New Delhi, Sep 11, 2017: Urban floods are entirely manmade with poorly maintained drains, plastic bags, shrinking open spaces and climate change contributing to accumulation of water on roads after a heavy downpour, experts say.
They said that steps such as rainwater harvesting, ban on use of plastic bags and better use of weather forecasts will go a long way in helping tackle flooding in cities after rains.
Heavy downpours have been disrupting normal life in almost all metro cities in India, with Mumbai bearing the brunt last month which led to death of at least six persons.
Experts said a range of factors including rapid migration to urban areas and “lackadaisical attitude” of civic authorities were among the factors that contribute to cities coming to a standstill after heavy rains.
They said citizens also have to behave responsibly and ensure that plastic bags or used food plates are not thrown in the open or in the neighbourhood drains.
V.K. Sharma, Senior Professor of Disaster Management at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), said the cities need a proper system of garbage collection and sewage disposal and regular cleaning of drains.
“It is true that poor drainage and sewage system is the real cause of urban flooding. There is also migration to cities which often leads to land encroachment and exerts pressure on the existing civic infrastructure,” Sharma told IANS.
Sharma said the urban planning has to have a long-term perspective and infrastructure should keep pace with growth of population. He said rain water harvesting should be made mandatory.
“There is also the need of fixing accountability of government officials and municipal authorities if drains are not properly cleaned. Strict penalties should be imposed on people throwing garbage in the open,” he said.
He said steps have been taken at some places to ban use of plastic bag but it should be enforced strictly.
“There is need to make people aware. This will also meet the larger goal of cleanliness,” he said.
Sharma said that prediction of the meteorological department are fairly accurate and authorities can issue timely alerts to people in case there is prediction of very heavy rainfall.
“This will also help prevent loss of life,” he said.
Santosh Kumar, a professor at the National Institute of Disaster Management with expertise in disaster risk reduction and policy planning, said climate change was also a factor in cities getting excessive rainfall.
“Urban flooding occurs when water flows into an urban region faster than it can be absorbed into the soil. Earlier, a city received such amount of rainfall in two to three weeks,” Kumar said, referring to Mumbai getting 350 mm rainfall on August 29-30.
He said the cities do not have spaces to absorb the excess water or to store it.
“Rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth have also contributed to drainage systems getting congested. These drains are not able to take the pressure of huge water accumulated due to heavy rain, leading to waterlogging,” Kumar told IANS.
He said steps should be taken to improve garbage disposal and ensure that plastics do not find their way to drains.
“Urban ecosystems comprising marshlands, wetlands, lakes and rivers have steadily deteriorated,” Kumar added.
Vinod Kumar Jain, director of NGO Tapas which works in revival of water bodies in Delhi, said “water harvesting can play a significant role in reducing the chances of flooding in urban areas.”
Rainwater harvesting refers to trapping and storing rainwater so that it can be used at a later time when the need arises.
Heavy rainfall in Delhi last month had flooded roads and caused huge traffic snarls. On August 19, many parts of Chandigarh were flooded due to heavy rains. Chennai had witnessed severe flooding in 2015 while floods in Mumbai in 2005 had killed over 500 people. (IANS)
Yoga is an age-old technique practiced since thousands of years and it is not a legacy of any one religion
Through Islamic yoga, we are trying to blend the ancient practice with Islamic chanting
I am a very good believer of Islam but there is a myth that only Hindus can practice yoga
Vadodara, Gujarat, August 22, 2017: Does only one religion have an exclusive right over yoga? Is yoga to be practiced by Hindu’s only? It’s is a long going debate if practicing yoga is permitted in Islam religion or not as it originated from being a form of Hindu worship. Different people of Muslim faith have contrasting opinions on it. Don’t worry! A city-based foundation called Tadbeer Foundation has come up with an uncommon way to spread yoga amongst Muslims. They have mixed yoga with Quranic recitation.
A special yoga session was organized by Tadbeer Foundation in which was attended by around 52 Muslim Women on August 20. The session was held at Taiyyebi Hall which is on Ajwa Road, Vadodara.
According to TNN report, Naasheta Bhaisaheb of the Tadbeer Foundation said, “Generally, women from our community stay away from doing yoga believing that it belongs to a particular faith. But yoga is an age-old technique practiced since thousands of years and it is not a legacy of any one religion. Through Islamic yoga, we are trying to blend the ancient practice with Islamic chanting,”
She added that the Islamic yoga is a completely a new concept altogether and in this practice, Quranic recitation gets blended along with various yogic posture in which Muslim Women try to enhance the physical benefits of yoga by adding a spiritual touch with recitation.
“The yoga session was specially designed by our spiritual leader Saiyyedna Haatim Zakiyuddin Saheb and my husband Dr. Zulqarnain Bhaisaheb, a homeopathy doctor,” said Bhaisaheb.
For this particular session, an international yoga expert – Shabanaben Lalawala came especially from Mumbai. He targeted common problems which women often suffer from like osteoarthritis of knees, back pain, frozen shoulders and hip pain among other diseases. Yoga can help in providing relief from diseases like these to an extent and can also prevent women from having such diseases if they practice yoga on a regular basis.
She added, “In this session, we focused on 5 asanas. From next session onwards, we will be focusing on problems related to diabetes, thyroid and so on.”
A local Muslim woman got herself a private yoga practitioner to help her with yoga postures. Fatema Lokhandwala, a 43-year-old woman, who holds a master’s degree in medical microbiology, said “I am a very good believer of Islam religion but there is a myth that only Hindus can practice yoga. Since last 4 years, I have been practicing yoga for which I got a private yoga practitioner. But the Islamic yoga that we did on Sunday was meant for physical, mental as well as spiritual upliftment and added more to what I was practicing so far,” mentions TNN report.
Shahina Chasmawalla, a 41-year-old lady, a resident of Vasna Road said “I am practicing yoga since last 5 years but Islamic yoga was a totally new concept for me. There is a taboo because of which some Muslim women don’t practice yoga. Anybody can practice yoga for its health benefits.”
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Braid chopping incidents reach Mumbai, as reports of three women’s hair being chopped off, showed up
One victim was combing her hair when she suddenly had a blackout
A lot of women have started wearing caps and dupattas as a precaution
New Delhi, August 18, 2017: The braid chopping incidents, that are shocking people across the country, have now made their way to Mumbai, as reports suggesting the hair of three women being chopped off have showed up.
The braids of two women were chopped in the Bhaykhala area of Mumbai, whereas an 18 year old girl, in the Wadala area, became another victim of the bizarre occurrence.
In the Bhaykhala incident, Roshan, a resident of the area, said that she was going to lie down on her bed, but started having severe headache.
Her husband, further states, that she was about to sleep, but then, felt like a small animal crossed her body. Her husband got hold of something and switched on the light, it was then, that they saw the chopped hair.
According to the ANI report, the victim immediately filed a complaint at the Agripada police station. The police, thereby sent the chopped hair for further investigation.
Hair of a woman named Anita, were chopped off at Wednesday evening, in what came as the second incident in a Mumbai area
The woman, reportedly, was combing her hair, when she suddenly had a blackout followed by a severe headache.
Anita was asked by her aunt to rest, and when she started to feel better, she was struck with the realization that her hair were chopped. She was rushed to the hospital, and was later discharged.
In the third incident, a 40-year-old woman’s braid was chopped off, in the Agripada area.
A dramatic increase in the number of these ‘braid chopping’ incidents, has left the country in furor. A lot of women, out of fear, have started wearing caps and dupattas for protection, while some have even engraved verses from Quran, on the doors of their residences.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha