Entries in Environment (2)

Thursday
Apr022015

Lung damage a side effect of education!

An alarming studyshowed 44 Lakh students in Delhi are growing up to be adults with possible irreversible lung damage. That is 4.4 million kids. Why are they prone to irreversible lung damage you might ask?
 
They are breathing poisonous air on their way to and back from schools! I am just speechless to read this report. And I am all the more shocked at the blind eye that authorities are turning to the concerns.
Scientists from Kolkata-based Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), did studies and found the following :
  • In lung tests conducted on 5,718 students, 43.5% suffered from “poor or restrictive lungs”.
  • About 15% of the children surveyed complained of frequent eye irritation, 27.4% of frequent headache, 11.2% of nausea, 7.2% of palpitation and 12.9% of fatigue.
  • Delhi’s numbers were far higher than that among the ‘control group’ of 4,536 students selected from 17 schools spread across the “much less polluted” rural areas of Uttaranchal and West Bengal. 
If that does not shock you this will.
Scientists have made recommendations to move schools away from the arterial roads that are heavily polluted in Delhi and also made recommendations around the time of the day that students should not be out and about amongst other things.
If you are still not shocked here is a fun fact that will drop your jaw, the above study was done in 2002, more then a decade ago.
The recommendations that scientists made were never shared with the schools.
So after all these years the pollution is worse and kids are suffering even more. And no one is listening.
 
Here are my two cents. People are not only asleep when it comes to serious issues like this, they are in a freaking coma!
Why recommend moving schools away from polluted roads, when we should be actually working to reduce pollution. Always treating the symptom, never looking at the cause! Isn't that the irony of the world we live in.
 
How about we deal with the problem? Delhi does not have a good public transport system, would that not be a good place to start? Or car pooling! Or using hybrid car! Or planting more trees!
I think solutions can be found, if our government stops turning a blind eye to every problem. Until then God save these children.
Tuesday
Feb242015

The younger the better!

I have always believed that to bring about a positive change we need to start with educating our young. May it be a social change, a political change or in this case environmental change.
As adults we become set in our habits and beliefs. And after crossing a certain age we take everything personally. I am not sure why that is! But it seems to be the case. My 6 year old niece is much more open minded than my 16 year old cousin, and my 16 year old cousin is way more open than my 26 year old friend, you get the point. 
If someone tells us "Can you please use less plastic?" most likely the response our mind comes up with is, "Mind your own business!" or "Wow as if you are very green" or something of that order. We don't think oh well maybe there is a point to this. Or we don't ask a candid question like a 6 year old would! My niece will first ask me "Why?" and follow up with "What will happen if I don't?" and then usually "Can I use something else instead of plastic?" and after I explain, she most likely will go tell her parents or friends how they should not use plastic either. 
The point I am making is that it is easier to have a lasting change with kids and, they have more power over changing habits in adults around them then we do. 
And that is exactly what Dr Bonny Hartley, Research Fellow at Plymouth University's School of Psychology, came up with. They started with 176 kids, in South West England and conducted an educational event at the National Marine Aquarium. 

These kids were shown marine litter and participated in a questionnaire before and after the event. They were also allowed to go on a shopping spree post educational event to see if what they had learnt informed their choices. And sure they did. They also talked to their parents about good practices. 

Starting with the young is the way to make sure we get old with hope; that there still will be human race on this planet in a hundred years. 

 

Image Credit: © SportEnvironment.com