But because of the poor response from market, they diverted their effort to make a operating system which can compete with Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile.

This whole process went very secretly, No body was aware of this project. Google then went with this innovation to enter the mobile market. HTC Dream was the first commercially available smartphone having Android as it’s operating system, released on October 22, 2008 under the supervision of Andy Rubin and group. Sundar Pichai, succeeded Andy Rubin as the next head of Android and Chrome OS before becoming CEO of Google.

People were a lot skeptical about Android in the starting but became fan of it later. Android also came into smart watches. But Sony was the first company to launch a smartwatch with Android OS in 2010. Android also developed Android TV for televisions, Android Auto for cars, and Android Wear for wrist watches,each with a specialized user interface. Variants of Android are also used on notebooks, game consoles,digital cameras, and other electronics. Today after a decade of it’s invention Android has acquired 85% of the smartphone OS market share. Later this became the reason behind the stress in the relationship between Google and Android. Otherwise before some years iphone was configured with a number of Google application. We are surrounded by Android just like air.

Ted Poe, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher introduced this bill which calls for declaration of Pakistan as State Sponsor of Terrorism.

The Congressman said, “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years.  From harboring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror. And it’s not America’s.”

The Process:

This bill will require the Administration to formally answer this question. The President must issue a report within 90 days of passage detailing whether or not Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism.

Thirty days after that, the Secretary of State must issue a follow-up report containing either a determination that Pakistan is State Sponsor of Terrorism or a detailed justification as to why Pakistan does not meet the legal criteria for designation.

Petition Campaign:

Also, a petition campaign is being run by forum named ‘We the People’ in support of this Act. More than 26 thousand people have signed in the favor.

Petition link : Petetion

 

To win the battle against hunger and malnutrition food production should be increased. Global food production should increase by atleast 60% to meet the growing demand for food. Production should be increased but the land available for agriculture and natural resources will decrease due to the rapidly increasing population. Food production must be achieved in a efficient and sustainable manner. Good farming practices should be followed to intensify agricultural production in a sustainable manner to reduce food insecurity , malnutrition and poverty.

In developing countries people in rural areas are affected by poverty and hunger.75% of people in developing countries live in rural areas. Rural households generate income from agriculture. These smallholders don’t just sell what they produce but also consume a part of what they produce. These smallholders should be encouraged to follow sustainable agriculture. The methods involved in sustainable agriculture produces food which is healthy , causes no harm to the environment. It also gives financial benefits to the farmers and boosts up the rural communities. Sustainable agriculture is the key to ensure continued productivity and stability of world’s agricultural production.

 

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A community’s environmental , economic and social well-being can be enhanced through sustainable food system. A sustainable food system can be achieved through sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is following agricultural methods which are economically viable , environmentally sound and also protects public health. It contributes to the growth of nutritious and healthy food. It also raises the standard of living of the farmer. It is resilient to the changes in climate and energy. It encourages farmers to employ recycling methods apart from the conventional farming techniques. No chemicals are used in sustainable agriculture. Crop rotation will also be followed and the fertility of the soil will be preserved. Eating sustainable food has health benefits for sustainably grown fruits , vegetables and grains have a higher nutrient density than other foods. Waste will also be managed inside the farm itself. Sustainable agriculture benefits the farmer , their families , the environment and farm animals.

Conservation agriculture is an approach for improved and sustained food productivity and food security without disrupting the soil’s structure , composition and natural biodiversity. Climate smart agriculture is another approach to transform and reorient agricultural systems and achieve food security in a changing climate.

 

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Efficient , well managed and sustainable food systems are essential to end hunger and malnutrition and also to protect the environment. A sustainable food system can be achieved by changing the ways in which food is produced , processed , transported and consumed. Food consumption is affected by food availability , food accessibility and food choice. Much of the food consumed by the poor comes from small family farms run by poor farmers. When these smallholders become sustainable they will have enough food to eat and also they will be able to sell the excess.World’s hunger and poverty can be solved when these smallholders are educated about sustainable agriculture. By doing this the farmer who produces the food and the people who consume the food will live a healthy life.

Nutrition is the supply of food required by the body for a healthy growth. Good nutrition is essential to lead a healthy and productive life. Hunger is experienced when a person is not eating enough food to fulfill the physiological needs. When a person is hungry for a period of time , he/she can develop mild or severe malnutrition depending on the needs of their body and food intake. Malnutrition results from unbalanced or insufficient diet. Hunger and malnutrition are related to each other. Malnutrition is the imbalance between the nutrients the body needs and the nutrients it gets. Good nutrition will prevent diseases and promote health. Poor nutrition will lead to reduced immunity , reduced susceptibility to diseases and impaired physical and mental development.

3.1 million children die every year due to malnutrition. 45% of death in children are due to nutrition-related factors. 165 million children who manage to survive malnutrition in their early years experience stunted growth and cognitive development. 5.6 million children die due to acute malnutrition. Stunting or ‘lower than normal growth’ in children is a common consequence of poor nutrition. Stunting starts in the womb of malnourished mother.

 

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The first 1000 days of a child’s life which starts from pregnancy is the crucial time period which determines a child’s future development. Most pregnant women living in low and middle income countries cannot access nutrition services until the fifth or sixth month of their pregnancies. This makes children start their life malnourished. Globally , one quarter of children are stunted , because they are not getting enough nutrients. Acute malnutrition in children increases the rise of death by upto nine-fold. 100 million children in Asia are stunted and one quarter of Asia’s 350 million children under the age of five are underweight because they do not consume nutritious food. Proper nutrition promotes optimal growth and development of children. Most of the world’s undernourished people are found in Southern Asia , followed by sub-Saharan Africa , Eastern Asia , Latin America and Caribbean.

The consequences of malnutrition are :

  • Increased risk of death
  • Increased prevalence of diet related non- communicable diseases
  • Serious chronic health conditions

There is no ideal diet that is suitable for everyone. The food habits to be followed to avoid malnutrition are :

  1. Eat starchy carbohydrates as the basis of most meals
  2. Eat variety of fruits and vegetables
  3. Eat legumes regularly
  4. Consume milk and milk products regularly
  5. Eat meat , poultry , eggs and fish regularly
  6. Include moderate amount of fat and oil in diet
  7. Drink plenty of water regularly

Malnutrition can also occur from improper water treatment. Untreated water is one of the leading causes of malnutrition. When malnutrition is severe the damage done to the body is permanent. Poverty , natural disasters , political problems and war contribute to malnutrition and starvation. Starvation is also a form of malnutrition. If malnutrition is caused by medical condition then the illness has to be treated in order to reverse the nutritional deficiency.

Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition caused by inadequate food supply or inability to use the nutrients in food. Undernutrition is a deficiency of calories or deficiency of one or more nutrients. Undernutrition affects young children.

 

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Nearly half of all child deaths are related to undernutrition. Even those undernourished children who survive early childhood are likely to be stunted and the burden of undernutrition stays with them for life. Undernutrition can be overcome by ensuring that food reaches all those suffering from inadequate calorie consumption.

Every country in the world has problems of malnutrition which includes both undernutrition and obesity. A quarter of the globe does not get the right amount of vitamins and minerals needed to lead a healthy life. We can overcome the problems caused by malnutrition by providing nutritious food to all. Protein rich food should be available to all. Crop-livesock integrated production would be beneficial to small farmers both in terms of nutrition and income. The starting point should be small farm families , who are responsible for producing the food we consume , but are also among the most undernourished.

1.25 billion different individuals in India and yet we have one single definition of beauty! And this single definition of beauty being associated with fair skin is the only food upon which the beauty industry thrives. From skin of the face to skin of the private parts, if there is any skin color you must dream to have, it must be white. If you are uncertain about the claims of your fairness cream giving you that unbeatable fairness you are invited for a crore rupee challenge. Yes! that’s the level of confidence our cosmetic industry can have!

Every Indian wants a fair bride and if possible a fair groom too. Open any matrimonial site and there you will find this statement officially attested. Snow white is of course as white as snow but the description of our very own Indian princesses whether fictitious or real is also no different.

The dichotomy of ‘black’ being associated with something bad or evil or ugly and ‘white’ being associated with good and purity is fed into our innocent minds since we are kids. Even small kids are aware and are a part of this ugly colorism. If the child is dark-skinned the first nick-name he/she gets from his fellow mates is ‘kallu/kali.’

Growing up and surviving with any skin colour except fair skin is a mammoth task in India. As if casteism, sexism, racism and all these million kinds of differentiation-ism are not enough, one has to deal with colorism. How tough it must be surviving with dark skin? Well, in childhood all your friends will sideline you and tease you, as you grow up people all around you will give you zillions of ‘gharelo nuskha’ or ‘tele brand/international brand creams suggestion’ to get fairer skin in just a few days, you will be constantly reminded by your relatives and parents that they need a huge dowry and still would not be able to marry you off,  till you wake up every day looking into the mirror with throttled self confidence and a guilt for being born the way you are even though you never had a choice to tell God “God can I have the color palette to choose my skin color from so that you can paint me with the shade that I want.” I bet none of us would have ever opted for dark shade or would we have?

 

But what we fail to realize is the power of black. Remember black is the colour of sky at night when the pearly moon and the glittery stars shine their brightest and it is this dark night that has been an inspiration for so many poets who consider this time as epitome of beauty , love and passion.

The color of every human bone is white. The color of every human blood is red. We are all made of same material, just wearing different colored masks. This flesh does not matter. What matters is the beautiful soul and ideas that’s trapped inside every individual. The color can never be a reflection of someone’s personality.

Remember those shade scales you get with cosmetic creams to measure your skin tone and then target for the lighter one? What if we had such a scale to measure the beauty of someone’s soul, or their kindness and honesty, the level of trustworthiness, their creativity? But some things are unfathomable and immeasurable. That’s the beauty of those things.

Imagine…

1.25 billion Creative ideas to share!

1.25 billion Beautiful souls to connect with!

And here we are still stuck with color prejudices!

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization food security is , when all people , at all times , have physical , social and economic access to sufficient , safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Food supplies are not stable in all the areas. Food security refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food secure when it’s occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. Food security ensures the availability , accessibility and proper utilization of food.

The four interrelated elements of food security are availability , access , utilization and stability.

Food availability : Sufficient quantities of necessary types of food should be consistently available to individuals through domestic production or commercial imports. Availability includes not only the quantity but also the quality and diversity of food. Improving availability requires sustainable productive farming systems , well managed natural resources and policies to enhance productivity.

Food access : Access means economic and physical access to food. Individuals should have adequate income to purchase food required for an adequate diet and nutritional level. Smallholders should have better access to market allowing them to generate more income from their crops and livestock products.

 

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Food utilization : Utilization is about how the body gets the various nutrients from food. A person’s nutrition status is affected by feeding practices , food preparation , diversity in their diet , health and intra-household distribution of food. Improving utilization requires improving nutrition and food safety , increasing diversity in diets , reducing post harvest loss and adding value to food. Food should be properly used and suitable techniques should be employed for storage.

Food stability : Stability is being food secure at all times. It is achieved through availability , access and utilization of food by all people at all times.

Food security can be achieved only when all four elements are fulfilled simultaneously. The other factors affecting food security are fair trade , local food reserve , agroecology  , initiatives for small farmers and less food wastage. First factor affecting food security is its availability and stability of supply. Food availability and stability depends on local production , ability to import and efficiency of food distribution systems.

 

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Agriculture and forestry can improve food security. Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world. It provides livelihood to 40% of global population. It is the largest source of income for poor rural households. 50 million small farms worldwide provide upto 80% of food consumed in the developing world. Investing in smallholders is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poor and food production for local and global markets.

Food security should be created through sustainable food systems. Climate smart agriculture and conservation agriculture can help achieve food security without disturbing the environment. The climate change is negatively impacting agricultural production globally and locally. Impacts on agriculture threaten food security. Food security and climate change are interlinked. Resilient agricultural systems which can withstand climate change will ensure food security.

Food security and nutrition are inextricably linked. When food supplies are insecure or when food becomes scarce people ignore hygiene , safety and nutrition. They consume less nutritious and unsafe food products. Food security should be achieved to fight malnutrition and to give the world’s poorest people a chance to lead healthier and happier life.