Actress Rukhsar Rehman Says That People Should Stop Having Kids
Actress Rukhsar Rehman feels all the violent sexual abuse cases reflect "animal behaviour" and says she gets worried about the safety of her 22-year-old daughter whenever she steps out. She feels worried to the extent that she says people should stop giving birth until things change in the society.
Actress Rukhsar Rehman feels all the violent sexual abuse cases reflect “animal behaviour” and says she gets worried about the safety of her 22-year-old daughter whenever she steps out.
She feels worried to the extent that she says people should stop giving birth until things change in the society.
“I feel that now no one should give birth because of how the things are currently. The things we are listening at the moment… I don’t watch news or read news. But my mother-in-law updates me with the news,” Rukhsar told IANS here.
“Be it the rape case in Uttar Pradesh or Kashmir or Pakistan, as a mother and as a woman, it haunts me. My girl is 22, but still I get worried when she steps outside. I get scared.”
Rukhsar has featured in shows “Kuch Toh Log Kahenge”, “Tumhari Paakhi”, “Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya”; and films like “Sarkar”, “God Tussi Great Ho” and “Shaitan”. But many remember her for essaying role of Pakistani embassy receptionist in Rajkumar Hirani’s “PK”.
Recalling her childhood, Rukhsar said: “While we were growing up, there was one person who looked after us. But there is not even one instance when he touched us inappropriately. But today that’s not the case. We don’t know what is the problem. It is very difficult to pin point one thing about what has gone wrong.”
The actress says campaigns like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana won’t help, until the mindset of the people change.
“It is animal behaviour. I was part of a play called Nirbhaya.
“It was testimonial theatre. So, when we started doing the research, met Nirbhaya’s parents and went into the detail of the incident… We could not believe that human beings could do something like that. After knowing it in detail, I started hating everything.
“You can not trust anybody with news of a father raping daughter making headlines,” she added.
The actress got married at the age of 16 and conceived her daughter when she was 17.
“My paternal grandmother got married when she was 10, my mother got married when she was 15. My sister was married when she was 19 when most of people started thinking that she won’t ever get married.”
The actress says her paternal grandmother has been a huge influence in her life.
“She was a strong, powerful, smart and way ahead of her time. She divorced my grandfather because she didn’t want to go to Pakistan. My grandfather took my father — who was the only child. So, my grandmother went to Pakistan with her brother and kidnapped my father and brought him back to India,” Rukhsar said, adding that she hopes to write a book on these experiences one day.
At the moment, she is busy with the Star Plus show “Mariam Khan — Reporting Live”. The show tells the story of eight-year-old Mariam and her quirky tale and creative mind. It will start beaming on the small screen from May 21.
On the show, she said: “There are many layers to the story which will unfold with time. It is about how an innocent child looks at the world and how it is in reality.”
The actress says she didn’t have to prepare much for the role, but found shooting away from family a tough task.
“Something I prepared myself was shooting for long hours and not seeing my family for days. It was the thing I had to really make up my mind.
“It becomes difficult sometimes because they maybe not miss you because they have their own life. But you miss them because you miss spending time with them, doing normal stuff and household chores.” (IANS)
Scientists warn that inhaled air pollutant particles (particulate matter) are moving from the lungs to placentas of pregnant women, highlighting an urgent need for stricter policies for cleaner air that will lower impacts of air pollution on health.
The new study presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress adds to existing evidence on the dangers of pollution for unborn babies and suggests that when pregnant women breathe polluted air, sooty particles are able to reach the placenta via the bloodstream.
The work was presented by Norrice Liu, a paediatrician and clinical research fellow and Lisa Miyashita, a post-doctoral researcher, both members of Professor Jonathan Grigg’s research group at Queen Mary University of London.
“We have known for a while that a correlation exists between maternal exposure to air pollution derived particulate matter and harmful effects on the foetus but the mechanisms behind this correlation remain to be unidentified. We, therefore, wanted to investigate whether particles travel to the placenta,” Miyashita told Mongabay-India, adding that this study provides the first evidence that inhaled particulate matter (PM) translocate from the lung to the placenta.
The researchers examined the placentas of five pregnant women in the United Kingdom who were due to have planned caesarean section deliveries at the Royal London Hospital.
They were all non-smokers with an uncomplicated pregnancy and each one gave birth to a healthy baby. The women all gave permission for researchers to study their placentas after delivery, a press release said.
The researchers examined cells called placental macrophages. Macrophages exist in many different parts in the body. They are part of the body’s immune system and work by engulfing harmful particles, such as bacteria and pollutant particles. In the placenta they also help protect the foetus.
“We do not know whether the particles we found could also move across into the foetus, but our evidence suggests that this is indeed possible. We also know that the particles do not need to get into the baby’s body to have an adverse effect, because if they have an effect on the placenta, this will have a direct impact on the foetus.”
They advise pregnant women to avoid heavily polluted areas where possible. “Stricter policies for cleaner air will reduce the associated risk,” Miyashita said.
That India tops the world in bad air quality is not in doubt. Data from World Health Organisation reveals India has 14 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5. Populations are exposed to levels of fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) that exceed the annual mean value of 10 microgram per cubic metre recommended in the WHO air quality guidelines.
PM2.5 includes pollutants, such as sulfate, nitrates and black carbon, which pose the greatest risks to human health.
A multi-country study in 2013 found mothers who are exposed to particulate air pollution, the type produced by vehicles and power plants, are more likely to bear children of low birth weight.
A recent study on exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and birthweight in rural-urban, mother-child cohort in Tamil Nadu, India, showed that a 10 microgram per cubic metre increase in PM2.5 exposures during pregnancy was associated with a 4 gram decrease in birth-weight. The study called for the “need to consider maternal PM2.5 exposures alongside other risk factors for low birthweight in India.”
Low birth weight is counted as a leading cause of child mortality in India besides prematurity, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases and other factors.
Government data underscores that “with under-five mortality rate in India at 43 per 1,000 live births, infant mortality rate at 34 per 1,000 live births and neonatal mortality rates at 25 per 1,000 live births, it is estimated that 10.8 lakh under-five children die annually.”
India continues to show impressive gains in reduction of child deaths with under-five deaths in India falling below the one million mark for the first time as per the latest UN estimates.
However, the estimates say “the share of neonatal to under-five mortality continues to increase due to faster decline in post neonatal deaths, with newborn deaths now contributing to 62 percent of under-five deaths, calling for greater investments in care before and during pregnancy and in the period around childbirth”.
According to Srikanth Nadadur, program officer in the Exposure, Response, and Technology Branch at the United States’ National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, developing foetuses are highly vulnerable to the negative health consequences associated with many environmental exposures, such as air pollution. Terming the placenta-based study interesting, Nadadur said more data is needed to establish a clear link between air pollution and adverse health effects during pregnancy.
“This particular study was looking at tiny particles of carbon that typically come from ambient air pollution resulting from burning fossil fuels,” Nadadur told Mongabay-India.
“In India, we do see that type of air pollution, however there is also a high prevalence of indoor air pollution sources, such as those that come from cookstoves, biomass burning and indoor cooking, which the study did not look at. That would be an interesting follow-up study to do as well,” he said.
In terms of research, Nadadur said, more work needs to be done linking different types of air pollution (indoor versus outdoor) to adverse health effects, as well as factoring the levels of the mothers’ exposure (higher levels seen in India, Mongolia or China).
On the same line, Pratap Kumar Padhy, who works on pollution biology, stressed that in India, along with outdoor air pollution, maternal and child health is also at greater risk from exposure to indoor air pollution (from using biomass fuel) where concentration of particulate matter is often many times higher than in outdoors.
“In our studies on tribal women of northeast India we found that women exposed to higher concentration of pollutants during cooking with fuel wood had lower pulmonary functions and more respiratory symptoms compared to women cooking with LPG,” Padhy, Associate Professor and former head at the department of environmental studies Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, said.
“Our study also reported that both PM2.5 and PM10 were associated with alteration in levels of haematological parameters (haemoglobin, platelet count, WBC and RBC) and antioxidants indicating oxidative stress in tribal women,” he said.
Exposure to high concentration of PM2.5 can lead to changes in blood parameters such as levels of haemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelet counts which in turn may adversely affect foetal growth, he said.
“The World Health Organisation has recommended three interim targets of PM2.5 levels for countries to achieve to reduce health risk. However, most Indian cities are far from achieving these targets. For India to achieve these targets, stringent policy measures are required along with advanced technologies and a will to follow the path of sustainable development,” Padhy added.