Wednesday, February 26, 2014
By housing suspicion for long you may end up building a house of doubts. Communicating straight and making things clear by yourself is good for your health and wellbeing…
@ Kendujhar today, looking into water management issues of the Baitarani river...
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
With computer and cellphone keyboards taking over the pen, I have a fear that we may not be able to hold on to the word 'handwritten' for long. In fact, many hand related idioms may also lose their contexts soon...
Monday, February 24, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
The round table dialogue organised by Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) with David Waskow at Bhubaneswar on 20th February 2014 went very well. We will share more on that soon.
Rushed to Pune where we are co-organisers to the 'Civil Society Workshop on Land Rights and Carbon Markets in India' along with Nature Code, Brussels and other organisations. My session on 'CDM and Water' is today. Look forward to a fruitful discussion.
Thanks and regards,
Monday, February 17, 2014
The manufacturers produce products, their advertisers manufacture lies about those. It's hard to believe that truth can't sell products, but that's proving true because of the consumers' growing inclination towards falsehood...
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
The very fact that humans were born with a brain testifies there is nothing called ‘unbiased’ in this world. Within the human society, bias is an inherent weakness of systems that govern us. These are biased towards the material rich and powerful…
Have a great Sunday!!
Friday, February 14, 2014
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO)
is organising a round table dialogue with
Director, International Climate Initiative
World Resources Institute, Washington D.C.
on 20th February 2014 at Bhubaneswar
If you are in and around Bhubaneswar, interested in climate change issues and would like to participate in this dialogue, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Mr. David Waskow will speak on
New Approaches to Climate Equity in the International Arena
Followed by discussions.
Thanks and regards,
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Waterkeeper Alliance)
P.S. We can accommodate a very small group of participants for this event. A Brief Bio of David Waskow is pasted below for your reference.
David Waskow is the Director of WRI’s International Climate Initiative . The Initiative is focused on international cooperation that catalyzes and supports action on climate change at the national level in developed and developing countries. The initiative includes work on the elements of a 2015 international climate agreement and the Climate Justice Dialogue, addressing issues of climate impacts and equity.
David has worked for many years at the intersection of environmental and development issues. Prior to WRI, David directed climate change policy at the development organization Oxfam America, where much of his work focused on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities. While at Oxfam, he addressed a wide range of climate finance issues, including increasing financial resources, the development of effective, responsive finance institutions, and the participation of local communities in directing the use of finance on the ground. At Oxfam, he also directed policy work on climate adaptation and resilience strategies, including food security and agriculture issues and the role of the private sector in climate resilience.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Waskow served as the international program director for Friends of the Earth, where his role included overseeing the organization's work on the environmental dimensions of trade policy and international financial institutions. In addition to his international experience, he has worked on domestic issues ranging from low-income housing to garment industry labor conditions.
He has testified before Congress on responses to climate change and on trade issues, and he is frequently a go-to source on climate change financing for the media, from The Washington Post to The New York Times.
He has graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; his undergraduate degree is from Brown University.
It is believed, everything happens for good. Bad times in life give way to good phases. One just has to be armoured with hope, good intent and undying efforts to tide through such times...
Have a Great Weekend!!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
WIO Advocacy Update: 13th February 2014
Inspect All Ferry Boat Services in Odisha immediately, release the arrested boatman!
Water Initiatives Odisha urges upon Govt. of Odisha
On Sunday 9th February, when an overloaded ferry boat capsized in Hirakud reservoir waters, at least 31 people died. Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) and its members are shocked by this incidence and mourn the deaths. Our heartfelt condolences are with the family members, relatives and friends of the departed souls and we pray before almighty to give them the strength to withstand this disaster.
What shocks us is the way in which this disaster happened. With little precaution and sensible handling, this could have been avoided. As we learn from locals and newspaper reports, the passengers – some regular commuters and a lot of picnickers – boarded in huge numbers on a small capacity boat which had no lifesaving equipment.
As per locals more than 150 people that included women and children plus about 20 motorcycles were on board in a boat whose original capacity is about half of it. Both the boatman and the passengers should have avoided this overloading. Lack of monitoring, inspection and patrolling by the dam authorities added to this problem.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank and salute all the brave locals, boatmen, ODRAF team members and all others who jumped into the rescue operation. It is for all of them that 85 lives were saved. However, it is also to introspect as the reservoir, which is such a huge manmade lake with lot of inherent problems, lacks basic disaster preparedness. Had there been an ODRAF team with all facilities present in the reservoir at the moment, we are sure many more lives could have been saved. On 9th, the locals, including boatmen, saved the drowned people. The ODRAF reached very late.
Inspection and Monitoring Necessary -
The dam authorities should immediately learn a lesson from this mishap, take responsibility of the disaster and step up disaster preparedness efforts to see that all ferry boats are legally plying, are safe and have all necessary safety and rescue equipment on place. Further, proper and ample display boards with regard to capacity of boats, their owners and operators, safety measures etc. should be installed in all ferry ghats. Patrolling for regular inspection should be in place immediately.
Arresting the boatman is unjust, release him immediately -
WIO welcomes honourable Odisha High Court’s suo motu cognizance of the matter to seek status reports from concerned government departments within two weeks. We also welcome the RDC level inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister of Odisha. However, we think the arrest of the boatman should have not been done. Since inquiries have been ordered already, the boatman should be released until proven guilty. Prima facie observations show that the boatman and the passengers could be equally responsible for the tragedy. Further, the lack of inspections as per the existing ferry laws of the land also makes the concerned authorities responsible for the incidence. Why a poor boatman should be arrested?
WIO urges upon the government of Odisha to release the boatman who has been arrested and take actions on all responsible for the tragedy as per the enquiry reports. Local sources said that the boatman himself has helped many passengers rescue and has done a brave act. His this act should be recognized as well.
Authorities also to blame -
In this tragedy, as it is learnt from local newspaper sources, the boat didn’t have a permission to ply passengers for about a year but it was plying daily with hundreds of passengers. The highest authorities should take responsibility of this illegality and be brought under purview of the inquiry.
We also urge upon the Govt. of Odisha to immediately inspect all the ferry boat facilities across the state and ensure safety of the passengers. Government should support boatmen with necessary financial and other helps to have better boats, trainings and life saving devices.
For further information, please contact:
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water, environment and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Please find my latest article published in the news portal odishasuntimes.com that has allocated a blog space to me.
The article can be assessed at the following link: http://odishasuntimes.com/30988/prevent-cancer-growth-discourage-liquor-spread/
I have also pasted below the same for your convenience.
Responding to the latest World Cancer Report, I have argued why anti-liquor movements have to be supported and governments should stop depending on revenue from cancerous sources such as liquor and pollution. Or else, even if we take chemo facilities down to the local dispensaries, cancer would still be spreading faster than ever before.
Look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Thanks and regards,
To Prevent Cancer Growth, Discourage Liquor Spread
by Ranjan Panda*
Each district headquarters hospital in Odisha would soon have chemotherapy facilities for cancer patients, we were informed by a news item published in a local daily recently. Ironically though, the same government that has promised such facilities is also bent on creating the conditions that would lead to a spurt in cancer cases. The just published report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) World Cancer Report shows us how.
The WHO World Cancer Report 2014, released on 3rd February, warns of a health time bomb that awaits human society, if preventive measures are not taken in time. Lifestyle related issues need to be addressed urgently if we want to diffuse this fatal time bomb, it says.
The cancer time bomb is ticking fast and could explode in the none too distant future as the number of new cases globally has increased from 12.7 million in 2008 to 14.1 million in the year 2012. More alarmingly, this figure is expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next two decades. Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million per year.
As per this report, prepared by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research agency of the WHO, the most common cancers diagnosed in 2012 were those of the lung (1.8 million cases, 13.0% of the total), breast (1.7 million, 11.9%) and large bowel (1.4 million, 9.7%). The most common causes of cancer death were cancer of the lung (1.6 million or 19.4% of the total), liver (0.8 million, 9.1%), and stomach (0.7 million, 8.8%).
These figures are certainly mind boggling. The more worrisome part is medical advances don’t seem to be of much use in tackling the menace.
“Despite exciting advances, this Report shows that we cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,” states Dr Christopher Wild, Director of IARC and co-editor of the book.
“More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”
Why should we worry?
The report points out that more than 60% of the world’s total cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Tellingly, these regions account for about 70% of the world’s cancer deaths, a situation that is made worse by the lack of early detection and access to treatment.
The report recommends appropriate legislation to control consumption of alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages and to limit exposure to occupational and environmental carcinogenic risks, including air pollution.
But far from doing anything of the sort, our governments appear to be doing the exact opposite.
In Odisha, just as in the rest of the country, policy makers encourage alcohol consumption in the name of revenue generation.
Reports of women and locals protesting against liquor shops are fairly common in the state. Instead of being actively assisted – or at the very least protected – such anti-liquor movements are crushed ruthlessly and liquor promoted unabashedly. New liquor shops are opened every few days despite the stiff opposition by local people. Revenue has clearly become the sole consideration of the government, health be damned.
In other words, cancer is being marketed.
Odisha has other worries too. Being a mining state, it is increasing its load of pollution rather indiscriminately.
To make matters worse, it’s also a poor state. The poor and common people, who are mostly affected by the twin evils of alcohol consumption and pollution, can hardly afford cancer treatment. Cancer treatment, to be affordable, would need heavy state investment on health, which means a big burden on the economy.
According to the report, the spiralling costs of the cancer burden are already damaging the economies of even the richest countries and are way beyond the reach of developing countries. They place impossible strains on health-care systems of countries.
In 2010, the total annual economic cost of cancer was estimated to reach approximately US$ 1.16 trillion. Yet, about half of all cancers could be prevented if current knowledge was adequately implemented.
“The rise of cancer worldwide is a major obstacle to human development and well-being. These new figures and projections send a strong signal that immediate action is needed to confront this human disaster, which touches every community worldwide, without exception,” stresses Dr Wild.
While there is not much data available about cancer patients in Odisha, a research article titled “Pattern and Trends of Cancer in Odisha, India: A Retrospective Study Report” by Mohammed Akhtar Hussain et al published in 2012 in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, points to a manifold increase in cancer patients in a decade in the only hospital chosen as a case study.
This study brings out another worrying trend that should disturb all of us.
It found out that the number of female cases increased four-fold and that of males three-fold over the decade 2001-2011 for which the study was made. Malignancies such as oral cancer (16.93%), acute lymphocytic leukemia/non Hodgkins lymphoma (14.09%) and cancer of gastrointestinal tract (21.07%) are leading cancers among males and carcinomas of breast (28.94%), cervix (23.66%) and ovary (16.11%) were leading among females. The findings from this study indicate an overall increase in cancer reporting, which could be regarded as a proxy measure for the overall cancer situation in Odisha, said the authors.
Sitting silent on this report could be fatal. We need to check alcohol consumption, advocate for healthy lifestyles and above all abate pollution without utmost urgency and seriousness. Let’s defeat cancer with prevention before it defeats us.
The scenario has to be reversed.
Anti-liquor movements have to be supported and governments should stop depending on revenue from cancerous sources such as liquor and pollution. Or else, even if we take chemo facilities down to the local dispensaries, cancer would still be spreading faster than ever before.
 The author, popularly known as Water Man of Odisha, is a leading water expert of the nation. He convenes a network called ‘Water Initiatives Odisha’ and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Experience makes us derive conclusive meanings, often within the compartments the mind has already created. That’s why when people think of Harry Potter, they think of wizards and magic spells, while the real magic of the story is in the love and friendship he is all about…
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The purpose of education is not to produce job seeking machines. Education is an awakening, a process of creating learned minds that can reason and quest...
Happy Sarawasti Puja!!