Monthly Archives: January 2011

The future of biodiversity in India


 

nagarhole national park
plant biodiversity

 

We have seen enough tree-fells for widening of roads, carelessness on the part of the railways which has taken lives of innocent elephants in West Bengal and inability to take care of the crop fields during heavy rains. We are the cause of our own destruction. To state that ‘Man has become extremely foolish along with unquenched greed in the process of attaining better standards of living’ is not an overstating in any way. We rely on the natural resources for every need but we do not care if any exploitation has crossed the limit. What is the difference between us and the animals if we do not exhibit the so called ‘humanity’ that is only a special gift by God to human beings? Selfless service is becoming rare in these busy lives. We do not take care of the living beings around us anymore. This shall not continue.

Biodiversity is the greatest resource that has to be guarded and protected for it to support human life on earth. Everyone knows this fact and yet we have turned a deaf ear to it. If we think we are self-sustained in this world without the biodiversity around us, we are never more mistaken than now. Biodiversity in India is a very beautiful way of showing that we care for our country. We must take active part in protecting the flora and fauna around us. We have been hearing so many incidents about elephants being killed or injured badly to death in the train accidents. This situation has arisen because the wildlife has no place to go because we have started encroaching their habitat. We go to the forests and gather so much wood most of which is wasted. We do not need to exploit more of nature’s resources to live happily. The campaigns launched by several non-profit organizations come to no use if we do nothing to mobilize people and make them ‘work’. They must see the loss they incur by not protecting the environment around us.

It must be made compulsory, and by this I mean an act must be passed that states that every citizen in the country of India has to plant a tree on his/her birthday and nourish it year after year. If we take this campaign to all state governments and make them understand that this is not only feasible but also greatly beneficial for the future generations which would otherwise see no more floras around them. This drive and momentum to plant trees has to come up at a rapid pace in India and we inculcate the habit of being responsible; it is an essential quality for human beings in an aesthetic way also. The only difference I feel between India and other developed nations is that they take care of their environment equally well inspite of exploiting nature’s resources. For every tree cut they make thousands of their citizens use non-CFL bulbs in their houses. We see so much greenery and cleanliness in developed nations because of responsible citizens, who want their country green and clean. We lack this spirit and this leads to litters around the dustbins inspite of “Use Me”, litters in public places inspite of “Do not litter” boards.

India is a land of hard-working and intelligent people and there are lakhs of Graduates coming out of colleges each year. If each graduate makes it his/her duty to educate his/her family about the scheme of planting trees for every occasion/festival, it would reap a lot of benefits. The movement can become the second GREEN revolution in India. We have gained so much during our long period of study until graduation and are working in software companies which basically involve computers; if we dedicate some of our office hours explaining our colleagues about the kind of development that we can achieve when the surroundings look greener, it would be just about months’ time when everyone would follow the custom of planting trees. What we need is innovation from young people who can save this earth from the apocalypse caused by man. We need responsible human beings. We often see these statements in blogs, newspaper articles and such but a true and responsible citizen of a country would follow what he preaches and believes.

What we must learn is that development and change are essential in the growth of a nation but not at the cost of its natural resources. There must not be disproportion between what we use and what we foster.  We know that animals have this sense of danger during natural calamities. Even during the Tsunami that struck the coast of India, most of the animals and zoos have sensed the danger of that approaching calamity and have moved to safe havens, away from the danger. Even when technology fails to predict such disasters, animals come to use. We can follow the patterns of animals if they are conserved. They must feel that humans are there to protect them. Leaving them in their natural habitat allows them to think so. Once we try to disturb the settings in which they flourish, they tend to lose their natural power of detection of approaching dangers. This is very important to humans because there is a lot of imbalance caused by man. India can become the savior for preserving wildlife if it takes necessary measures and prevents careless mistakes starting today. For example, how difficult would it be to fence the lining of the railway tracks near forest areas that have wildlife in them? We must prove that we care about wildlife by taking such necessary and important measures.

As the bulk of India’s biodiversity is in the forests, we must be careful and prevent poachers from taking lives of endangered species. Forest degradation is another serious problem afflicting the biodiversity in India. Industrialisation of nations is required, but the land for industrialization need not be derived from forest lands. Forest cover lost so far has to be restored. The mangroves of West Bengal are a great resource and are to be protected by the tribals who reside in the Sunderbans. Such Protected Areas have to be given more security against poachers, hunters and special men have to be deployed to monitor such anti-environmental activities. As a concluding note, I feel India’s future in Biodiversity will be safe if every citizen works towards this goal. Making the environment the way we want it to be is not the solution to the problem. Restoring it to the condition in which it was presented to us by nature would in some way reap benefits to human race, if it plans to exist for some more time. It is important to realize that biodiversity protection and conservation is also important for the economic development of a nation. Let’s make biodiversity a religion instead of cricket or football. Let’s start working towards betterment of our own surroundings. Feel for the cause of a better future, a better India, equipped with the correct tools to repair the damage caused.

kaveri nisarga dhama
animal biodiversity

 

 

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Sshhhhhhh.. koi hai?


We are aware of the science behind seeing an object with our eyes. What is it about invisibility that is so baffling to us? It has been a concept that many writers have used in their novels to captivate the readers, but Scientists from Scotland have claimed that making objects that can ‘hide’ anything are possible. The basic principle behind the human eye ‘seeing’ an object is ‘reflection’. Light rays hitting the object bounce back to our eyes enabling us a clear vision of that object/person. New materials are required to make things like ‘invisibility cloaks’ as in the Harry Potter series that would hide objects/people. These materials are called Metamaterials or Exomaterials. These materials bounce the light falling on them in different directions away from the human eye enabling invisibility.

HP with body gone under IC
Invisibility achieved in movies

It is analogous to a huge rock in the center of a swift flowing river where the water follows the path of the curvature of the rock when it encounters it. The metamaterials, which are man-made materials, get their properties from the structure of the material from which they have been engineered. These metamaterials have a negative refractive index. Refractive Index is the measure of the speed of light when it travels in a medium different from free space/vacuum. The metamaterials have lot of applications in aerospace field, sensors, battle-field communication etc and involves research in many fields of engineering such as electrical, material science, nanoscience and solid state physics. All in all, research in this field is exciting and one must look forward to more developments that might make an ‘invisible’ future a reality.

 

A new decade awaits!


 

We were 12 years a decade ago and we all are aware of the changes our life has  taken. We have taken shape as individuals leaving our silly, confused, bubbling teenage behind. All those years  were mere memories we can long cherish and move forward. We are now responsible citizens who understand the politics of our nation and the world; in fact we can take control of our lives with even more confidence. May this new decade bring in more self-confidence and more youth to take control of their society as well. Let us live for a cause, a better society. Let’s make this a year in which we do our best to stop cutting down of trees on roadsides, stop littering, spitting and smoking in public places, stop encouraging the government offices and mostly politicians who have made our country corrupt and any such anti constitutional activity that bothers us and that has pricked our conscience whenever we were victims of such acts. Lets condemn the government openly by constitutional means; we have the RTI at hand. Lets ask(demand) for information regarding the earnings of our so called ‘people’s representatives’ and expose more scandals that would rid our nation of corrupt officials and politicians. Lets not waste our money when we know its not being used for development! We are the country and we are the leaders.
We are now more geared up to face the world. We have developed more insight into the mundane events in life. We have overcome so many hurdles to make a mark for ourself in this society. We, now, are the future of India. We have more responsibility than our ancestors for developing a noble society. The values that we have developed during our childhood and teen years are the base on which we stand now and build our future. We need to take every step from now onward with great ‘skill’ and care. Skill comes before care because of the dynamically changing society, which has become the result of brainstorming ideas in all fields that influence us. We ought to exercise skill for the decisions we make and place foot on firm ground.
Steps for future will be strong when we develop a sense of responsibility to change with the world. This change has always been noted for the societal good. When we change ourselves in a ‘good’ way, we see the change in a ‘good’ way in the society. Thus it is necessary to use the ken of knowledge we have, to build skyscraping architectures of beautiful lives. Lets work together for bettering each other’s lives. Lets be responsible citizens from now on. The country needs our services in this unpredictable age and we ought to do good and be good to reform the society. Lets be innovative, creative and imaginative in working for development of a strong nation. Lets not give in to illegal, immoral practices and be truthful citizens that our motherland is proud of having produced. Jai Hind! Love my India, love my Indians.
Tejasvi

 

 

Society in a “family”


I have visited my native place, Visakhapatnam and stayed there for the past 12 days. It has been a special experience for me and I would never forget it. I have developed the habit of learning at every step of my life; so the past few days have been a real learning experience for me. I stayed with my entire family which included my cousins and other close relations, like how a typical Indian joint family existed in olden days. I have learnt how to manage stuff I never knew how to, before these 12 days It has been a rewarding experience to get to know my relatives better and to spend time with my cousins, who I rarely meet. I have understood the value of relationships and their importance in life from my trip to Vizag. I have learnt how to be strong in trying situations from my dad. He has worked hard day and night this year end to keep the family intact and I have never seen him lose his cool. He was so very concerned about me as he was about some far off relatives. The situation for which I had to stay along with my relatives was a grieving one but it was a great experience because I have never seen the culture of a Joint family, though my father has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. All in all I had the opportunity to live the life of a real Indian(for 12 days), which I feel everyone must experience. The concept of Nuclear families is simpler in implementation but the values that a joint family can imbue in a child is the fruit that can be born only by staying in a joint family. I heartily wish everyone a prosperous New Year with their Joint Families! Don’t make Joint family system a thing of the past, save our culture for the future generations!