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Himalayan Quake 2005
The mesmerising beauty of the Himalayan mountain range was put to question on 8th of October 2005, when a massive earthquake rocked some parts of the Himalayan region.
The earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, was devastating. According to the seismologists, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Muzzaffarabad, Pakistan. The worst hit areas were Pakistan-administered Kashmir, Khyber-pakhtunka and western parts of the Kashmir valley in the Indian-administered Kashmir. About 80 thousand people died in the quake. Many of them were school children who got buried under the rubble of their school buildings.
There was a huge national and international humanitarian response to the crisis. The UN and the US were criticised for not taking practical steps and focussing on training and seminar costing millions.
To conclude, the 2005 Himalayan quake will never be erased from our memories. Though it has taught many lessons to the planners, architects, disaster managers and the policy makers, the suffering of the victims will always invite sympathy of the mankind worldwide.
Those who can bear all can dare all
Those who can bear all can dare all. This holds good at all levels – individual, social, economic and organisational. The ability or attitude to endure in a given situation or environment is of utmost importance.
In a given situation, one’s response is either reactive or proactive. One may have positive or a negative response towards a situation. But for becoming effective in life one should cultivate a balanced or neutral attitude. A balanced attitude promotes development of endurance.
Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of electric bulb, owes his success to his ability to bear hardships. He once commented that genius is ninety percent perspiration and ten percent inspiration. Though he had to perform hundreds of experiment to invent the electric bulb, he did not let the failures overpower him. This attitude ultimately brought him success. Napoleon, the famous French leader, regarded endurance as the most important quality of leadership. He said that losing a battle does not mean losing the war. Lord Buddha once said that the world we live in is in a state of flux. There is no certainty as situations do not always remain the same. In other words, one should be prepared to face the ups and downs in life. In this context, the best we can do is to remain neutral and not let the problems demoralise us.
In the era of globalisation and market economy, the quality of endurance is a prerequisite for the entrepreneurs. There are ample growth opportunities as well as uncertainties due to the play of market forces. In fact, one can take risk or bear uncertainty only when one has developed the quality of endurance. There may be ups and downs in business but one has to bear all.
To conclude, endurance is not the virtue of the weak rather it is the source of strength. That is why it is said “Those who can bear all can dare all.”
Fascinating facts about water
What is it that gives Earth a unique place in the Universe? Undoubtedly, it is the availability of water, due to which existence of life is possible on earth.
Biologists opine that life on Earth originated in water. In fact, water has been the subject of study for a number of disciplines. All these studies have generated many fascinating facts about water. The scientific study of water is called Hydrology.
Poets of all literary tradition have composed wonderful poems in praise of water. Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance artist, produced many paintings on water. Moreover, almost all the religions of the world have given exalted position to water. Water is regarded as a symbol of purity in all the religions.
Interestingly, water is considered as a standard of measurement by scientists and a standard of excellence by philosophers. It is a symbol of motion and flux. According to a school of Chinese philosophy, the highest excellence is like water. Besides, in alternative medicine systems, water is very useful in treating many diseases.
In view of the importance of water, the United Nations has declared March 22 as the Day for Water. There are numerous other fascinating facts about water, which is a vital necessity for any living being.
Public Health In Transition
The present era shows that there has been tremendous progress in the public health scenario. There has been considerable progress in the development of vaccines for a number of communicable diseases. Illnesses like small pox have almost been wiped out from the world. The use of laser, microsurgery and synthetic components are on the rise.
Over the last few years, W.H.O, together with major international academic institutions, has organized several consultations and seminars on the issue of public health. The future success of the public health institutions will depend largely on how academic institutions prepare health personnel to link meaningfully with other sectors and with decision-makers.
The major challenge, however, is how to produce a proper mix of health care personnel, capable of fulfilling effectively the health needs of the people. The health personnel need to be trained using a more holistic approach, including a team approach, in health care and development. Another challenge is to reorient those already in work force with the new concepts, knowledge and skills.
Finally, global action and cooperation is a must to secure the benefits of globalisation for health for all, on an equitable basis. This is essential to prevent or minimise threats to health and well being. We need to foster global public health action through full utilisation of international and intergovernmental organizations involved in health and health development. Such global public health action will include active surveillance on the global burden of disease, support for research on poverty and health, and the development of scientific norms and standards.
Human Population Grows Up
The study of human population as a phenomenon yields many interesting trends and patterns. Human population has never been static. Malthus, a famous classical economist, observed that human population grows at geometric proportion whereas food grows at arithmetic proportion. The dynamics of human population is influenced by many factors – social, cultural, economic, environmental and technological factors.
According to demographers, between 1965 to 1970 the growth rate human population was 2.1 percent per annum, which is recorded as the highest. The coming generation will look back at the event as the most significant event in the history of human population. Human population never grew with such speed before 20th century and is never again likely to grow in future.
Demographers like astronomers keep on observing interesting trends and patterns in human population. As of now human population has been showing inflationary trend, that is, it is growing in size.
Success begins in the mind
The concept of success is integral in our lives. History is replete with examples to demonstrate success and failure. The conquest of the Everest, man’s landing on the surface of the moon, the invention of information technology and so on and so forth; the list is unending.
The secret of success lies in proper thinking. Success means attaining a specific goal within a specific time frame, in a particular situation. Thus, attaining success depends on understanding the situation and setting the right goal in the right situation.
To be successful in any domain, one needs to assess one’s strengths and weaknesses. One has to apply strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis before venturing into any activity. This holds good for an individual as well as a team or an organisation. In other words, our thinking and knowledge plays a key role in attaining success. Moreover, failure in one situation may lead to success in the other. It all depends on one’s attitude. Failure prepares the way for success.
To conclude, success which we all wish to attain comes as a result of proper thinking and attitude. T.S Eliot, the famous poet once said: “Success is relative. It is what we make of the mess we have made of things.”
Think before you shop
Though shopaholics adhere to the slogan ‘shop till you drop’, policy makers, the ecologists, the economists, the philosophers, the medical experts and many others do not buy the thought.
Interestingly, Gandhiji used the adage ‘Think before you shop’ during the Swadeshi Movement. He gave the clarion call to boycott foreign made goods to promote indigenous industries.
In the present scenario, ‘Think before you shop’ has been advocated by ecologists to warn that indiscriminate behaviour on our part may affect the environment adversely. In fact, the market is flooded with products made from animal parts making the animals vulnerable. In other words, we should think twice before buying any product. We should consider the possible environmental effects before buying any product.
Economists want us to think before shopping as our shopping behaviour has many economic implications. It affects local, regional, national and international economics. If, for example, we start buying imported goods then this will gradually deplete our foreign exchange reserve.
Medical experts and psychiatrists advise us to think before we shop as the products we buy may have negative effects on our health. On the other hand, social activists advocate us to be very cautious while shopping, as the products we are going to buy might have been produced by child labourers.
To conclude, the adage ‘Think before you shop’ is loaded with implications. It is indeed a very important directive for all of us as our shopping behaviour has multidimensional impact on the world we live in.