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Live and Express


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The Water Problem – Episode 4 – The Heroes

Local people taking the responsibility of water resources in their area in their hands is the pinnacle of effective water management in India.

The town of Moodbidri northeast of Mangalore is a shining example of how they take care of their water sources, and came out of perilous situation that prevailed before. You can read about their story here: https://www.thebetterindia.com/159078/moodbidri-water-revival-karnataka-news-india

Together, as a community, Moodbidri has restored 18 water resources!  They worked on reinstating the old water storage bodies by cleaning them and making them hold pure water!  That’s gold!

India is facing huge water shortage because of real estate, agriculture, and mindless human reproduction.  Local efforts like this give us hope. We will continue to create awareness about how to take care of ourselves.

If you are inspired by this story, please share it far and wide in your social media circles and talk about it to your contacts through word of mouth.

Love always!

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

 

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Book Review: A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom by Upasna Sethi

This is a professional book review of “A-Z Of Minimalism – A Practical Guide to Freedom” by Upasna Sethi.  This book has been placed under ‘Hoarding‘ and ‘Non-Fiction‘ under Amazon Kindle ebooks.  The audience of the book would be anyone who is looking to declutter their spaces as well as their minds, and lead a simple yet fruitful life.

The catchy, simple cover of the book invites the reader to open the book to read.  The book has been organized into small chapters, which are digestible and makes the reader ponder over the content after reading a chapter.  The exercises provided at the end of each chapter are helpful.  The graphics interspersed with the text look good and provide a colorful look to the content.

In each chapter, the author provides helpful tips on what they did to minimalize.  I especially liked how the author impresses upon the reader how the quest for shopping is insatiable and one keeps buying more and more!  But, I could not quite agree with the author’s suggestion to delete shopping apps from the smartphone, as apps for grocery, medicine ordering, cab booking, etc, are a reality of today’s life, and one cannot avoid them. I presume the author’s advice is for addicted shoppers and not for all.

Also valuable is the suggestion to celebrate minimally by being together rather than making huge and expensive arrangements.  Thus, each chapter provides a very valuable tip on how to minimalize, which the reader, in general, would be able to relate to and implement in their own life.

There are several mechanical errors in the book, which could have been avoided by careful proofreading. For example, an unwanted hyphen next to the word ‘by’ in the phrase “step by step” on Page 1, unnecessary capitalization of the first letter in many words throughout the book (“Life of a Minimalist” on Page 1). These errors give an impression that the author is a juvenile one, in spite of the mature, valuable theme of the book. This reviewer recommends a thorough proofreading in the next edition of the book or the next book of the author.

The font of the Table of Contents could have been a bit larger. It would help the reader to provide the page numbers against the chapter names.  I have to mention about the formatting. There are unnecessary lines between sentences, and the formatting looks too awkward.  A sense of completeness in reading is lost because of lack of properly paragraphed text.

Overall, I found this book valuable for someone who is looking to cut-down on their shopping, life style, and in every sphere of their life. We all realize that too much is very stressful and makes us unable to manage things. Consumption has to be cut down, as it is very important for our own well-being, for the environment, and for our mother planet Earth.  In this regard, the author has done a pretty good job in bringing together the tips that the reader can readily follow.  The formatting and the mechanical errors have to be taken care of, to make the book more presentable to the reader.  Owing to the overall value that the book provides to the reader, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

You can order the book at Amazon at the following links:

Amazon Indiahttps://amzn.to/2wnij9r
Amazon UShttps://amzn.to/2Lut3rj

 

 


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Why natural calamities will have multi-fold effect on India Population

Kerala is reeling under floods. More than 100 people have lost their lives just yesterday. The shutters of all the dams in the state have been opened. Though Kerala gets heavy rains every year, this year, the quantum was too much.

A study showed that the effect of extreme natural conditions on the population will be too much because of two reasons: more and more people moving into low-lying areas because of lack of space, continuing land development because of which drainage paths and canals are being blocked due to which flash floods happen in unexpected land areas.

The root cause is very certain. We have become too much in number. We need to stop the reproduction, otherwise, nature will be nature and it won’t show mercy on anyone.

Adoption, instead of reproduction is a sensible option: http://cara.nic.in

Thanks for reading.


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The Water problem – Episode 3 – The Heroes

Whenever we talk about big issues like population, food, or water, all of us are taken aback on what we could do on a personal level. In fact, we restrict our efforts to very minimal, get satisfied that that’s all we could do. While every small efforts are appreciated, we need to think out-of-the-box, open up our minds and look at things at various angles on how we could help.

Many of us are well-educated, with degrees on various subjects, and will be able to help in several ways. Many heroes are inspiring to me in how much we could help. I came across one inspiring example today in Times of India – in the article about how a 82-year old man constructed 14 tanks in an arid region to keep his hill green!  In fact, he had invested whatever he had just for this cause!  Such ingenuity and enterpreneurship is the need of the hour – to solve our big problems!

If a man with very scarce resources can do so much, imagine how much we could do! It’s just a matter of heart. In today’s world of instant reachability and abundant resources, I don’t think it would never be a problem for us.

More to come!


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The Water Problem (Episode 2)

Recently I wrote about the looming water problem in India. At that time, all I had was questions on the enormity of the issue, and how we can tackle this. I made a bucket list of all the stuff that I can do, and I quickly followed up with a few people I knew on social media and otherwise, and the results were a bit comforting, although the efforts are long-drawn projects that need constant follow-ups.

I was deeply heartened to see that many people are actually working on the water already at various levels – creating awareness, conducting sessions, executing implementations to effectively use groundwater and rainwater, and coming up with innovations that can made radical improvements to the abilities to store water.

Two of such groups that I came across were The Rainwater Club and Bhungroo. Both of them are well-known in the water circles for their work. The Rainwater Club is doing their work mostly in Karnataka and Tamilnadu, while Bhungroo has projects all over the world, but head-quartered in Gujarat.

The Rainwater Club has modules to conduct trainings and sessions in the schools, so that awareness can be created among the children. It would be great to partner with them to conduct sessions at your schools, especially if you are a group of institutions or a chain of schools.

Bhungroo is all about implementation, you can reach out to them to implement their solution in the usually drought-hit areas of your state, to see if their solution would help the situation.

These two were great starts for me to do something about the areas that I know of, while I am talking to someone in Kerala to see if there’s a potential solution for their unique issue of land level being the same as sea level along the coast, and hence water cannot be stored underground!  I am also planning to be in touch with a unique project in south India, to partner with them for projects and training on water for school children.

I will keep you posted!


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Let there be no illusions! #India’s #population is still at dangerous levels.

There’s a recent article on India’s population slowing down based on fertility rate studies. There are views expressed that finally we can heave a sigh of relief.

No.

That study is based on only the fertility rate – which is the new production of babies.  The truth and the fact is that we have already crossed the thresholds of healthy population rate multiple times as compared to the world standards (around 850 people per sq.km.). We already know that we are over-populated. Don’t we see that in the public places – people swarming with no respect to each others’ space and property?  When was the last time when anyone who’s coming in front of you, considered your presence, slowed down, and let you walk, in India?  We are 1.3 billion in number – 17% of world’s population!

Our agricultural lands are decreasing – because of unavailability of labour (movement to cities), water sources are draining out – because of new storage points not being planned, our air and environment are getting more polluted – not to mention about the new manufacturing oriented development agenda.

If you look at the map in the above article, you will see that the fertility rates themselves are on the higher side in the central Indian states.  This is in addition to the already dangerous levels of population in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. Literacy levels are low in these states, and they move to other states for labour. In fact, they generate babies for labour.

So, nothing for consolation. We need to act to take the message of dangers of over-population to the rural through grass-root workers of NGOs and social enterpreneurship companies – provide economic well-being and thus preventing them from generating babies for labour, and the message to adopt instead of generating new babies in cities.

And this has to done in a feverish scale. And bring down the child birth rate (incorrect to call it as fertility rate) to around 1 in the states mentioned above. Only then, we can breath, no pun intended.


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Chennai: Are you going to bathe out of water bottles?

Chennai is always remembered for its December Carnatic music concerts and the aroma of filter coffee!

But that’s not everything Chennai is remembered for. On the bitter side, it’s remembered for its never ending water woes. And the bad news is, it just got worse, because of the expansion of the city.

recent report states that while Chennai’s current water supply is 600 million litters per day, it’s demand for water is going to grow to 1584 million litres per day in just 3 years! Urgent measures like getting ready to use the full capacity of desalination plants are going to yield very minimal results, as the demand is going to grow 2.5 times!

Chennai already has severe water shortage problem, and there’s no addition to the existing sources of water.

With a population of 8.6 million people as of January 30, 2014 (remember it was 4.3 million in 2001!), the demand is getting worse because of population explosion, immigration and urbanization. People can take pride with the fact that Chennai is growing by boundaries, and hence their real estate value is going to go up, but with no water to drink and use, the city’s existence and value is going to collapse if not now but in the near future.

In spite of Tamilnadu having many Tier 2 cities, the immigration is still happening to Chennai. Moving some Government functions and IT/BPO industries to the other Tier 2 cities will help mitigate the problem a bit. There are several logical choices like Trichy, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Erode.

Government is taking all the steps possible to take care of the water problem, but, ultimately it is in the citizens hands on how this can be mitigated.

I am not a water conservation advocate, because I know that at this scale, any amount of water conservation will not solve problem. I am not a tree planting advocate for Chennai, because (a) in Chennai, all the land has been usurped, (b) even if we start planting trees now, it will take 10 to 15 years for the trees to grow and take care of the water level – not to mention the Chennai problem of salt water mixing with underground water.

But I am going to suggest that Chennai folks stop their reproduction!  Irrespective of whatever the Government does to mitigate the situation, even, if the state capital offices and IT/BPO companies are moved to other cities, if people keep on giving birth, it is not going to help the situation.

One could stay single (or) marry but not generate babies (or) adopt instead of giving birth.

There’s still a tendency to run to fertility clinics when existing people don’t have water to drink and use, and there are children on streets with no one to take care of them.  Instead, folks should think of going to adoption centers and orphanage homes and see if they can adopt.

I am providing a few links on how individuals can act than blaming it on everyone and everything else.

As someone said, Chennai is drinking from water bottles, it won’t be far when it starts to bathe from water bottles. Now, that would be sad.

Resources: