A First-Of-Its-Kind Magazine On Environment Which Is For Nature, Of Nature, By Us (RNI No.: UPBIL/2016/66220)

Support Us
Magazine Subcription

Tell All

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

Tell All

Tell All

Tell All

Follow education, awareness, penalty formula

We asked: Though ‘manjha’ is legally banned, there are still bunches of rowdy kids in every colony who go around with ‘langar’ (sharp thread with a stone or piece of wood tied at one end) and target wires and trees. Birds get caught in them and get grievously (sometimes fatally) injured. These kids also damage bird nests. Nothing much is done against them and they take advantage of their ‘kid’ status. What according to you is the way to deal with them?

Children have died, birds are killed everyday, some governments have banned the abrasive strings that kite flyers use but Chinese Manjha continues to be available in Indian markets. Interestingly, the Chinese Manjha is not manufactured in China but is locally made in Indian markets. Made of nylon or synthetic threads — which don't break as easily as the cotton threads — and coated with glass or metal dust to make them sharper, the Chinese Manjha gets its name because of its cheap price. And we Indians usually assume that anything that’s cheaper is Chinese. However, a simple Google search will show you a list stories where children and birds have either been injured or killed due to the use of these cheap glass-coated kite threads. Last year alone, there were multiple cases of children and birds dying, especially on the days of Basant Panchmi, Mankar Sankranti and Independence Day. The Chinese Manjha is extremely fatal, especially for birds. If it doesn’t kill, it often permanently damages a bird’s ability to fly its wings again. Wildlife groups have, thus, rightly been advocating against the use of the killer thread, and pushing for governments to completely ban the sale of Chinese Manjha. Having said that, a ban of Chinese Manjha has not been extremely successful. The Delhi and Gujarat governments have banned the Chinese Manjha; the National Green Tribunal (NGT) too had imposed a nationwide interim ban on the Chinese Manjha last year, citing threat to environment, but the Chinese Manjha is still a threat. And it will continue to be threat for both children and birds for as long as our collective conscious doesn't awaken. Over the years, demand for the thread that cuts like a razor has only increased. Kite flying is a not just a recreational sport but has been a competitive sport for decades. The competitive nature of the game, coupled with the cheap price of the glass-laced synthetic thread, has pushed the demand for the Chinese Manjha higher. Imposing bans only opens channels for black market. Thus, a ban alone is not the solution to this problem unless kite flyers decide to make a conscious decision to go back to cotton threads that do not endanger our birds in the sky or children flying the kites. Let’s not let our enjoyment get in the way of our own lives or those that fly over our heads. Upma Chaturvedi, Principal, Avadh Girls' Degree College

The best way to deal with such situation is making the kids and their family aware of the damage caused by such activities. We have to identify such activity locations and a team should visit such locations and through various communication media such as Nukkar Natak, posters, hoardings and leaflets we should make the kids and the residents of that locality aware that their activity is so damaging that it may take the lives of the birds and also destroy their nests which will not only destroy the beauty provided by the Nature but also destroy a creature responsible for the balance of ecological system. We will have to inform them how every organism-plants animals and birds make ecological balance so why they are necessary to be conserved. They should be told how some people put water in pots in their lawns and on roof in summer to save the lives of birds then how can we allow the birds to die due to such activities. Some volunteers may also come out of such localities to help prevent and stop such activities. Respective schools may also be contacted with a request to inform and teach their students, say at the time of morning assembly, that such activities are against the society and the environment and should not be done. VP Srivastava, MSc, LLB, MSW, Member, Commercial Tax Tribunal (Retd) & President C-Carbons

"Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds." Let's nourish and sensitize our 'kids' to be ‘fruitful seeds’ and not ‘useless weeds’. Due to edged competition, nuclear families, more urbanization and less exposure to environment and wildlife, the kids of today are not at all sensitive towards conservation. Though they may be better educated than the previous generations, somewhere down they lane they lack values and life skills. We may not be in a position to punish them as per laws due to their tender age but at the same time we should neither let them get away. Triumph to hurt a life-form takes as back to our animal instinct. How can one harm a life-form which he cannot create—this has to be told to them? The conscious of good and bad are rewarded and punished has to be brought to the attention of the little ones. Awareness should be created and these kids should be penalized by making them take care of the injured birds. If this happens then we can think of a better and more sensitive generation to come. A generation that would learn to follow rules, be humble and kind, take care of the vulnerable and be more sensitive towards ecological conservation. Vidhi Tekwani, (Special Educator and counsellor).The Millennium School

Its is an offense to sell manjha with any kind of coating over it under Section 5 and 15 of Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has passed an interim prohibitory order banning the procurement, stocking, sale, and use of manjha made of nylon thread - which is also called Chinese dor - as well as other sharp material, including synthetic or cotton thread coated with glass or other hazardous compounds, until the next hearing on 1 February 2017.Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison, by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures & the whole Nature in its beauty. Just how destructive does an entertainment preference have to be before we decide to get joy from something else— something more humane? If contributing to the suffering of hundreds of animals that live miserable lives and (quite often) die in horrific ways isn't motivating, what would be? And if you are tempted to put off these questions of conscience to say not now, then when? In today’s world it is essential to meet and celebrate smallest of things with people in person as social media has taken over our gatherings and has fabricated and limited the term ‘My People’ just to Facebook tags and tweets. But why shall gathering come with cost of other’s life. While taking action against such shop keepers on 14th Jan, 2016  I saw many young kids, hardly 13-14 years old, demanding ‘pakka manjha’ from shopkeepers. Kids these days have very high energy, it’s up to us how we channelize it. They can either go out and play destructive games or the same kids can go for long treks and do bird watching, get educated about their natural environment, get educated about the behavior of animals, birds and learn signs of Nature.  It is important to get your hands dirty when you are young but it is up to us how— either get hands blooded by destructing nests, harming Nature or go and fall in love with it. Parents, teachers, mentors and every person who is capable of educating others need to take it up now and explain the true meaning of the enjoyment. Nirali Rohit Koradia, Animal rights activist at People For Animals

Kite flying is something of a national pastime, and is even an integral part of many of our spring festivals like Makar Sankranti and Pongal. What’s problematic, though, is manjha - nylon strings coated with crushed glass or metal, used for cutting down other kites during competitions. While they’ve become increasingly popular in the last decade, the strings of such kites are lethal to both humans and animals, and as such were singled out for an interim ban by the Green Tribunal in December 2016. The impact manjha kite strings can have on wildlife is considerable. Birds are the worst affected, as it’s all too easy for them to become entangled in the almost-invisible kite wires, resulting in serious injuries or death. The strings can also disturb their nests. With kite-flying a popular pastime, what’s the best way to tackle the issue? Many kite flyers are children, many of whom are naturally compassionate. Educating this younger generation about both the environmental impact and danger to humans from manjha has the potential to bring about lasting change. Here are some ideas for building awareness in your own community:    Arrange a talk by a wildlife experts/NGO in a community space or school. Create posters to display in prominent areas. Include information about where residents can take wounded birds for treatment. Start a social media campaign, to encourage youth to pledge not to use glass-coated kite strings. Organise a manjha-free kite-flying festival using cotton string. Start a petition to ensure that the government extends and upholds the interim ban. Arrange a meeting with law-enforcers, to ensure that they are aware of the existing bans on the practice.

NG Jayasimha, MD, Humane Society International

They are kids,  they are just like the clay which can be molded into whatever the adults want. The best way is to prevent them by identifying the places from where they get the 'manjha', then convincing those shopkeepers to not sell them as it is banned . This could be done if some people approach these shops in a group and warn them. But if they don't  pay heed, then legal action should be taken against them. When the kids won't be able to buy it, they won't be able to make  use of it. Another way is to get the kids and their parents counselled; first individually and then collectively. In those counselling sessions they should be made aware about the harmful consequences of their actions. Their ‘kididsh’ activities lead to dire consequences for the birds and other small animals. Even their parents should be asked to keep an eye on them as what they do and how they play and what they play with. There is one way too but it'd probably be a long process and will teach them a lesson for life. Keeping a pet and caring and catering to all its needs will make them get closer to the animals and love them and protect them as well. Even gardening and planting saplings would inculcate feelings of love for Nature, love for flora and fauna. They will grow in the environment in which they will learn to grow with plants and animals around and this will teach them how to live in harmony with the Nature. There could be other methods too like making them watch videos to aware them, telling story to them et cetera. But scolding them and scaring them won't help them in the long run and that might take them in the wrong direction as well. So the milder way are better and more effective in making them understand, though they may be a bit time taking. Neha Pandey, undergraduate, Avadh Girls' Degree College

 Topic of the month: What are the reasons that come in the way of following guidelines for proper disposal of waste by individuals? You may send your views in 200 words at [email protected]. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.


May 2017

Burning releases pollutants that are directly inhaled

We asked: Some people are taking advantage of Swachch Bharat Mission by burning garbage in the open thereby polluting the environment. How do you think we can change the situation & help make Swachchta Abhiyan a success in true sense? 

Burning garbage not only adds to soil pollution, if there is plastic being burnt, but also becomes a major source of air pollution as it emits harmful gases while burning. Burning of garbage is called one of the worst air polluting acts because it remains directly in breathing zone of human beings. Burning does not make the waste disappear but transforms it into a formidable pollution problem which also can cause bacterial diseases, typhoid, malaria etc. and it is also against the law for most homeowners. Now a days garbage has changed totally. Today's household trash contains a lot of plastics and paper treated with chemicals coatings, and inks that’s why burning of these matters is definitely more harmful for our surroundings. Pollutants from backyard burning of trash are released primarily into the air and close to ground level where they are easily inhaled with no pollution controls. The key solution for garbage pollution lies in proper management of solid waste. Apart from that there are three slogans to address this issue; reduce, reuse and recycle. In this way garbage pollution issue could be solved with simply community efforts. Here reduce means to generate garbage less means fully use the thing and then treat it as garbage like write on every inch of a paper and then throw it as useless. Similarly reuse means if possible use again and again an item instead of throwing it away; for example if you buy oil in a bottle so after consuming that oil use the bottle to keep any other liquid item in it like liquid soap or dish washer liquid etc. Recycle means instead of disposing of garbage in landfill site sort out from it the things which can be made reusable after slight treatment to it like cans, tins, bottles etc. Manish Yadav, Research Scholar (SRA), Deptt. Of Orthopaedic Surgery, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a campaign by the Government of India to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country.' The campaign was officially launched on October 2, 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is India's largest ever cleanliness drive with three million government employees, and especially school and college students from all parts of India, participating in the campaign. While its main objectives is to eliminate open defecation through construction of individual, cluster and community toilets, it also exhorted people to fulfill Mahatama Gandhi's vision of clean India. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a massive movement that seeks to create a clean India. As clean India is the best tribute we can pay to Bapu. Waste management is a basic necessity for populations around the world that includes transporting, sorting and recycling waste in all its forms. Unfortunately, waste management practices nowadays are neither uniform nor consistent within countries. One of my biggest concerns at the moment is air pollution which has become a even massive issue because of the increased trend of burning the garbage in the open under the name of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The smoke from the waste burning activity has a serious effect on our environment. Every time there is a waste burning activity, whether it is caused by humans or is a natural occurrence, it puts pollutants like carbon dioxide, mercury and acid into the atmosphere. These chemicals damage the environment and can cause a lot of different respiratory diseases, disruption of effects of the body’s hormone system, inhibition of growth and development of children, immune diseases, organ failure, cancer and even death
We should remember that educating the public on the dangers of burning plastic and other garbage is not the end to the problem. But also bring up a good solution is equally important. A culture of recycling should be introduced to our society in order to reduce waste and environmental damages caused by our modern lifestyles and way of living. The first step is that people should start sorting waste at their homes and reduce waste production, popularize the use of more and more Biogas installer. Volunteers and organizations should take up the concept of living in harmony with Nature. Yashi Shukla, BCom 3rd year, Avadh Girls' Degree College

Clean, healthy, livable environment is very basic for human survival. The pathetic state of sanitation in India has necessitated the events like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. One question that strikes my mind is when we can’t live in dirty house so why are we forced to live in a dirty city, state/country. The answer is evident in our surroundings and defined by just one word NIMBY which means Not In My Back Yard, i.e. we clean our houses and immediate surroundings and throwing waste outside, without considering long run repercussions both in time and space. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has given liberty to our civilized people to burn waste here and there without considering the it’s atmospheric structure of that area. When will our countrymen learn and practice cleanliness is not only for their home and themselves but for their surroundings and society as a whole? We need to take responsibility for sustainable green environment then only the very aim of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan will be achieved. Barkha Bhalla, Assistant Professor, Dept of Geography, Avadh Girls Degree college

Swachch Bharat mission was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 2nd October, 2014 with a view to create clean India. Some people are taking advantage of this mission by burning garbage in the open which in turn pollutes the environment. People are ignorant of the fact that open burning of the garbage releases a hazardous mixture of cancer-causing compounds and other toxic substances. It not only deteriorates the health of the people but also has adverse effect on the environment. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “We should be the change we wish to see in the society”. On personal level we can contribute significantly in making the Swachch Bharat mission a true success. For this every citizen has to come forward and help the country. Waste should neither be burnt nor dumped in the open. Students are the future of India. Hence, teaching them means teaching a generation. They should try to make the people aware and should prevent them from polluting the environment. Jyoti Tiwari, undergratuate, AGDC

Oct 2, 2014 was the day when 14th Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi started the Clean India Campaign or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with a view to make India neat and clean in an allotted time. Many great celebrities such as Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan, Anil Ambani, Baba Ramdev and many more were selected to propagate the campaign. But, do we actually notice any serious change in the mentality of the people? I suppose not. In fact, we all must have noticed that many people are actually taking advantage of this campaign and burning the garbage in the open. I believe it is only because of a lack of awareness. They do not realise what serious implications such activities might have. Firstly burning garbage creates air pollution which itself is a cause of many health problems. Secondly at times people leave the simmering waste in open which causes fire accidents. Thirdly such activities also hamper the image of our country. So what can be the solutions to these problems? I believe that government and municipal corporation should actually come forward to tackle this. Creating awareness can be the next solution. Various promotional campaigns and events should be initiated. Instead of burning garbage, door-to-door garbage collection facility should be provided. Volunteers should be made to promote this campaign. Apart from these solutions, certain strict laws and rules should also be made. Heavy fines should be put on the person engaging in such activities. Therefore, we all should stand together and make our country clean because this cannot be done by only one person. Ritu Yadav, BA final, AGDC

Topic of the month: Though ‘manjha’ is legally banned, there are still bunches of rowdy kids in every colony who go around with ‘langar’ (sharp thread with a stone or piece of wood tied at one end) and target wires and trees. Birds get caught in them and get grievously (sometimes fatally) injured. These kids also damage bird nests. Nothing much is done against them and they take advantage of their ‘kid’ status. What according to you is the way to deal with these kids with perverse tendencies? You may send your views in 200 words at [email protected]. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.



Set mentality & lack of punishments responsible

We Asked: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of bad habits like spitting and urinating by the roadside?

‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’! We must have heard this quote many times, but have we ever thought what it actually means. It simply means that God lives in a neat and clean place. But I believe that this thought has completely vanished from the minds of most people in India. They are involved in dirty habits like spitting and urinating by roadsides and that to without any feeling of fear and shame. So who should we actually blame for this situation? Is it the government, the municipal authorities or is it the people themselves who have actually forgotten their basic moral values? Thus the question: What should be the actual measures to deal with such people? Should we put heavy fines, make strict laws and properly implement them? But I believe that all these steps cannot be followed or learnt by people overnight. This should be taught from the very elementary level. Other ways to deal with such people and situation are that proper public toilets should be made and should be kept neat and clean. Awareness regarding various diseases caused by such activities is another step that should be taken. We need to understand that involving in such activities also hampers the image of our country. I would like to thank PM Modi for his historic step towards making our countrymen fully aware about cleanliness and starting the initiative called ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Now it is on us to realise our duties and responsibilities and maintain cleanliness in public places to make our present as well as future better. Lt Sachin Yadav, Indian Army

As it has been said ‘old habits die hard’ and especially the ones that come to us as legacy. We, humans, and apes were evolved from the same ancestors and this can be proven by a simple example that I am about to give. We unconsciously imitate others whether the other person is doing a right thing or a wrong one. Even with laws made by the government, it is rather too difficult for the people to get rid of dirty habits such as spitting and urinating by roadside. Even campaigners fail to influence these people. The other reason I personally found was that some people just like to defy the law and hence get a cheap thrill out of it. When done on a regular basis, it becomes their habit. Some of the denizens think of roadsides as their ‘personal yet impersonal’ property so they think can get away with just anything. But another very important reason is that there are very few public toilets in comparison to the population of our country. The ones that are there are not clean and hence risky as using them may cause diseases and infections. So people avoid them. This habit of spitting and urinating by the roadside can be rid of only and only if the government and the other non- governmental organisations come together and start undertaking ‘anti- littering’ policing  and fine such people who are found doing so. Also all the vendors and ‘gumti walas’ need to be removed especially near the premises of schools, colleges, offices and important  monuments if we want to keep the area clean. I am not talking about getting them unemployed but rather 're-employed' in a better way. Also steps should be taken to keep all public toilets clean and get many more constructed.
JP Pandey, ex-Airman currently working in the Indian railways (RPF)

When it comes to bad habits everyone has difficulty in getting rid of them. It feels disgusting seeing even educated and good jobholders doing the spitting, urinating stuff in full public view. Don’t we have public toilets? We do have them with the minimum charges but every time I go out of my house, I find men— educated ones too— urinating by the roadsides. Why do people find it so difficult to get rid of such habits? Obviously as they are habits, they won’t go away easily. There are few other reasons too like the kind of upbringing they have had. ‘Boys can bathe outside and urinate or spit just anywhere’ kind of mentality. Hence, guys who are exposed to such mindset from childhood can’t get rid of these habits easily. There are psychological factors too. If people are justified by their acts they don’t tend to change them and according to such people spitting and urinating in public is not a bad kind. By saying ‘boys can…anywhere’ we knowingly or unknowingly give boys the liberty of doing things that will also affect us. People also don’t bother about the public property. Now, the mentally that comes in play: It’s not ours, it belongs to the public and so we can do whatever we wish to it, who would care! When they don’t bother, then why will they take care? They will rather influence others too into spoiling the public property. Eating tobacco makes people addictive and they are also forced to chew such things and spit. Tobacco industries are not banned so habits are not cured. Such things can be controlled only when the ‘defaulters’ are regularly made to realize their mistake and put to shame. They will never stop doing it until there are strict rules or penalties and fines. They also lack self realization, if people themselves realize they are doing something wrong they will stop but according to them they are right.  Spitting and urinating by roadside is not given a great importance as a civic problem, thus this unholy practice continues.
Rajlaxmi Swain, BA III, National P G College

Habits never go that easily and you really have to work hard for a change in yourself. Spitting and urinating by roadsides is a psychological problem. Spitting in public places is like a trend in our country. People like to spit anywhere they want to. Men urinate by roadsides in full public view. The problem with them is either they are too lazy or illiterate, or think they are too smart! I mean, our Prime Minister has started the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so that such people can learn the importance of cleanliness, but no, they would rather stick to their dirty habits, especially when outside their offices or colleges. Even if there are dustbins, they would rather stain the walls! They will only learn if stern action, like a fine of Rs 2,000, is initiated against them. There are public toilets but people would not use them because they do not wish to shell out Rs 2 for the facility. I wish to ask: How rich are you going to become after saving such a small amount? Here too the police should not spare the rod and give a good thrashing to the ‘culprits’ if they catch them. People are no longer ‘civic’ or ‘civil’ and so they need a law to make them realize their duties and responsibilities towards the country. Only by doing so can we achieve our dream of a clean and beautiful India. Farah Qamaruddin Ahmad, undergraduate, AGDC

 Feb 2017

Strays are our support system

We asked: Do people need to adopt a more sensitive & tolerant attitude towards stray in their colonies?

Daboo, Julie, Ruby, Bhoora, Blackie-are some of the names of the stray dogs along with a mule they called Ass that my daughter and her friends had befriended much to the chagrin of the parents! It took a while for us grown-ups to realize that this friendship was not only beneficial to us but also that it was our duty to take care of them.  Daboo. A handsome alpha male dog of the area was always so protective of the children, pets and property of the residents there.  He formed quite a team with Bhoora and Blackie. Julie and Ruby provided puppies as little teddy bears to cuddle and comfort and hence give some softness in an otherwise hard and dreary life of the slum children and a form of joy to all others. This also taught valuable lessons in caring and development as the adults took turns to provide food shelter and medicines to the new mothers and their brood. The residents had a sense of security because these stray dogs kept a vigil on their houses at night and their children were safe from strangers. Not only this, this pack of strays also kept the menace of rodents at a minimum and would drive away the hoard of monkeys which would periodically descend on the colony. They also helped in keeping the area clean by scavenging thus reducing the heaps of garbage. The mule Ass, along with some stray cows, ate up all the organic waste. This observation brings us to the fact that many animals actually help people just by performing their natural roles in their environment. And we benefit from them for free. Thus we developed a symbiotic relationship with our strays.  “A society can be measured by how it treats its weakest members”?  It’s so easy to do nothing sometimes… turn away from a needy animal. But if we do this we must really look deep in our conscience and think that we humans are the last court of appeal for the animals. They have nowhere else to go. The Jains of India made concern for animal life an important feature of their religious life. In Spartan Greece, they would punish a child who was found guilty of cruelty to an animal, with death. The Hindus teach that some animals will, when ready, take the next step into human-like self-consciousness and vice-versa.  In the mean-time animals are our responsibility and we have to take care of them. Building upon this minimalist approach, caring may be defined as everything we do directly to help these strays that are to satisfy their basic needs for food, water, shelter, medical care, and protection from harm. Thus for us, it is not only ‘what’ or ‘if’ we get from the animals but our moral obligation to tolerate and protect at least all those animals that we come across in our daily lives that is the strays! Manjul Pande Parvez, teacher, AGDC

  “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. – Mahatma Gandhi. Strays are an everyday sight in our country. Be it the streets or a colony, they are everywhere. Sometimes they wag their tails and are greeted by people with a lot of affection and sometimes they are abused in the most horrifying ways. India has about 30 million stray animals. They are usually malnourished, neglected and thrive on waste food and garbage. People tend to look at strays as a nuisance but rarely do they stop for a moment to think that this is a living creature suffering because of its fate. Most people tend to have a very hostile attitude towards strays and want to get rid of them at any cost. People complain about the increase in the population of the strays but they do not take any action to help control the number of strays. The simple solution is getting in touch with the local NGOs and the municipality for their sterilization and vaccination. Sterilization ensures that the strays do not multiply and vaccination makes a stray infection-free and healthy. Stray animals are thirsty for love and affection. If you give them a little love, they will return it to you manifold. I firmly believe that people need to adopt a more sensitive and tolerant attitude towards strays in their colony and work towards their welfare. After all, their welfare will result in our welfare. Tanya Barwal, lawyer, Peoples For Animals

People should understand that strays too are living beings like us and also created by the God. They have full right to live on the Earth just like us. They have a right to road, to resources and to protection (life). If one cannot feed them, he/she also does not have a right to abuse them. Stray dogs are more loyal than human beings.  They help us in many ways and also too guard our colonies unasked. People should teach their children to be polite and kind towards the stray dogs. If they show affection towards the stray, they would never bite them. The idea is to learn the art of peaceful co-existence. Sam, office assistant, Allahabad Public School

Next month’s topic: Why do people find it so hard to get rid of dirty habits like spitting, urinating by the roads?


Jan 2017

Heavily contaminated air & smog cause health hazards

We Asked: Should smoke emitting factories in cities be told to restrict work during winters?

YES, smoke emitting factories in cities should be told to restrict work during winters with an alternate means of manufacturing which does not cause pollution. The factories may use the same premises and same labour maybe with a different means of production technique like restrict use of gasoline and switch to a better burning fuel or use of electric power during winters. This is the need of the hour add we all know that as winter progresses in the months of December and January, the haze, mist or fog gets extended and these pollutants remain suspended in the atmosphere for longer duration of times, sometimes even days. People experience a wide range of health hazard from being exposed to air pollution such as pneumonia, bronchitis, lung cancer and emphysema to name a few. We need to take a measure which in a country like India is sensitive towards the economic generation of the factory workers and at the same tone restricts the emission of harmful smoke suspended in the fog for days causing health issues of the people residing in the city.
Mayank Tekwani, Amity International School, Gomti Nagar

"The freezing fog wrapped around her like a blanket. The everyday familiar sights of the street lay mysterious, hiding, looming out at her in their whitened haze..." The aforementioned lines are a clear description of the urban mornings of the winter months. The otherwise bright beginnings are now marked by a thick, almost tangible veil, obscured views and light barely manages to penetrate even by noon. The cities nowadays are engulfed by a thick smoky fog all day long, popularly known as smog. An increasing botheration for the Indian Meteorological Department, the problem of smog is exclusive to the urban agglomerations. In layman's language, smog is a mixture of smoke, soot and fog that subsides over the cities during winter mornings and does not dissipate even till noon. Even minor exposure to this mixture of hazardous gases and vapour can be responsible for any ailment from minor pains, irritation, and inflammation of tissues to deadly pulmonary diseases, pneumonia, asthma attacks etc. A popular solution becomes the restriction of smoke emission by factories during winters primarily and otherwise as well. Data shows that among the major cities, Delhi faces an acute problem of smog but Kolkata and Mumbai don't. The reason given is the presence of heavy industrial area in and around the NCR. Smoke emissions from as far as the Ludhiana industrial belt gravely affects the weather of Delhi. Thus, restrictions on the emissions of smoke by factories should be imposed. If not so, use of electrostatic smoke precipitators must be propagated and moral suasion to reduce emissions must be adhered to. It is believed that such measures have the potential to excessively contribute in containing the smog levels.
Arushi Kumar, perusing Masters in Economics, University of Lucknow

As winter arrives, the air over the north Indian plains becomes more polluted than during the spring and summer. The major problem of pollution during winter is caused by particles of soot and other contaminants suspended in the air, which are 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM 2.5). Due to this small size they get trapped in the lungs. It is of great concern to public health, as it has been found to cause lung cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This is also reason why people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases like asthma are more prone to health issues during winter. So, why is PM 2.5 so high in winter? During the winter months, cool air stagnates over the earth, keeping pollution close to the ground where people breathe. The winter fog worsens the problem. During winter people burn coal/wood to heat their homes and also around the months of October/November the farmers burn the stubble off their fields. Idling vehicles add to the problem. During spring and summer, the warm air moves up and drives pollution out, so the average pollution at ground level decreases during the afternoon. Coal based industries should be regulated and negotiated during winter months. Brick Kiln etc. must be shut down. Jyoti Tripathi, homemaker

Next month’s topic: Do people need to adopt a more sensitive & tolerant attitude towards stray in their colonies?


Dec 2016

Lucknow needs a Delhi-like campaign against air pollution

Yes, Lucknow needs a Delhi like public awareness and awakening campaign to tackle rising air pollution. If Delhi was gasping for breath on 5th and 6th of November, Lucknow found itself in the same situation only a couple of days later. Though Delhi smog was attributed to bursting of crackers during Diwali , Lucknow's condition was thought to be complicated by the large number of diesel vehicle that came into the city on account of a huge political rally. Though the problem may be the same, every city is different and so is Lucknow. It has lesser population of people and fewer vehicles than Delhi. It also has the advantage of a very well placed network of cycle track throughout the city which Delhi does not have. So, creating awareness about air pollution and motivating people to use cycle to go to school and office as a step to control air pollution will surely work. Walking small distances, using public transport and opting for carpool should be given publicity. School children and others who use cycle should be awarded and projected as Role Models or brand ambassadors. This will motivates others to follow their example. This will help secure pollution free winters. Pollution in winters makes breathing difficult for every one but especially for children and adults with asthma. When I was little, l I too suffered from breathing problem so I know how difficult it is. One cannot run or play. Even for those who are healthy, pollution leads to ill heath. So we must urgently and immediately work together to undertake a Delhi like exercise and save our city and its people. But we also will need to make our roads safe for us children who use cycle. Encroachment from pavement will have to be removed so that people can walk safely.  Then only will we succeed. Utkarsh Kumar Singh, Class IX, Amity International School, Gomti Nagar

Despite not making it to the top of the list, as compiled by the WHO recently, Delhi is still known to feature prominently among the most polluted cities in India. While Gwalior came up as the most polluted of them all, followed by Allahabad and Raipur, Delhi made it to the fourth place nonetheless. Air pollution in Delhi is a pressing concern. With the ever-increasing number of automobiles and subsequent emissions, it is indeed a herculean task to curb the menace. The Delhi Government, led from the front by Arvind Kejriwal, pulled off air pollution and mitigation campaign that revolved around the odd-even formula, that is, only odd numbered automobiles to play the road on odd days and even numbered on even days. Despite some initial hiccups and problems with enforcement, the odd-even formula for automobiles checked the air pollution in Delhi to a considerable extent. Lucknow, making it to the ninth spot in the list of the most polluted cities in India, can also benefit by implementing the odd-even formula similar to the lines in Delhi. The need of the hour is to create awareness among people of all social strata and age groups. While the odd-even formula might be a good idea to curb air pollution, there are may other methods that can be put in place too. Carpooling, for one, is a good way for reducing the number of automobiles plying the road. Similarly, aggressive promotion of campaigns for planting saplings ought to be taken up. From the capital city of Delhi on one hand, to a relatively smaller city like Lucknow on the other, air pollution is a serious threat for all. Much awareness is still needed. People should be taught some self-mitigating measures to curtail air pollution. We can only hope for a better and cleaner India when all play their part, that too, willingly. Sharmila Rafat, freelance writer

Delhi is one of the fastest growing capitals in the world in terms of population and economy. Delhi is now termed as the most polluted capital and, going by the past few months, it is time for Lucknowites to take heed. The present scenario harkens back to the sayings of William Shakespeare: “I do not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air”. The biggest welfare to the city can be done by spreading awareness through campaigns and acts of self-discipline. We often pollute the environment without even realising it. The Bhopal disaster should not be off one’s mind. In a few areas, garbage is burnt instead of being recycled or dumped at refilling sites which produces air pollution. Do you remember the time when Gomti’s sorrows were everyday headlines? With time, new initiatives like go green, greencargo etc have evolved. The all new metro lines promise to establish environment baseline and safeguard measures for protection of environment and reduction of air pollution. People should move towards environmental process and best techniques must be opted for the treatment, destruction and disposal of the waste. Unlike the past, people should be reminded of the laws on air pollution like prevention and control of pollution Act 1981 and its amendment in 1987 including rules 1982 and 1983 that was enacted to prevent, control and reduce air pollution. Both positive and negative impacts are evaluated to have an idea about resultant impacts. I would like to conclude with my point of view that people should come forward and stand together to safeguard the environment, initiate campaigns and awareness walks as each step counts.  Saumya Saksena, researcher & teacher

Those who woke up early morning in winter would know, that not only has the onset of the season been sooner this year, but also that the pleasant misty mornings have now soured with the increasing levels of smog in the air. After diwali, the air quality in the city deteriorated so rapidly that students had increased problems in breathing, and there were greater cases of people having coughing fits even without any other allergins. Despite the evident discomfort among the public due to smog, several people persisted in buying crackers and bursting them to celebrate during weddings in the festive season. Despite warnings, several buses on the roads continued to ply regardless of the pollution they cause, and “Tempos”, and vans have a grip over commuters in spite of the hazards they pose, both to the environment, and to public health. In light of these events, it is necessary to impose measures that increase awareness about air pollution in order to bring about a change in civic consciousness. The only way the process of change can start is via public involvement and strict government implementation. Our city is choking, and at this moment, all efforts must be made to resuscitate it. Swati Singh, Class XII, La Martiniere Girls' College


All for door to door system of garbage collection - November 2016

Disposal of household waste is a major challenge before the Indian cities. In the absence of proper arrangements for waste collection and disposal people often throw packets containing waste on the roadside creating an ugly sight and causing environmental pollution. At some places the municipal authorities put up big containers where residents are expected to put their garbage bags. Often these garbage bins are overfull and the waste is scattered all along. Moreover, dogs, pigs, cows and other animals forage through them and spill them creating unhygienic conditions. Door to door collection through private agencies seems to be a more convenient and clean method of garbage collection. However, the poor households are not in a position to pay for the garbage disposal. Hence in my opinion a mix of the two systems of waste disposal has to be adopted depending upon the condition in each locality.

Neelam Singh, housewife, Indiranagar

It is our responsibility to keep our surroundings clean and make our environment healthier. For that purpose door to door collection of garbage is a better idea than placing bins at residential colonies. There are a lot of items that we use everyday and then get rid of them by throwing them in the garbage. Through this, most of the garbage will be collected from the domestic households as well as other places very conveniently and can be segregated at source. Different colour packets can be used to indicate different type of waste—biodegradable or non-biodegradable. Some of the collected garbage may be recycled. Some of the residential areas that are covered by door to door solid waste collection system are clean and people there applaud this system.

Reesha Khan, BA-III, Avadh Girls' Degree College

Door to door system of managing waste is not only easier but a much more accountable and less hectic way than the other kind of managing waste that is done by putting bins in the residential area. Some people are just too ignorant and some simply don't have time to get rid of the waste in their houses properly and just dump the waste on the roadsides or at their neighbour’s door. But door to door waste collection makes it mandatory especially for such slot of people in the society to get rid of their garbage without taking too much pain. It also gives employment to more people as the waste collector is particularly deputed and paid for this purpose. He is then made responsible not only for collecting waste but its proper handling and its proper disposal. He makes sure that the garbage reaches its proper place where it could be recycled or be used for landfill. In keeping bins in the residential colonies the municipality may or may not be able to collect the garbage from many areas. There is no responsibility and certainly no transparency in the system. So I do think that door to door waste management is not only a better idea but it is more feasible than just putting bins in which only oneself is responsible for everything and yet no proper solution for waste management can be done.

Neha Pandey, BA, Avadh Girls' Degree College

It’s a thumb down to city’s state of cleanliness! - October - 2016

"Money can't bring back my son,” devastated father cried: Pothole claimed another life! Welcome to the city taking big leaps towards becoming ‘smart’! Garbage heaps, open drains and unattended potholes have become a common sight at every nook and corner these days. With cases of dengue, malaria, chikungunya and other such diseases taking a serious toll on human health, the situation is growing worse with each passing day. The negligence on the part of the civic authorities is a menace in itself. Although the administration claims to have left no stone upturned and has re-carpeted the city, the garbage heap is still the one that grabs eyeballs. Workers from municipality behave like visiting staff as they hardly show up to clean all the mess and private individuals are the only ones that the locals have to depend upon but, to our dismay, they throw the garbage wherever they deem fit. It should be the prerogative of every individual, young and old, to clean their place. A small action shall become a big revolution. Instead of spending crores on beautification, the government should first bother about sanitation because what may seem innocuous has cascading effect on the lives of many and the indigent end up as the biggest sufferers since they are not in a position to pay off their ever exceeding medical bills. It's high time that together we make this a better place to live in.

Rashida Salmani, Green Era Welfare Society & student, Lucknow University

    Little drops of water, little drops of sand; Make the mighty ocean, and the pleasant land…
The above saying is appropriate for the ‘swachchta abhiyan’ too. It is very easy to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’, but the answer to your question is that they have at least consciously commenced to do a little of their bit as is evident from those donning the  orange colored sleeveless jackets bearing the name ‘nagar nigam’ sweeping the roads (that are no longer as dirty). The demand for cleanliness is much higher than what they can meet and the ‘powers that be’ should ensure that the cleanliness drive should be where it is needed most and on a regular basis. They should earmark areas and buildings (e.g. educational or health) where the surrounding areas require to remain clean and in this they should seek the  (voluntary ) support of responsible educated  persons of the areas as it is as much our duty as citizens of free India to ensure proper disposal of the garbage that we keep throwing all over. It is one way of contributing to our nation as civilians. Further there should be a number like 1090 (the women helpline that responds) where information can be sent for garbage requiring to be disposed to assist the civic authorities in accomplishing their job appropriately.

Usha Srivastav, former lecturer, AGDC

From time to time Lucknow has progressed and been beautified by the governments, especially the Hazratganj and airport area. Noble thoughts, but people in charge of cleanliness neglect their duties. Uncivilized visitors at parks litter the place with ice-cream wrappers or popcorn packets Strictness regarding cleanliness has never been implemented. In England, people throw wrappers in bins that are provided at all the write places or they are fined. This should be implemented in our city too. Why is a culprit spared by greasing the hands of the officer in charge in most cases? We witness people throwing shells of monkey nuts, cattle left loose to graze and dirty the place. Government employees are paid so well but the first thing they do in the morning is savor gutkha or spend time at tea-stall or read the newspaper! When the rumour spreads ‘Sahib is coming on supervision’, then they pull up their socks, or clean in earnest if any minister is coming. Why can’t lakhs be spent on providing maximum bins at various places? Why do we have to cover our mouth when crossing a garbage dump? The local corporator should fix a gift monthly for cleanest lane etc. Some motivation can keep Lucknow clean and consumption of gutkha and paan should be prohibited to keep the city clean and keep away the deadly disease of cancer. Kids at school must be trained to throw trash in dustbins. Our municipal corporation needs to be more active in supervision of lanes. In conclusion it’s my city, it’s up to me to keep it clean or keep it dirty. Wake up Lucknowites!

Deep Bunch, teacher, St Francis College Lucknow

Cleanliness starts with oneself. Keeping our body clean by taking bath is the first ritual we perform every morning. Likewise we must clean the home, surrounding and then the entire city. When I see the paper or plastic littering a place, I pick it up and through it in the bin. I use the bin always. Teach the young generation not to eat junk food and dump the wrapper, cups just anywhere. Try to reach them to recycle and reuse things like newspaper, plastic bottles, reuse of envelopes and say no to one time use pens. Following these small steps can go a long way in helping our city keep clean.



Sr Monica Rosario, former principal, Loreto

     Breathe clean air and don't litter the ground. Well this is what should be the ideal situation but in present scenario of population explosion and continuous growth and development, cleanliness has almost taken a backseat. Lucknow is developing and expanding manifold and the pressure to maintain a clean city is also is increasing on the municipal authorities. The civic authorities are making constant efforts to keep the city clean but these are not enough and a vigorous cleanliness drive is needed. Due to this, there are many problems that the city still faces. The people are dumping garbage openly. Waste disposable methods are old and obsolete. Stray animals are also a big cause of concern. Civic authorities and NGOs are continuously trying to cope with the situation but we, as citizens, are equally responsible for keeping our city clean and, for this purpose, we must get together and cooperate with the civic authorities and make the cleanliness awareness campaign a great success, thereby restoring Lucknow to its original state: The city of parks and gardens.

Damini R Shankar, BA III Awadh Girls' Degree College

For a state capital, Lucknow presents a poor picture in matters of cleanliness. The Prime Minister’s “Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan” seems not to have touched the city, even though it may have inspired quite a few individuals and some media houses to take notice. Be it construction related debris or piles of garbage one sees in some of the poshest localities of the city, the impression that one gets is of a civic body as unconcerned about the ungainly sights and stench as it is about the dangers that such filth poses to the life and well-being of the city’s residents. If the number of dengue cases reported from the city – not to mention the fatalities -- in recent times is any indication, civic authorities, with their characteristic “chaltaa hai” attitude and lack of accountability have done a dismal job. We may cry hoarse about the beauty of Lucknow, but the truth is far from the city’s present reality. It is a shame that every Lucknowite must live with.

टपकाते रहो...
इतनी बड़ी आबादी का इतना सारा कूड़ा,
प्रतिदिन डिस्पोज़ ऑफ न हो पाए यह पूरा का पूरा ।
थोड़ा क्रेन उठा लेताहै, थोड़ा टपका देता है,
कूड़े की ढेरी के नीचे पिल्ला दब जाता है ।
सुवर, गाय और रैगपिकर्स का रोज़ यहाँ द्वन्द होता है,
जो जीता वही सिकंदर, वही माल ले जाता है ।
गाड़ी भरकर ट्रक ड्राइवर जब लॉन्ग ड्राइव पर जाता है,
पूरे रास्ते कूड़ा टपकाकर अपनी दिशा बतलाता है।
--तृप्ति जोशी, अध्यापिका


Most find Metro a welcoming development - September

RF Bunny, Senior Citizen

 The construction of Metro rail in our city has received mixed reviews from one and all, owing to reasons such as dust & pollution, traffic congestion and extremely delayed and strained commuting experiences for those on the roads. Personally for me, I am looking forward to this transition that our city will witness. The growing population and huge traffic have called for this transformation. It is undoubtedly  an expensive  project aimed at only making life less difficult  and more convenient  for those availing  public transportation  and struggling  to grab  a seat in buses, autos etc which rashly swerve and ride past the city roads stacking  in people like herd and stopping wherever the drivers whim and fancy say. A systematic mode of transportation like a metro will be a blessing to the city, which is anticipating the first lane to be operational by December. Imagine reaching the Airport to catch and board flights would be a matter of minutes from Charbagh. In the gradual years to come the North -South and the East-West of our city will be so well interconnected. Fewer people running across roads to catch auto rickshaws, moderately loaded buses, possibly even less number of personal vehicles on road with a smooth functioning metro train offering to transport people from vital pick up points and stations. What more can one ask for? Pedestrians will once again be at ease to walk over to their destinations close by. Yes, we can't  rule out the few inconveniences that public face at times, with erratic and unexpected  diversions called in, some traffic bottlenecks which go on for hours, but don't we all know this too shall pass? Every city which has a metro rail facility has been through this phase. But, look at the public contented and happy today. Of course, a little management is required on the part of the traffic officials and patience on the part of the general public. Also, whatever roads have been dug up for checks must be cleared and leveled out soon by the authorities and when the metro rails becomes functional,  I hope that  people don't use it like a garbage stacking zone, spitting and littering it like they have done to most public properties.      

Audrey McDonald, Rtd  School Teacher

 Metro construction is a menace, especially in this hot and humid weather of Lucknow. It is undoubtedly a good step if one tries to visualize a systematic means of transportation in the months and months to come, but we can't overlook the prolonged stressful traffic jams, road diversions. Reaching schools and offices on time is difficult and one has to venture out much ahead of the earlier schedule. School children take longer than usual on rickshaws and vans to reach their homes. Arriving home after work timely is a remote possibility now. Worst part is that there are exceptions made for just a "few" commuters on a one-way road. That's annoying. There have been arrangements made to guide and direct, but the personnel doing the same seem inexperienced, distracted and always lost in themselves, without commanding any curb on those who simply barge onto one-way roads, causing havoc to an already congested route. 

 Raja Sarkar, Airport Services

 For me this new development in the city will be a revolutionary--.definitely a welcome-- change. Even though we all have encountered inconveniences as far as diversions and traffic management is concerned, we can't deny the fact that with a metro, life would be so much convenient in terms of commuting from one destination to another. Personally for me, it is a boon in disguise. We all have to deal with our share of early departures from home for work, late arrivals and lots of short cuts while travelling only with one bright hope- a comfortable hassle-free, quick means of transportation in the near future.         



Leave a comment