New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on December 30, 2015 wrote a letter to the children of the city, wherein he had expressed his concerns regarding the inability of children of the city to play outdoors due to rising pollution. The letter was circulated in the media as well.
Now, a first year B.A. student, Gaurav Pandey, has written a letter addressed to the Chief Minister, wherein he has claimed that it is the lack of open spaces, not pollution that has prevented the children from playing outside. NewsGram brings you a copy of both the letters.
Delhi CM Kejriwal’s letter addressed to children of the city
Air pollution could be a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), say researchers, adding that MS risk was 29 per cent higher among people residing in urbanised areas.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Whilst MS can be diagnosed at any age, it frequently occurs between the ages of 20-40 and is more frequent in women.
Symptoms can change in severity daily and include fatigue, walking difficulty, numbness, pain and muscle spasms. The study, presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, detected a reduced risk for MS in individuals residing in rural areas that have lower levels of air pollutants known as particulate matter (PM).
According to the researchers, it is well recognised that immune diseases such as MS are associated with multiple factors, both genetic and environmental. “We believe that air pollution interacts through several mechanisms in the development of MS and the results of this study strengthen that hypothesis,” said study lead researcher Professor Roberto Bergamaschi from the IRCCS Mondino Foundation in Italy.
Particulate matter (PM) is used to describe a mixture of solid particles and droplets in the air and is divided into two categories. PM10 includes particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres of smaller and PM2.5 which have a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or smaller. Both PM10 and PM2.5 are major pollutants and are known to be linked to various health conditions, including heart and lung disease, cancer and respiratory issues.
The analysis was conducted in the winter, given that this is the season with the highest pollutant concentrations, in the north-western Italian region of Lombardy, home to over 547,000 people.
For the findings, the research team included over 900 MS patients within the region, and MS rates were found to have risen 10-fold in the past 50 years, from 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 1974 to almost 170 cases per 100,000 people today. Whilst the huge increase can partly be explained by increased survival for MS patients, this sharp increase could also be explained by greater exposure to risk factors.
“In the higher risk areas, we are now carrying out specific analytical studies to examine multiple environmental factors possibly related to the heterogeneous distribution of MS risk”, Professor Bergamaschi said. (IANS)
How many of you remember that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the earth was facing another crisis- the environmental crisis?
Amid the lockdown, social distancing and quarantine, people across the globe have noticed drastic changes in the environment. People have reported that they can now see the sky clearer and can breathe better due to decreasing pollution levels.
According to a CNBC report, Clear water is seen in Venice’s canals due to less tourists, motorboats and pollution, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Venice, Italy. People have also noticed fishes and dolphins in the venice’s canals after many years.
Recent satellite images from NASA of China also showed less air pollution amid the country’s economic shutdown, due to less transportation and manufacturing, says a CNBC report.
The coronavirus pandemic has surely resulted in a huge loss of lives and economy, but on the other hand the animals and the nature are enjoying their days while the humans are locked in their homes.
In the waters of the Bosphorus, dolphins are these days swimming near the shoreline in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul with lower local maritime traffic and a ban on fishing.
Humans getting a photoshoot was too mainstream before the lockdown and that is why have a look at this happy Red Panda posing.
This picture clearly depicts how the sheeps are enjoying grazing while no human is around to litter the land.
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With the lockdown in force, most zoos and parks are now closed and that is why animals are now getting the privacy they wanted. You can see how happy the two pandas are while there is no disturbance.
Well, this is a rare happening, to find sea lions on a street. The only unchanged thing about the sea lions in this photo is their laziness.
When was the last time an aerial photo of a sea or water body looked so clean and greenish? Well, let the water bodies breathe until the humans are adhering to the quarantine rules.
Before the lockdown, there was a time when these flamingos couldn’t enjoy in the pond because of the noise and environmental pollution by people visiting the pond in Navi Mumbai
Why should only humans go out for a walk to refresh themselves amid the pandemic? Pretty sure the pelicans must be thinking the same while posing for the pictures in the park.
Well before the lockdown and the pandemic, the Ganga and Yamuna river were mostly known for the pollution. But now, as people haven’t been moving out of their houses, the rivers are now cleaner and even more pure.
With lesser pollution, flowers and plants are now blooming even more.
The question now being raised in the minds of environmental experts is that how long will this positive effect of Coronavirus pandemic last on the environment? Is it all temporary? Most experts believe that once the lockdown is lifted across all countries, humans may resume their normal lives and hence we will again face the environmental crisis.
It’s now “our” decision to preserve the environment and the wildlife!
First of all, one must congratulate Munish Raizada for making Transparency: Pardarshita. Making a documentary film, let alone a six-part documentary series, on politics in India is not an easy task.
Raizada has made a documentary series on one of the biggest uprisings India has seen after the freedom movement and the Emergency, the Jan Lokpal andolan, also known as the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. He tries to find answers to how the uprising was planned, how it gave rise to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and how the party that came to power in the national capital territory of Delhi with the promise of transparency slowly went off track.
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Transparency is a six-part documentary series written, directed and produced by Munish Raizada, who was himself a member of AAP at one time. In the documentary, he traces AAP’s journey from its inception to now. In this process, he meets old colleagues of party founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as well as others who joined and then left the party.
The first episode, titled Dream Game, deals with how the Anna Hazare movement was organized by people like Kumar Vishwas, Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and some other activists. The episode is very informative and tells us how no movement takes place on the spur of the moment. It takes a lot of time, dedicated people and a lot of effort to create a successful movement like Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal Andolan.
The third episode focuses on how the IAC came to be formed and what it did. Both these episodes focus on how Arvind Kejriwal used the popularity of the movement as a launch pad for his own political career. Raizada interviews Kejriwal’s former friends and activists like Shazia Ilmi, Kapil Mishra and Kiran Bedi who testify that Kejriwal harboured political ambition from the start. It should be noted, however, that all of these former friends are now part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the foremost rival of AAP in Delhi.
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Raizada uses real footage from the Jan Lokpal movement and from AAP’s formation and victory in the Delhi assembly election of 2015. He juxtaposes visuals of the euphoria among Delhi’s citizens when AAP came to power for the first time with the current situation and tries to find out where things went wrong.
The most important episode of this documentary is number 4, which is titled The Mask. The episode is split into two parts, 4A and 4B. In this two-part episode, Raizada meets many long-standing associates of Kejriwal and tries to dissect his personality. The documentary claims that Kejriwal, who has a proven track record as an activist in the public domain, has a different personality for insiders of the Anna agitation and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Raizada also tries to find answers to many questions like why did AAP stop showing its list of donors on its website and why the party never implemented an internal Lokpal. However, Raizada expects the viewer to be familiar with the Indian political scenario and how things were in those days and that’s why the episode may not interest those who have not kept themselves up-to-date with politics in India. But then, someone who isn’t familiar with Indian politics may not invest six hours of his life in this documentary either.
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The length of the series is the biggest problem with this documentary. Almost six hours long, it is stuffed with too much information to process. By the time you reach the final episode, you are likely to have forgotten some important information from earlier episodes. Maybe if Raizada had focused his effort more sharply on the issue of transparency in AAP and dug out more information, it might have made greater impact.
Another problem is Raizada’s fixation with dramatization. As he mentioned in an interview with Cinestaan.com, he had initially planned a feature film on the subject but later dropped the idea. Perhaps he could not completely let go of the thought, however, because he uses elements from the typical commercial template, like a melodramatic background score, to hammer his message home. All it does is dilute the authenticity of the documentary.
Despite these flaws, Transparency: Pardarshita is a brave and praiseworthy effort.