NCC cadets take out rally to save Cauvery

For a cause: Air Wing cadets taking out a rally in Tiruchi - Photo: M. Moorthy

TIRUCHI: NCC Air Wing cadets from various city schools and colleges took out a rally here on Wednesday as a campaign to save river Cauvery from pollution.

The ‘Save Cauvery River Rally’ was flagged off by R. Chandrasekaran, Headmaster, Srirangam Boys Higher Secondary School at the Amma Mandapam bathing ghat in Srirangam.

Around 100 Junior Division and Senior Division NCC cadets participated in the rally that was taken out via Gandhi Road to the Srirangam Boys Higher Secondary School.

Pamphlets distributed

The cadets distributed pamphlets to the public containing messages to save the river.Earlier, they undertook a cleaning operation at the Amma Mandapam bathing ghat area and appealed to the public to keep the river free from pollution.

Wing Commander M.S. Rao, Commanding Officer, 3 TN Air Squadron (Tech) NCC, Tiruchi and Associate NCC officers of schools and colleges participated.


Can’t you conserve a bucket of water?

Water is being used as if it is a never-ending source. Obviously, we cannot decide how much rain we will get, nor can we predict to a good degree of accuracy when would rain occur. Thus, the only thing we can do to save ourselves from the dangerous situation of “lack of water to drink while we are thirsty” is to conserve water.

Conserve Water

Let us ask ourselves how much water is wasted when we brush our teeth due to the non-stop flow from the tap? Water is also excessively used, rather wasted, while washing the clothes and cleaning the dishes. Flushing the toilet sometimes excessively when just two mugs of water is sufficient — which is of course the sign of laziness — is another cause of excess water loss. If just one person wastes so much water, we can well imagine the amount of water wasted by a family, a town, a city, nay, an entire nation.

Most of us know about these things. Knowing is one thing but realising it and taking steps to remedy the situation is crucial. We can impart the need for water conservation in our children in our school; the alarming decline in water resources and the ever-increasing need for the precious life giving liquid should be taught to the younger generation today so that they will become responsible citizens tomorrow.

That apart, what can we do? If we are really serious about the situation, we should act now. We can all conserve at least a bucket of water everyday if we are prudent in using the scarce resource. Please remember, a bucket of water saved by every individual everyday in our country of billion-plus means enormous.

We may become richer if we have a lot of gold reserves, but we will die if we don’t have water. In olden times, people used to say that a person is spending money like water when he is spending too much. If we continue in that fashion, the situation may get reversed. We need to create a situation where a person will spend water like money. A country with more water reserves will be richer than one which has more money. And in the country like India where agriculture is the primary occupation for many people, water conservation is a must.

Y. Phanindra – From THE HINDU

Have your luxuries, but spare a thought for the environment

Is there a way to live extravagantly and still save the planet?

Extravagance. Amazing cars with powerful engines and huge exhausts and half a kilometre of unleaded petrol per litre, air cons anytime everywhere, huge houses, lots of servants, expensive furniture, real leather, fur, mink, how many of us are drooling as we read this?


Let us admit it. We love extravagance. Unless we have religious reasons to stay away from something or the other, we just have to have everything. Let us just admit it; we are all not the Mahatma. That requires an extraordinary strength of mind, and more than a little madness in the blood. How many of us can boast of these characteristics?

But we all would like to see a green world, a clean world, one where you see natural beauty everywhere you turn, where breathing is a healthy and a pleasing thing to do, rather than a necessity you would avoid if you could (how many times do we walk the city with our hands over our noses?).

So how do we achieve both? How do we achieve that elusive balance between extravagance and environmental-friendly living? How do we enjoy our luxuries without feeling guilty, or wondering whether we are contributing to global warming?

By being aware, of course. You want to buy that car? That incredibly expensive car that people will stare at every time you take it out (or rather, try to spot it, because you are not driving below a hundred when you take that car out)? Go ahead, then, buy it.

But also include walking into your routine. Sure, if you want to zip on the highway, that car makes perfect sense. Sure, if you want to show off to your gym buddies, take it there. But to the grocery store? I am pretty sure those people at the grocery store really couldn’t care for the car you come in to buy your milk. Walk. Walk to your grocery store. In fact, why don’t you chart a mental map? Walk to all those places that are from a ten to fifteen-minute walk from your house.

When you go shopping, try parking your car five minutes away from the mall and walk. Saves that much petrol, and stops that much pollution. Five minutes. Can’t kill you. And even if you do have really heavy bags to carry, you could always come back and drive your car to the entrance to take them in, or ask the shop boys to help you. If for no other reason, they will help you for ten bucks out of your pocket.

Can’t be bothered to turn all lights and fans (sorry, a/c) off when you are not using them? All right, don’t. Can you turn one light off? By turning off that one light, you save that much energy. Just a pinch, maybe, but saving that pinch is better than wasting that pinch, don’t you think so?

Too cool to carry your own cloth bag to the grocery store? Ok, don’t. But you can at least make sure they put everything in one, or two bags, rather than using too many bags, cant you? I am sure that is not much of a sacrifice. But it saves that much plastic.

Too lazy to find a dustbin on the road? All right, don’t. But as you are walking, or driving, you will come across garbage heaps on the side of the road. Throw your garbage there at least. That way, you are still showing some civic sense, aren’t you?

Oh yes, go ahead and spend all the money you have on all the luxuries you can buy. Just make sure that you save wherever you can. That is all you need to do. So stop feeling guilty about all the harm you are causing society, and get involved in some any planet-saving activity. The smallest gesture makes a difference. And the word is awareness.

Sophia Yusuf – From THE HINDU

Stress on local action to mitigate the effects of climate change

Safeguarding livelihoods of the affected poor important: N. Ram

CHENNAI: Climate change and the problems associated with it need to be tackled on a global scale but local actions to mitigate its effects are also required, speakers at a symposium said here on Thursday.

SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES: (From left) Jurgen Porst of the Indo-German Technical Co-operation; C.N. Raghavendran, chairman, CII LEED India; N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu; A. Ramachandran, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation, Anna University-Chennai; and Verena Schuler of BMW at a symposium in Chennai on Thursday.

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, who chaired a panel discussion on the third day of the symposium organised by the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, said though no one was satisfied with the Copenhagen summit, it had been useful. But, there were also concerns that the developed world was trying to dilute the content of the talks, both in Copenhagen and, later, in Bonn.

The conflicting points of view discussed at these meetings were a “good thing,” but they would not bode well for the developing nations unless they showed some “backbone” and unity.

Mr. Ram said that it was also important to take into consideration the safeguarding of livelihoods of the poor who were affected by climate change as the official establishment tended to forget them sometimes.

A. Ramachandran, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation, Anna University-Chennai, said the politics involved in global climate change talks was making it difficult to arrive at a consensus.

Instead of waiting for world leaders to come up with an effective global policy, local action towards mitigation of the effects of climate change was essential. In particular, people should focus on helping the ecosystem adapt to climate change while ensuring food security and sustainable development.

He mentioned bio-waste management, water and energy conservation and sustainable agricultural production as areas where mitigation activities could be taken up at the local level.

Jurgen Porst of the Indo-German Technical Co-operation organisation said grassroots activities in water and waste management had resulted in a positive outcome in Bangalore. There was a need to take into account the effects of the measures taken to mitigate climate change. Recycling of lead acid batteries used in place of fossil fuels in transportation and of CFLs used for lighting should also be worked out. .

Verena Schuler of Corporate Strategy and Planning, Environmental, Sustainability and Conservation, BMW, said the carmaker had been working to reduce the lifecycle carbon footprint of a car. This included efficient production of vehicles and research to produce hybrid vehicles. BMW had set the target of 25 per cent reduction (from 2008 figures) in fuel consumption of its cars by 2020.

But, she added that a successful climate change policy required co-operation from all stakeholders including scientists, politicians, the corporate sector and the general public.

C.N. Raghavendran, chairman, CII LEED India, spoke about measures taken by the Green Building Council in India to ensure that energy efficient buildings were created.

Replying to a question on the new Assembly complex, he said it was a “good start,” that a legislative building had obtained ‘gold’ certification.

The symposium was organised with the co-operation of the Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University-Chennai and the Care Earth Trust.


Awareness rally taken out against child labour

Prizes distributed to toppers from special schools

TIRUCHI: An awareness rally against child labour was taken out in the city on Thursday in connection with the Child Labour Elimination Day.

About 500 students drawn from child labour special schools, E. R. Higher Secondary School, National College Higher Secondary School, Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School, Teppakulam and Savithri Vidyasala Girls Higher Secondary School marched in the rally carrying placards and raising slogans against the social evil of child labour. The rally was organised under the auspices of the Child Labour Elimination and Effective Rehabilitation Society (CHEERS).

V. Dakshinamurthy, Collector (in-charge), flagged off the rally from the E. R. Higher Secondary School campus after administering a pledge to the participants and the audience to eliminate child labour. He also distributed prizes to Plus Two and SSLC toppers from child labour special schools and winners of various competitions organised for students of these special schools in the district.

S. Sujatha, Mayor, D. Sankari, Joint Commissioner, Labour Welfare Department, C. Somburajan, Deputy Commissioner, Labour Welfare, L. Augustin Peter Fathima, Additional Chief Educational Officer, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, P. Manju, Project Officer, CHEERS, T. M. Srinivasan, Correspondent, E. R. Higher Secondary School, and other officials participated.

School rally

Students of the All Saints Higher Secondary School, Puthur, too took out an anti-child labour rally in the city. The students marched through various parts of Puthur before returning to the school campus. Meera Pandian, school correspondent, and others participated in the flag off ceremony.