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Forced to open defecation: Woes from Anaheim, California

The trouble of safe sanitation is not confined to the developing world only. The so called developed nation USA has a town Anahiem in California where citizens are being regressed to go back to open defecation. The sole mistake of of these vulnerable citizens- there homelessness. Interestingly, the cause in this plight of the common poor is not lack of technology or resources but of a lack of community goodwill in the leadership and implementation bodies.

Despite the social help groups having constructed the toilets, they were removed on the pretext of being unauthorised. The result- thousands of women, men and sick children living in tent encampments are being forced to defecate either in buckets or in the bushes. The shocker in this scenario is that the city administration does not appear to be taking lessons from a recent outbreak of Hepatitis A in San Diego that killed numerous people.

The immediate solution is reinstating community toilets that take up minimal space and understanding the vitality of the trouble.

Somehow or the other we again have to realize and that before the disaster, else the human costs of negligence would be massive.

Story of Cape Town: Lessons For India

The city of Cape Town has recently introduced level five water restrictions limiting the use of water by individuals at a bare minimum sustainance level of 80 litres per day. The city has set 500 million litres of water as the limit for overall water consumption. Industries have been asked to minimise there municipal water usage to reduce the pressure on available resources.

There is provision for fines as high as Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10000 for households and industries that fail to keep to the restrictions. The government has also promised support for commercial establishments that would lawfully aware to the norms. There efforts have been rightfully acknowledged. Capetown governor Mr. Mokonyane suggested that it would be inevitable to make use of wastewater to manage the current water crisis.

The lessons are many and early- it is up to us to learn it soon.

Green Ganesha- A step towards Eco-friendly Festival

Ganpati Bappa Morya-generations have hailed the elephant headed god year in and year out. But somewhere over time, we have lost our way and ended up polluting Ganesha’s pristine world. However change makers have come up in Pune who are welcoming green Ganesha. They are no more practising idol immersion and have done away with POP idols that pollute the rivers. Even clay idols are unbearable for rivers beyond a point. The trouble with clay idols is that they cause silting and sedimentation which ultimately leads to shallow depth of the river challenging the water resources.

In such a scenario, permanent metal idols are a viable and apt option. Some environmentally proactive families in Pune have taken this root avoiding Visarjan. They keep Ganesha within the temple till he is invoked the next year. Resultantly there isn’t a trace of even a possibility of pollution.

Recycling the reusable waste and putting the organic waste for composting are some of the other ways that are being implemented for active environmental protection. The threat that the environment has come into can be mitigated only by such and even more environmentally pro-active and sustainable steps. Hail hearty citizens! Let Ganesha stay with you till he comes back next time. Come let’s make a change.

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