Sunday June 24, 2018

A timely reminder of water’s importance for mankind

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Dr J K Bhutani

Yesterday, March 22 was “World Water Day” and tomorrow, March 24 is Indian festival of colors and water, called Holi. In this article, a medical doctor and public health expert brings you an Indian darshan of jal (water). – NewsGram

In today’s world water crisis is one of the biggest crisis in front of human race. Since the time of ancient India, water was always given a lot of importance by our people and Shashtras. But today there is a need to be careful about the usage of water not only because of crisis but also to stay fit. Many people do not realize its importance for the body.

Hinduism puts Prithvi(पृथ्वी-Earth),Jal (जल-Water),Vayu(वायु-Air), Agni(अग्नि-Fire),Aakash(आकाश-Space)….as the basis of all cosmic creation and the human body too is considered to be made of these five elements.

The most abundant component of our body(nearly 55-65%) water, is in a dynamic state and naturally our daily requirement is variable too, according to the bodily state-of-health, environmental heat, physical activity/exercise, age, and diet!

A normal sedentary person may need about 2 liters (8X8 Eight eight-ounce glasses)per day but a laborer working in hot summer heat may need as much every hour!

For every hour of moderate-severe exercise, we need a liter of extra fluid at an optimal temperature.

As a rough guide of proper hydration color of urine should be a good indicator and once in a day it should look like the water at least and do believe your thirst cues.

Too much of water may be unnecessary load on the renal system and may also be the cause of hyponatremia in some over-enthusiasts.

The potable water is a big question. The public health water is generally safe if managed well and regulated. India started off well in early years of independence and public-health-distributions but some reservations are a constant threat now because of not-so-deep (500 ft) faulty source, improper storage,filtration,chlorination or leaking supply lines before it reaches the taps at home.

The CLEAN-WATER systems installed at homes are possibly ‘NOT-ONE-FOR-ALL-SOLUTIONS’ and are more of a confusion than a trusted help.

  1. Activated-Carbon-Filters can remove organic contaminants that affect taste and odor and may also remove some pesticides or heavy metals like lead.
  2. Ion-Exchange-units with activated alumina can remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which make water hard.
  3. Reverse-Osmosis units with carbon can remove nitrates and sodium as well as pesticides and petrochemicals.
  4. Distillation units boil water and condense the steam, creating distilled water…which lacks in minerals.
  5. Ultra-Violet light irradiation of any above method makes any water germs-free to a large extent..just like sunlight.
  6.  Bottled water is growing in business but the apparent safety issues are not guaranteed as it may be for a trusted public-health-tap-water.

Water is becoming scarce especially the potable one and the Wastage is rampant, as is our nonchalance.

On World Water Day 2016 let us resolve to conserve this precious resource for ourselves, our next generations and the mankind.

A few steps by us all, can be a giant leap for the mankind.

Check Leaking Taps, use smaller cisterns for flushing, close taps while brushing-shaving, use buckets for washing vehicles instead of hose-pipes, prefer a bucket-bath to a tub or shower-bath, wash dishes, vegetables and fruits in containers, use recycled waste water for plants, invest in water-harvesting and above all be sensitive to its saving and propagate to one and all!

Dr J.K. Bhutani MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self healing powers of human organism.
You can follow him at https://twitter.com/drjkbhutani

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Shriya Katoch

    The unsupervised spending of water will lead to major problems in the future. It is time we recognise that water is a resource and is perishable.

    • Dr.J.K.Bhutani

      True, this is the time when the government, NGOs and media should sensitize the younger generations about the sacredness of the water as a need and as a ‘resource-to-be-preserved and revered’.

SHARE
  • Shriya Katoch

    The unsupervised spending of water will lead to major problems in the future. It is time we recognise that water is a resource and is perishable.

    • Dr.J.K.Bhutani

      True, this is the time when the government, NGOs and media should sensitize the younger generations about the sacredness of the water as a need and as a ‘resource-to-be-preserved and revered’.

Next Story

Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

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Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)