Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thanaranennu Thanikku Ariyanmelankil Thaan Ennodu Chodikku

Thanaranennu thanikku ariyanmelankil than ennodu chodikku..thannaranennu...than
ikku njan paranju tharam thannaranennu...Ennittu
Njanaranennu enikariyamonnu thanennodu chodikku..Appo njan paranju tharam Thanaranennum..Njanaranennum...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why Planning is important (True IIT Incident 1992)

Why Planning is important
One night 4 college students were playing till night and could not study for the test which was scheduled for the next day
In the morning they thought of a plan. They made themselves look as dirty with grease and dirt.
They then went up to the Dean and said that they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their return the tire of their car burst and they had to push the car all the way back and that they were in no condition to appear for the test.
So the Dean said they could have the re-test after 3 days. They thanked him and said that they would be ready by that time.
On the third day they appeared before Dean. The Dean    said that as this was Special  Condition Test, all four  were required to sit in separate classrooms for the test. They all agreed as they had prepared for well in last 3 days…
The Test consisted of 2 questions with a total of 100 marks.
Q.1.  NAME OF THE CAR?????                   (2 Marks)
Ans  _____________________
 Q.2.  WHICH TIRE BURST????          (98 Marks)
a)      FRONT LEFT                       b)      FRONT RIGHT
c)      BACK LEFT                         d)      BACK RIGHT

My Grand Ma's Childhood - Diumlu Appa (Story)


When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then.  And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad.  I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

You know, life is full of imperfect things ... and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others’ faults - and choosing to celebrate each others differences - is one of  the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting  relationship.

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."

So Please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burnt one will do – just fine.!.!.! 

Arunachal Pradesh need to act to save its precious forest resources

A Times March 30, 2010
Arunachal Pradesh need to act to save its precious forest resources
Suraj Tayang

21st March is observed by the global community as world forestry day. One week has elapsed since its observance and I wonder whether the common public is aware of the extremely rapid disappearance of our forests.

Scientists estimate that India should ideally have 33% of its land under forest. Today we only have about 12%. Thus we need not only to protect our existing forests but also to increase our forest cover. Natural forest eco systems play an important role in controlling local climate and water regimes. The loss of forest cover in the catchments of a river thus leads to irreversible changes, such as excessive soil erosion, large run-off of a river surface water during monsoons leading to flash-floods and shortage of water once the monsoon are over.

A great proportion of the residual wilderness of India is now under great threat. Its unique landscape is shrinking as the intensive form of agriculture and industrial growth spreads through a process called ‘development’. Modern science has serious doubts about the possibility of the long term survival of the human race if man continues to degrade natural habitats, extinguishes millions of years of evolution through an extinction spasm, and looks only of short-term gains. The extinction of species cannot be reversed. Once a species is gone, it is gone forever. Future generation will hold us responsible for this great loss.

History is testimony to the fact that those civilizations, which looked after the forest by using forest resources cautiously have prospered, whereas those that destroyed forest have gradually impoverished. Today logging is a serious cause of loss of forest for our country. What needs to be understood is that long-term ecological gains cannot be sacrificed for short-term economic gains that unfortunately lead to deforestation.

Deforestation in the Himalayas leads to floods that year after year kill people, damage crops and destroys homes in the Ganges and the Brahmaputra valley. In most arid regions of the world the rains are very unpredictable. This leads to periods when there is serious scarcity of water to drink. Drought prone areas are thus faced with irregular periods of famine.

For decades, the growth process has paid scant attention to replenishing of the rich natural resources inherited over many generations. As a consequence, in less than half a century the world has lost a fourth of its topsoil and a third of its forest cover. In the last 35 years above, a third of global bio-diversity was forfeited. Global warming and climate changes are also the result of deforestation. Scientific evidence available today not only confirms the acceleration of global warming but warns that an increase beyond 2 degree would trigger an irreversible “tipping point” exposing the planet to unmitigated disaster. Global warming exacerbates the challenges of poverty and environmental degradation and together they pose a threat of far reaching consequences to the world. Agriculture, the mainstay for developing economics is far more susceptible to climate induced disasters. The recent occurrence of extreme events in India is a forbearer of this warming. The frequent occurrence of heat waves, drought and floods not only signal that global warming is no longer an issue of the future. It is impacting us here and now.

In the north-east, Cherrapunji once known worldwide as the wettest place on earth is now facing the shortage of drinking water due to deforestation. The water problem of Cherrapunji became so acute that the govt. of Meghalaya had to invite the Israeli experts for technical aid to harvest the rain water. Similar is the problem faced by the people of Danglat village located nearby Tezu town, the headquarters of Lohit District. Every year all the wells of that area dries-up during the winter thus leading to scarcity of water, due to deforestation. Apparently the water crises will aggravate in the region owing to population explosion in the future. A famous dictum is ‘Think globally and act locally’. We should realize that forest once destroyed takes hundreds of years to regenerate into fully developed natural ecosystem with the full complements of species. Forest can thus be said to behave like non-renewable resource if over used.

Forest Conservation Act 1980 was enacted to control deforestation. Under this Act, penalties for offences in reserved / protected forest shall be punishable for a term of six months or with a fine which may extend to Rs. 500/- or both. But alas, despite the enactment of this law, deforestation continues unabated due to the lack of environmental awareness. The most important concern is related to creating an ethos that will support a sustainable lifestyle in society. This brings us to the need for environmental education. The honourable Supreme Court has thus ordered that every individual at school and college level should be exposed to a course on environment. It is not to create only an awareness of environmental issues but also to bring about pro-environment action.

We are still fortunate that 82% of the land in our state is still under forest cover and it should be our endeavor to protect and preserve it. It is noteworthy that therefore the state’s demand for ‘Green Bonus’ from the centre is fully justified. Unfortunately logging is clandestinely carried out in our state thereby leading to deforestation. One should realize that such activities are unlawful, unethical and unsustainable. They should refrain from adopting such means of livelihood which is at the cost of the nature. They should rather opt for a vocation which is eco-friendly, legal and sustainable. It should be the endeavor of the public that even if a tree is felled for domestic purpose, they should plant at least 10 (ten) more trees to compensate the loss of one tree. It should be the motto of every individual to plant more trees of local and indigenous species around one’s house and work place. One must keep in mind that plants are vital to our survival in many ways. One shouldn’t ignore the stark reality that we have only one planet to live together and perish together. Global warming transcends geographical and political border and does not distinguish between the rich and the poor. Deforestation has reached its zenith and it must be stopped at any cost.

Let's Not Torture Our Trees

Let's Not Torture Our Trees

BY some estimates, more trees have been chopped off in the past decade than probably in India’s recent history. Along newly broadened national highways, new roads, new constructions, trees have been brought down without a thought. In Delhi alone it is estimated that over 200,000 trees have probably been hacked for various projects leading to the Commonwealth Games, 2010.
The same destruction is taking place in cities all over the country. In Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Lucknow, trees are being cut. Many of these trees are old, even ancient and are part of our heritage. Recently, while travelling in the US, a native Punjabi cab driver bemoaned after learning where I came from: “They have cut trees everywhere. Delhi is not the same anymore.”
In Delhi the skyline has changed in visible ways. Roads which were green and shady are now bereft of tree cover. As the city becomes a crisscross of roads and metro rail tracks, transport corridors have taken precedence. ‘Efficiency’ has become the sole driver of this change. No thought is given to keeping the city’s character intact.
At the same time, the State has been acting in a non-transparent manner. There is little information about the number of trees that are to be cut or the places from where they will be cut. More often than not, this is only discovered once it happens. Public protests about tree cutting have been dealt with subterfuge, instead of openness and concern.
When the tree campaign, Trees for Delhi, was at its peak and the media was glaring down at the government, trees were simply cut in the dead of the night. The government formed a Tree Authority advisory body and included NGOs. But promises to provide public information, street marking of trees, etc have not been kept. It now appears that the public campaign was dealt with as a government public relations exercise.
Claims of re-planting and compensatory afforestation in suburban city forests have been made, but without addressing the core issues raised by the campaign, namely keeping in-city and neighborhood trees intact. New colonies have been markedly bereft of tree cover. Those who spoke about saving trees were branded ‘eco-terrorists,’ ‘romantic’, ‘anti-development.’

The issues being raised are relevant both to the ‘tree’ and to what the city of the future is meant to be. City trees provide a livable landscape. You have to see a tree-less city like Dubai to know what this means. Trees change skylines, provide a habitat of birds, bird calls, nests and insects, and a constant realisation that life has other dimensions.
While investments in city infrastructure are being done arguably to ease the lot of its ‘poor’, (even as they are moved out of the city) yet it is these citizens who have lost the most. The poor have even closer everyday links with trees. Trees provide shade, a place to set up a little food stall or a bicycle repair shack. Only engineers and planners who want to reduce all of life’s values to a concrete ‘functionality’ cannot see this. In fact, the tree should be as much a part of the city development debate, as stadiums, highways, or market complexes are.
Is it that we are unable to value anything which does not generate ‘revenue?’
Trees help percolate groundwater, make soil stable, lower temperatures and influence micro-climates. However, it is equally relevant to think of trees as adding another critical quality dimension to our lives.
Most trees have disappeared to accommodate more cars on the road. With no end in sight to the unbridled increase in cars, roads are now extending from house front to house front. Most widened roads have no place for pedestrians or for cyclists, leave alone trees. The Trees for Delhi campaign discovered that the path between houses was legally a ‘right of way’ and that city planners had full right to do what they wanted in that area. It is clear that trees are not even thought of when road widening plans are made, and they are treated only as an inconvenience.
In many cases, it is possible to change road orientations to save trees, but this is not done. Once such plans have been made, clearance for tree cutting is a mere formality, even though cities like Delhi have a Tree Preservation Act. It is not possible for the Tree Officer, who is the Conservator of Forests, to reverse matters at this late stage when plans have been approved and budgets sanctioned. In the case of the Commonwealth Games, trees have also been brutally chopped off on construction projects. Even the Reserved Delhi Ridge Forest has been a victim of the Metro line. At Siri Fort, another protected forest where the DDA is constructing a badminton stadium, local residents protested. Even the Supreme Court appointed committee (2009) stated… “this site is not an appropriate location for such a project. It is far from any Metro Station, and furthermore it has involved the savage cutting down of a humongous number of trees, in what can only be described as a wilful and heartless manner.”
Surprisingly, in many cases, residents themselves have been insensitive to trees. Each winter, there is a clamour to ‘prune’ colony trees. So branches are lopped off by hired contractors who gain by selling the wood. It is not uncommon to see beautiful large trees standing precariously unbalanced, their branches cut on one side, rather than scientifically pruned. Despite the presence of a large population of such trees, proper equipment such as lifts and long shears are not available with the municipalities to prune the trees as required.
The problem of tree tiling has been highlighted for a long time, mainly through the efforts of environmentalists. Kalpavriksh in Delhi has even gone to Court to obtain orders against this menace which intensifies just before the end of the financial year in March. Contracts are handed out to ‘tile’ pavements, even though in many places natural grass and soil is preferable. Tiling chokes the tree. Then the tree is subjected to lopsided pruning. It becomes unstable and often falls when the wind speed is high. Despite alternatives like porous tiles and despite court strictures of leaving adequate space around the tree trunk, tiling continues unchecked.
Citizens have been protesting in many places. In Bangalore, the Environmental Support Group (ESG) along with others have started a campaign against thoughtless road widening and the taking over of public spaces for infrastructure projects without any public consultation. In Pune, environmental groups like Kalpavriksh and citizens have been trying to stop tree cutting clearances by initiating transparent procedures. The battle is uphill. Trees need to be considered part of the city’s planning exercise, otherwise it often becomes too late to save them.
For me, personally, the mango tree in the backyard of our government bungalow was my afternoon retreat after school. Later, this led me to the forest, taking children for walks, and guided my entry into environmental work through the Save the Delhi Ridge Campaign. The mango tree was an inspiring imprint, an image I visited and revisited, a bond of imagination which exists to this day. My tree is surely ‘functional,’ but in very different and important ways.
Ravi Agarwal is Director, Toxics Link, New Delhi