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  5. 5. PREFACE“Now the trumpet summons us again……a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out,rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’s struggle against the commonenemies of man : tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. Can we forgeagainst these enemies a grand and global alliance, north and south, east andwest, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind?”-President J F Kennedy, USA, in an address to the nationOur world’s future hangs precariously…lopsided development and rampantconsumerism have widened the chasm between the world’s rich and theworld’s poor. We have witnessed a gross violation of human rights acrossthe globe. Millions of the world’s children still cling precariously to life.About 40,000 of them die every day due to preventable causes-hunger,disease, war and neglect. Women in the developing world face grossinequities in food and nutrition, income (s) and opportunity. Terrorism isdevastating large parts of the globe. Millions of the world’s people lackaccess to safe drinking water, decent health care, shelter, education, andmeans of communication and jobs. The task of ending world hungerremains formidable. Increasing population pressures, deforestation anddesertification are eating away our precious natural resources. Manycountries face the ‘darker’ side of development, “debt”. War and diseaseare forcing millions to flee their home countries. And, indigenous peopleall over the world are becoming fast endangered under pressure from theforces of global expansion. Also, there are those innocent people being 5
  6. 6. sexually abused, raped or mutilated (as in war). Drugs, alcohol, poormental health, juvenile delinquency and HIV/AIDS are taking a heavy toll.Pollution is now a major health hazard. The ozone layers are gettingdepleted. And the Earth is warming up…Numbers do not matter. We are too much preoccupied with them. What weneed today is sound vision coupled with forceful, efficient and effectivepolicies and a firm commitment to the eradication of poverty and itsattendant ills. The time has come in the history of nations to liberate theirpeoples from centuries of illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, disease and war.For instance, a part of global spending on arms can be diverted to the socialsector. Why at all spend so much? I understand there are countries that donot have a defense budget. This book seeks to address the vision requiredtowards effective global change by tracing world problems, topic by topic.This book is not a continuous flow, but a collection of random thoughts,quotations and extracts. Hope the book makes for good reading.I do not understand much of fiscal policy or bulls and bears. What I dounderstand is the language of the poor and the marginalized, the languageof the harsh realities of staying alive till the next moment, the next day, thelanguage of survival…Change and love are the most important themes of the book.“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleepAnd miles to go before I sleep…” 6
  7. 7. -Robert FrostIndeed what I am trying to convey is a message: a message of peace of mydreams of utopia (or near utopia) on Planet Earth. I firmly believe that thebest way to serve the poor and the underprivileged is to walk hand in handwith them and allow God to show you the way. Each one of us has apromise to keep. If each one kept his/her promise, the world would surelybe a much better place to live in.It is not just one planet; it is one home, one family. Is this utopia?Let us challenge our limits in our endeavor (however small it may be) tobring about a happier world.Let us help shift development attention away from economic growth as themain index of progress to look more closely to what is happening to thepoor in terms of equitable distribution of income.One’s world could be big or small, depending on opportunities andcircumstances. Therefore, we should always make an effort towardsimprovement and change in our own as well as in the lives of others.I was only…. looking at the world through my eyes. So they say: “tinydrops of water make up the ocean”. Only when we work together hand inhand can we create a better world to live in.Man’s quest for the unknown, his thirst for knowledge will never end, andbelieve me, factors such as burgeoning populations and a decrease in arablelands, the absence of peace and prevalent poverty and civil strife may forceman to settle in space or inside peace stations.This may be a dream. We know of the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd worlds. Verysoon we will have a zeroth world (most advanced) characterized by highly 7
  8. 8. sophisticated scienti-technogenic people residing in space – possibly on themoon or on Mars? Will these be peace stations? The emphasis on zero inthe 1st chapter highlights the stark contrast between the 0th world and frozenpoverty. The 0th world may be characterized by hi-fidelity cities, acomplete disregard for the health of (the) earth, suave cyber – commoners,cyber-laws, cyber-vehicles, cyber-parliaments, cyber-shanty towns etc. Iseek to add here that settling in the distant future may ease populationpressures on land, and that would be a tremendous achievement, but newproblems may arise!!!The need of the hour is an intelligent humano-cryogenic system to awakenman out of his deep slumber and work towards solutions to problemspersisting on Planet Earth.And so they all sing…“It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark...…All you need is a tiny spark…And the world will be free…”Yes, we need to act urgently on issues. Some of the most pressing issuesare global warming, the extinction of species around the globe, massivepopulation growth, poverty and hunger and human rights abuses. The poorare often reduced to development reports and socio-economic statistics.Scant attention is given to the harsh realities of survival in their daily lives,be they are lying below the poverty line, or be they lie displaced, or be theystand infected with TB/HIV/AIDS.The book begins with a surrealistic view of hope and contradiction…. anote of pathos.… 8
  9. 9. In the end, it offers hope for me, hope for you, and hope for all of us, ahope for mankind….It may be fair to conclude however that as long as there are people, therewill be problems. We can however, minimize the extent and enormity ofsuch problems (and alleviate them all together) by better investing in ourchildren (primarily in the form of love, security and education), particularlychildren in the rural areas and /or in unfortunate circumstances (children ondope, AIDS orphans, young alcoholics, juvenile delinquents, minoroffenders, street children, child labor etc).I have faced a lot of pain in my life so far. And I have chosen to expressmyself particularly my anger and discontentment at the system. I could alsofeel the ferment within me, as I wrote this book. The ferment to comeforward and work towards the health of human beings and that of theenvironment.I confess however that I cannot provide solutions. In fact, at places, theideas and thoughts may appear to be contradictory. Besides, solutions comethrough work and experimentation. It is to the poor, the most unfortunate,the most wretched and the ugliest on the planet that I dedicate my work.Also to those working to make the world a better place to live in…Talking of globalization with a human face (strengthening of the ‘HIPCInitiative’ for instance), let us start with a vision of a just and sustainableworld. Let us relegate poverty to history! Let us work towards a future thatis economically, socially and ecologically viable for all, in other words“sustainable”. People, who matter, need to have a closer look at realitiesand make targets, which can not only be met but can also be sustained overa period. 9
  10. 10. Let us work towards a more sustainable future-Let us work together towards a new global order-Let it truly be ‘the End of Inequality’! 10
  11. 11. CHAPTER 1AIf I can stop one heart from breaking,I shall not live in vain.If I can ease one life from aching, orCool one pain,Or help one fainting robin into his nest again,I shall not live in vain.- Emily DickinsonI fall at the feet of the Lord almighty that he may protect the planet fromultimate destruction and send some ‘divine Martians’ to protect every childand every flower and every bird and every forest and every other creationof God from being abused.It may seem man is trying to escape to Mars with all this applied spaceresearch because he may have discovered there is no peace left on earthafter Nazism, Fascism, the Cold War, and Bosnia and so on. If man startsbehaving like God, God will remind him that as a human being, he hascertain responsibilities left on Earth. At this moment, a child may be cryingout of hunger, another may be getting sexually abused (or, mutilated by alandmine), a man may be dying of cold on the streets at night, and a bird oran animal may be facing extinction.At the turn of the century, man must start telling himself, telling his“atman” (soul) that there is plenty of work left to do, that he must comedown to Earth, and for once, stop running after the Martians and theVenetians. 11
  12. 12. CHAPTER 1B “TOWARDS A HAPPIER WORLD, OUR MISSION SHOULD BEGIN NOW”The year : 1999 Anno Domini following the birth of Christ.The place : Cape Canaveral, the United States of America.The event : preparing for the launch of a rocket into outer space.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) testing allcontrols and communication instruments, pressure testing the combustionchamber, testing the nozzle, testing the fuel.Time: 10: 15: 03 GMT.At this particular moment, something else is happening in another part ofthe world, called the Third world, (may be), in Brazil or in India, God istrying to touch a trash can, yes, a little flower called a child is pickingsubsistence (“food for thought”) out of a trash can (actually, a garbagedump). And God wanted to warn policy-makers and environmentalists ofthe perils of neglecting a child (hunger / malnutrition) and neglecting theenvironment, our beloved eco-system. Yes, the policy-makers andenvironmentalists were sleeping and the two superpowers were vying witheach other trying to build superior space shuttles. One underwent a series ofreforms with Glasnost and Perestroika…as also a fall of its system(Communism) …another power (may be star power) rose out of the ashes 12
  13. 13. after President Harry Truman and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes, the landof Zen Buddhism, ‘Shinto’ and beautiful Mt.Fujiyama and the Kamakura isnow busy building fashionable cars, more comfortable cars. Pray, howmuch more comfort do we need? When, at this moment, a child is beingborn as a cretin because his mother’s diet lacked iodine.[I must say that discrimination begins before birth]Did the almighty want this kind of a world?He wanted peace.Day by day, wars are increasing.Have computers, technology been able to bring peace, solved poverty?Has science been able to bring peace, solve poverty? (I am, however,gradually coming to believe, that science and technology, well applied, cancure much of what ails mankind).What is mankind coming to?It may sound futuristic, but man is trying to act like the extra-terrestrial,create Jurassic parks around himself. Man wants peace, “shanti”. Man maybe dreaming of peace, actually dinosaurs, which means life in the jungles(yes, man probably thinks he was at peace in the jungles, the beginning ofcivilization, so may be he wants to go back to the jungles).There was peace in the past. There will hopefully be peace in the future,and the present is in turmoil. Before we discuss this turmoil, let us observea moment of silence:“Om shanti” (a salutation to the concept of peace) 13
  14. 14. “Silent night, holy night” (a salutation to Lord Jesus, Christ the Lord)“Buddham Sharanam Gachhami” (a salutation to Lord Buddha, the princewho renounced the world, let us put ourselves under his protection) andpray:• for those millions of children who have been traumatized by mass violence (orphans of war, never again!) e.g. in Rwanda, Bosnia-• for those suffering from the after-effects of the holocaust at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (never again should that happen!!)-• for those in Asia, Africa and in the rest of the world suffering from (famine), disease and hunger-• for those languishing under poverty-• for those sleeping on the streets because of lack of adequate housing-• for the rights of indigenous peoples-• for those displaced by multinational projects-• for those displaced from their homes as a result of civil war and social disintegration-• for every plant, every flower, for every tree-• for every animal or bird on the verge of extinction-• for every man or every woman who has faced cross-cultural friction, community friction-• for global refugees- 14
  15. 15. • for every man or woman or child who has been denied the right to read and write-• for all those who have suffered abuse of some kind-We break our silence, our peace, our “sadhana” (meditation)Time: 10: 20: 23 GMT.The space rocket has taken off from the blast site, planning to go into acondition of zero gravity, weightlessness, perhaps carrying a cat (first therewas a dog called “Laika” in outer space). At this moment, a man in acountry called Nepal in the trans-Himalayas is freezing in the cold on thestreets at night, when the temperatures have fallen below zero. (Be they inNepal or in America, imagine those having no homes to go back to?) Atthis time, in the Northern Hemisphere (God, why on Earth is everything onthis planet so divided-including the Hemispheres?) lakes have frozen at theNorth Pole. So a man has frozen on the streets when temperatures havefallen below zero? Yes and the Earth is probably heading for frozen peace.So, let me tell myself, my heart melts for a child (and it will any way, if notfor other reasons, under present conditions of global warming!).So, let me sacrifice my ice cream for a hungry child on the street. Let melook into my mirage and try to create an oasis in a desert.Let me, for once, sacrifice my meal for a hungry child, and try to work togreen a desert.Silence peaceOm shanti a salutation to peacePeace peace 15
  16. 16. Commonality togethernessAt this moment, antiballistic missiles are getting fired!!!!!Think for a moment, while I pay homage to an American called Carl Saganof “Cosmos” fame and a Frenchman called Jean Jacques Cousteau of“Secrets of the Sea” fame. With or without heresy, (rememberCopernicus?), once again, take the plunge. Get a little deeper into someoneelse’s world. I know that in 1960, bathyscaphe Trieste reached the deepestocean bed- the Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean. But you do not have tobuild a “more fashionable” bathyscaphe. I have better things to do-attending a “glamorous” ‘international convention’ where policy-makers(and I am one of them) will discuss???????, the three most unfinished taskson the global agenda-PovertyThe environmentAndGlobal human securityAnd ways to manage the events!!!!!!! 16
  17. 17. CHAPTER 2AWe are facing a number of threats to the welfare of the world’s population… some arise from natural causes such as droughts, floods, locusts, cropfailure and disease…. also, trading rivalries between nations, felt injustices,narcotics, AIDS…. authoritarian governments… war… poverty (of food,shelter, health care, work & education, lack of clean drinking water), weare living in a dangerous world, of human rights abuses, man’s lack ofhumanity to man… a grim picture… refugees… war – torn countries inwhich both young and old suffer…a burgeoning population threatening lifeitself… too many of the world’s children still cling hazardously to theirlives…natural disasters… unemployment… crime and extremism (also,commonly known as guerrilla warfare) … racism, sexism… religion… weare living in a world full of inequalities… gender inequality… a straightdemarcation between the “North” and the poor “South,” where peoplecontinue battling hunger, ignorance and disease… to make better lives, wehave to relieve the immediate suffering of people in the developingcountries, and to help them raise their standards of living by their ownefforts. imbalance in our world, stems from, among other things,unpredictable climate, poor soil, natural disasters (e.g. floods, earthquakes,sudden drought), insufficient natural resources… also, heavy spending onarms instead of on essentials… in many of the world’s largest cities (andremote rural and tribal hamlets), people fight for survival (picking out“food” from garbage dumps)… there is extreme malnutrition... infant andmaternal mortality… there is a need to close the gap… and then, there is,the problem of “debt”… we are examining the darker side ofdevelopment…. and there arises a need to re-orient national andinternational plans and policies in favor of the poor… 17
  18. 18. The UN has brought relief from under-nourishment to many millions (inthe Third World) and saved many more, by providing vaccination andtreatment… from disease… has delivered many small farmers indeveloping countries from struggling on poor or unirrigated soil… ourworld is changing… we have achieved a victory over smallpox…newvistas of communication have opened up… the risk of nuclear war hasreceded… and yet, a vast number of people are living in inhuman anddegrading conditions… we face environmental pollution, extinction ofanimal and bird species and most importantly, depletion of our ozone layerand global warming...Talk cannot prevent a child from dying… cannot produce enough food fora single family… or sink wells or dig irrigation channels to produce bettercrops… it cannot provide medical care for families that have never seen adoctor in their lives… all “unfinished business of our ‘beloved” planet.. Somuch to be done, so much that can be done… Its high time we begun…..“Western civilization has made and continues to make great progress inmaterial development, but if techniques can also be created for achievinginternal happiness, modern society will become far more advanced.Without such internal growth, we become enslaved to external things, andeven though called humans, we become like parts of a machine.”- The Dalai LamaIt is not just one planetIt is one homeOne family. 18
  19. 19. “What the world has to eradicate is fear and ignorance.”- Jan MasarykAlthough communications have improved,… Have the Third World’s poor gained…?Let us challenge our limits in our endeavor to bring about a happier world.“Just begin, one, one, one… begin at home by saying something good toyour child…. begin by helping someone in need in your community … dosomething beautiful for God.”- Mother TeresaLet us eat the food, learn to weave a mat or make a gesture of respect … orrecite a charm…. during our interactions with people from other cultures.“Humanity is indeed a family… I hope that people all over the world….will realize they share similar experiences. Then they might think, this isour world, we better take care of it.”- Ken HeymanThe gap in living standards between the few with money, houses, or goodjobs, and the many that have none of those good things, is wide. It may bewidely resented…. 19
  20. 20. Some are out of the era, some still in it… of cannibalism, headhunting,infanticide, incest… the rest of the world has moved ahead. What ananomaly?Poverty…. racism, unemployment, gender inequality, employment ofchildren in factories… street children…. illiteracy…. ignorance…. a lotmore to achieve…“Many of us have fixed ideas… we should talk together with open mindsand grasp anything which is a step forward; not hold out for our particular,ultimate panacea…”- Eleanor Roosevelt, from a speech at a meeting of women’s clubs, 1925The task of ending world hunger remains formidable. There is such a big,muddled world, so much to be done, so much that can be done… inlearning to care, in thinking of hunger not as an abstraction but as oneempty stomach, in having a hospitable mind, open like a window tocurrents of air and to light from all sides.- Anonymous“It is a pity that operations to find homes for millions of refugees, to bringrapid emergency relief after grave natural disasters in any part of the globe,to wipe out smallpox from the earth, to stamp out the drug trade all over theworld, to help organize family planning activities among much of theworld’s population, to organize the world’s meteorological services, orabolish pollution in the oceans, to mention only a few, are not so well 20
  21. 21. known to the general public as the angry speeches hurled across thehorseshoe table of the Security Council chamber.”- A former British UN delegate.“Corruption is anti-national, anti-poor and anti-economic development”,said the Central Vigilance Commissioner (India) in his letter of June 23,2000 to all government departments. The ‘Corruption Perception Index’released by the Berlin-based Transparency International in September 2000places India in the 69th position in a list of 90 countries. India’sperformance is worse than that of China, Ghana, Mauritius and SouthAfrica.The UNDP report on human development, 1999 on South Asia, tells us thatif corruption in India goes down to that of Scandinavian countries, the GDPas well as foreign direct investment will go up (and much of this growthcan be redirected into agriculture, the mainstay of the Indianeconomy)….time for introspection! 21
  22. 22. CHAPTER 2B THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE 20TH CENTURY, CHALLENGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY AND BEYONDQuote“And it is not only that the master sees when a particular method issuitable. It is much more. There is an alchemy that takes place when wemeet an enlightened master, an intuitive recognition is born in us that, yes,this man represents our own ultimate possibility, that what he is we can be.So the master acts as the catalyst to awaken in us a trust in ourselves, in ourown flowering. This trust is enough to start us on the path.”UnquoteExcerpt from Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)The greatest unfinished task on the global agenda is managing an eventcalled time. An event is happening and we on Planet Earth are running outof time. At this moment, someone’s expectations are rising. Can we predictthe consequences of a rising expectation? A man in a remote villageexpects an e-mail facility in his village at subsidized rates so that his wifecan send a message to him during his lunchtime in the field. But think, aheavy metal group slashes innocent pigeons on stage and a big group ofpeople watch. Is Interpol sleeping? Come to think of it, such a thinghappening at the turn of the century? 22
  23. 23. Actually, how humane are we? Glaring inequalities in society exist. Thosewallowing in luxury and privileges beware. Unrestrained open displays ofwealth and privileges and indifference to the poor might one day arousesuch rage as to cause a bloody revolution as happened in France.We still have a long way to go to call ourselves civilized or humane orcompassionate or sufficiently tolerant.Growing instances of communal and caste conflicts, religiousfundamentalism, domination of the forces of “mono-thinking” (which isdestroying world peace), lack of gender equality, and lack of concern forthe underprivileged and crass materialism pervade. Oppressive practicessuch as bonded and child labor still exist. Yes, nimble fingers (of the child)make fireworks at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu state of India and footballs inSialkot region of Pakistan.Let us teach human values and pray for human rights, pray for world peace.A humane society would employ respect for the environment and forhuman beings.In India, for instance, despite the “wake up” calls (revival / renaissance)given more than a century ago by national and religious leaders beginningwith sages like Rishi Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and Raja RammohanRoy, the national scenario is still uninspiring. The country has (relatively)the largest number of illiterates. Emaciated women of Rajasthan state treklong distances to fetch drinking water. Female infanticide exists. Childmarriage exists. In many areas, the plight of women is no better than thatof cattle. And an often-mere object of man’s lust… the obnoxious practiceof “Lausa” exists wherein rural women in Rajasthan state have to wear iron 23
  24. 24. underwear when their husbands are away. And then, there are those victimsof superstition and ignorance waiting for light in their lives:Only god knows why a group of people stood and worshipped while ayoung innocent widow bride called Roop Kanwar was made “Sati”, burntto ashes in Deorala village of Rajasthan state in India.The ideal should be love for fellow beings and solidarity of mankind.Attitudinal changes in the people to build up a more humane society, moretolerant, and truly secular and democratic is advocated. “Atmabodha” or Self-knowledge:I am composing the “Atmabodha”or “Self-knowledge” to serve the needsof those who have been purified through the practice of austerities and whoare peaceful in heart, free from cravings, and desirous of liberation.To serve the needs etc-needs conducive to the attainment of liberation, onlyself-knowledge can destroy ignorance and free one from repeated rebirths,in “Samsara”, the relative world of incessant change and movement, whichis characterized by pain and pleasure, weal and woe, love and hate, life anddeath, and other pairs of opposites.“Therefore know thyself. When the true self is known, the jig-saw puzzleof the world gets solved, doubts are at an end, and all misery vanishes.”-Sri Sankara, Swami Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna-VivekanandaInstitute of New York, USA. 24
  25. 25. At this moment, the internet is probably replacing a learned man inexplaining the philosophy of the Holy Vedas, the Upanishads, and theBhagwad Gita????? What a pity!!!!!We constantly find that man acts relative to society; we are all victims ofsociety in some way or the other, for instance, the victim of poverty. Let uslearn to convert our dislike for society (presuming that at least some of usdislike society) into love for all victims of society. Om shanti. A salutation to the concept of peace. Let us observe silence for a moment and move ahead…More progress in human well being has been made in the last 50 years thanin the previous 200, according to a recent report from a children’sorganization. Average life expectancy has risen. There has been a widerange of improvements in income, nutrition, health care and education. Inthe last 50 years, the proportion of children who die before the age of 5 hasbeen reduced. Adult literacy rates have doubled to approximately 70%.There has been a victory over smallpox. Rising immunization levels haveeradicated polio from the Western Hemisphere. Let us work to eradicatethe virus ((which virus)?) from the other hemispheres?????The British historian Arnold Toynbee predicted in the 1940’s that the 20thcentury will be chiefly remembered…not as an age of political conflicts ortechnical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to thinkof the welfare of the whole human race as a practical “objective”. 25
  26. 26. Judging from the headlines of the 1990’s, this prophecy seems a bit toooptimistic.Politically, the disintegration of Russia and the failure of Communism willbe remembered. Communism failed because of volcanoes from beneath.First, the Cold war, then the Gulf War, then Bosnia, Chechnya,Herzegovina, then Rwanda??? What kind of peace, what kind ofdemocracy (or, democratization) has been achieved? The Earth itself is indanger?? A fifth of the world’s people still live in absolute poverty (or,relative poverty)?? They are the 1 billion absolute poor-“those who arewithout the basics of life, those without education and jobs (massunemployment), those without clean water or basic health care, thosewhose children die or become disabled in such numbers, those who areforced to ruin their own environments and futures for the sake of stayingalive today”. Women are among the poorest of the poor. Women in thedeveloping world face gross inequities.“Meeting these unmet needs” is the primary unfinished business of the 20thcentury. And not to do so is unconscionable in a world made one bycommunications. The main question is that of morality, which must matchwith global increases in productive capacity. The world’s primary need ismeeting the needs of the poorest children. Children in the Third Worldsuffer from malnutrition, childhood diseases, polio, suffer from lack of anutritious diet, from the lack of primary school education, the lack of cleanwater and safe sanitation in all communities.Given a sustained effort and more help from the industrialized nations,more developing countries can reach (if not utopia) in lesser and lessertime. The world will then have taken a major step towards finishing the job 26
  27. 27. of erasing from the planet, the worst aspects of poverty, malnutrition,preventable illness, and illiteracy and all in good time, that too.Before we move ahead, I quote Swami Vivekananda: “poverty there mustbe (yes, the biggest disease on this planet), so long as the disease known ascivilization exists: and hence the need of relief.”Swamiji (quoted above) spoke of greed, now every village probably has atelevision set, and out of the attraction of a city life, (more so, out of sheerdesperation over difficult living conditions in the villages) millions areflocking to the cities, creating slums, squalor, shanty towns. Some aresleeping on the streets, some on railway tracks, some are having to dig foodout of trash bins. One important question that policy- makers shouldconsider, is that, where is there more happiness-in the villages (despitepoverty) or in the cities (urban poverty)? Are they poorer in the cities or inthe villages? Policy-makers should carry out PRA (participatory ruralappraisal) and PUA (participatory urban appraisal) with the poor tomeasure their degree of happiness? Then starts our event management. theprincipal technologies for meeting the unmet needs at low cost are alreadyavailable and the financial cost is negligible in relation to what humanityhas at stake. Money alone will not be sufficient. Political commitment andcompetent management are just as important.However, according to one estimate, the total cost of providing basic socialservices in the developing countries, including health, education, familyplanning, clean water, and all of the other basic goals agreed on at previoussocial summits is less than what the world spends on playing Golf??? 27
  28. 28. CHAPTER 3AGod created natureand then he created mandid he think of the consequences?Today the birds no little chirpthe waters of the mountain stream carry a melancholic strainand our planet weeps,pray, have we forgotten how to think deepOh! Give me a world,where all looks greenwhere you can hear the music of the waterand the song of the streamwhere seldom is heard a discouraging wordand seldom can a barren tree be seen.And in our efforts to preserve natureand to restore harmony,oh! Let us work as a team,save the planet,save mankindhelp!Making an effort to clean our immediate surroundings is the first steptowards a clean environment.The well being and the hopes of the peoples of the world can never beserved until the environment and eco-systems that sustain all life on earthare secure. 28
  29. 29. People have now to survive on an environmentally fragile planet. By themiddle of the next century-during the lifetimes of today’s children – theworld population may double and the world economy may quadruple. Foodproduction must triple if people are to be adequately fed, but the resourcebase for sustainable agriculture is eroding. Energy is needed, but even atpresent levels of use, fossil fuels threaten stability of world climaticconditions. The world’s forests are being destroyed each day, and the lossof biological wealth and diversity continue relentlessly.We cannot expect the poor to be preoccupied with the blaring emergenciesof global warming or the depletion of the ozone layer. It is the silentemergencies – polluted water or degraded land-that put their lives andlivelihoods at risk. Unless poverty ‘per se’ is addressed, environmentalsustainability cannot be guaranteed…One way to control “global climate warming” would be to spread moregreenery around the area of operation (e.g. a city).There need not be any tension between economic growth andenvironmental protection and regeneration. Much of environmentaldegradation (e.g. destruction of forests) results from poverty and limitedhuman choices… therefore, economic growth becomes vital for poorsocieties.Today’s guides and scouts are in the forefront of conservation and ecology.Tree planting, waste re-cycling, preservation of footpaths and hedgerows,work in nature reserves and support of the World Wide Fund for Nature,are just a few of the ways in which they care for Planet Earth. All this istrue to the spirit of Robert Baden-Powell, with his love of nature and hatredof pollution and over production. 29
  30. 30. Worldwide, pesticides and toxic chemicals pose a risk to public health andthe environment. Let us promote safer means of pest control.Think, industrialization and urban expansion have taken a toll on thefamous Sherwood Forest, the vast expanse of wilderness just north ofNottingham, England.A comment on conservation: by George Pope Morris: -“Woodman, spare that tree!Touch not a single bough!In youth it sheltered me, and I’ll protect it now.”Through “afforestation”, forests, or tree cover is recreated on land, whichmay, earlier, have been forested land. Land, which is covered with treesand bushes, supports all life forms, including human life. Roots of plantshold the rich topsoil and prevent its erosion by wind and water; help thesoil absorb rainfall thereby raising the water table, which fills the wells.Trees and shrubs slowly create humus, which makes the topsoil rich. Treesand other plants produce a more comfortable temperature and moreoxygen, thereby creating a pleasant living environment.Every organization, which has under its charge a large area, must try toafforest at least those regions, which are within the vicinity of living areas.There are two basic methods of afforestation. In places where the landalready had trees and other plant cover, protection and watering will lead tonatural afforestation. On bare land, one has to plant trees to effectafforestation. One can imaginatively plant trees to capture the real andaesthetic effects of a “true” forest. 30
  31. 31. To make afforestation successful, one has to identify and analyze suitable lands; identify and select suitable species; manage water effectively and efficiently; manage cattle effectively; operate nursery and plantations; ensure high rate of sapling survival; monitor, evaluate and take feedback.Activities of afforestation on community basis will boost tree cover on landand fuel wood and fodder programs, seed development, etc., to create apeaceful, sustainable living environment.The world’s oceans contain enormous volumes of biotic, mineral andenergy resources. The ocean’s role in creating the conditions required forlife on Earth is highly significant. The oceans still continue to sustain manyliving organisms, and as such, are called “genetic nurseries”. In recentyears, due to indiscriminate human interference in the form of unplannedcatching of fish, offshore oil drilling and dumping of waste products, thenatural environment of the oceans has been greatly disturbed. As a result, alarge number of marine species have become extinct.It is estimated that 80 percent of fossil fuels will be exhausted in a centuryif the current rate of exploitation continues. Similarly, over fishing has led 31
  32. 32. to scarcity of fish even in some of the once important fishing grounds ofthe world. All these call for “Conservation”.The process of “bio-diversity conservation” means the conservation of allforms of natural life that would earlier exist in a particular area, and wouldstill exist there, if not human beings had altered the land and water and / orpolluted them. Let us raise awareness towards conservation of natural lifeforms such as elephants, tigers and crocodiles … and allow other naturalspecies, both plant and animal, to live peacefully….Conservation is necessary in that much of land and water surroundingnatural life is getting altered. Bio-diversity Conservation requires that a partof the unutilized area in a region be protected, to allow a small pocket ofnature to live peacefully….Both wasteland development and afforestation can be planned in innovativeways (using mostly local species of plants) to help bio-diversityconservation.Conservation of coastal and marine life like sharks, jellyfish, corals,plankton, etc. is also of prime importance…. the first step would be toidentify those species of flora and fauna that lie threatened or endangered…“Wastelands” are degraded, under-utilized or deteriorating (owing to lackof water and soil management, or natural causes) lands. These wastelandscan be brought under vegetative cover given the right amount of effort.India’s land resources were healthier earlier. India has 2.4% of the world’sland area but 15% of the world’s human population and about 16% of theworld’s cattle population. Due to increasing population pressure, per capitaland availability has declined. Over exploitation of natural resources, massincrease in the demands of food, fuel, fodder, fiber, shelter, industry, 32
  33. 33. communication, etc. and changes in individual lifestyles have exertedtremendous pressure on India’s land resources, leading to soil erosion, landdegradation and finally wastelands. An estimate places 23% of India’sgeographical area under “wastelands”.The main causes of development of wastelands are: - erosion caused by water or winds; improper land and water management; overgrazing by cattle; “shifting” agriculture; water – logging; salinity/alkalinity.Developing wastelands has many advantages: - it is a source of income and employment to the rural poor; it ensures a constant supply of fuel, fodder and timber; it contributes to soil fertility; it enables maintenance of balance in ecology; it enhances forest cover; it helps bring about conventional rainfall; it helps supplement income of farmers; an increase in the number of trees reduces pests, with trees sheltering fields from insects; trees help recharge ground water. 33
  34. 34. Initiatives should be taken to tackle the problem of degraded lands andputting wastelands to uses that respect the principles of sustainability…There is a need to educate common people on issues such as landdegradation, soil erosion, conservation of land and water, technology forafforestation, income-generation and social issues. This gigantic task has toinvolve government and voluntary agencies as well as the community…To achieve higher productivity, local “eco-friendly” species should beplanted. We would be able to generate more fuel and energy.Finally, this “greening” will have a significant effect on the immediatevicinity…Talking about putting wastelands to productive use! –The entire developing world is facing the problem of acute energyshortage, so very important for developmental activities. “Renewableenergy” or energy from the sun, wind, biomass and water are not onlyviable options but also reduce pressures on fast-depleting conventionalfossil fuels. Renewable energy is pollution free, locally availableabundantly, external, efficient and cost-effective.Alternative sources of energy can be utilized in many ways:(i) Bio-gas: is obtained from cow dung and human waste. It is efficient, simple, and cheap and can be used to generate electricity. enriched manure can be obtained from the left over residue in a biogas unit;(ii) Smokeless cooking stove: traditional cooking stoves often are detrimental to health. They may cause problems of the eye and of respiration. but “smokeless” cooking stoves with chimneys reduce health problems, reduce firewood consumption and enable speed cooking; 34
  35. 35. (iii) Windmill: helps harness wind energy. Windmills are pollution-free, cost-effective and easy to obtain. they can be used to drain water from wells and generate electricity;(iv) Solar energy: can be used to generate heat and electricity. Dryers, solar cookers, etc. use solar energy. Other uses are water heating, pumping of water and lighting. Solar energy is pollution-free and is easily available and cost-effective.A “revolving fund” should be formed to provide monetary help toproducers and users of renewable energy technology.Renewable energy sources (or devices) such as smokeless cooking stoves,solar lanterns, solar home lighting systems, domestic heaters; etc. should besold at subsidized prices to the rural poor….The government should promote the establishment of co-operatives ofrenewable energy entrepreneurs in small towns and rural areas…– small earthen dams for water harvesting are both ecologically sound and economically profitable. Small reservoirs can transform rural economies without eroding soil, deforesting or desertifying regions or displacing people…– exposure to radiation can lead to many biological hazards. It is known that even low doses of radiation exposure can cause cancer and genetic disorders. A radioactive element can enter the human body through the food chain over a distance of thousands of miles.– toxic wastes are dumped in Third World countries by industrialized nations’ industries. Some of these-such as PVC, industrial incinerator ash, contaminated earth, etc. are extremely dangerous. These radioactive 35
  36. 36. waste materials often mix with the soil and vegetation, polluting rivers and the environment; and leading to serious health hazards.– with regard to agriculture, economic development is possible through systematic infusion of scientific and technological inputs, which in turn, would lead to higher agricultural productivity and sustainability.– forests are very close to man’s culture. They are not only a source of material prosperity but also the birthplaces of our culture. Materialistic civilization has completely changed the man-nature relationship. Forest – dwellers have an ethnical relationship with forests, and depend on them for their survival. “Social forestry” should, therefore, be taken up at all levels.– the quantity of water present for human consumption is becoming more and more scarce. Scarcity of water is now a national phenomenon and the breakdown of storage and conservation systems in rural areas has further increased the problem. Water crisis threatens the survival of the rural poor. There is a need to develop appropriate technology in order to improve the water crisis, which will get worse if not checked (Third World Network Features, August 1988).– let us develop community – based one-tier systems to provide safe drinking water to the weaker sections of the society particularly the rural poor. A person selected from the very community itself should be formally trained and provided with proper tools and knowledge for installing water pumps. Government hand-pump systems are costlier and do not involve the community- (“Water in the Desert” – Health for the Millions, June 1988). 36
  37. 37. – in ecology, we may find the basis for a renewal of politics – ecology becoming capable of forming the nucleus of a new ideology of the future. The management of land, water and forest resources may have political implications. Talking of political implications of ecology! (Ecology and the Renewal of Politics, Jan 1989).– pollution, particularly water pollution, has adverse effects on fisheries with both the number and numbers of each species consequently declining. The detection of mercury in fish flesh and sediments is a serious matter. Talking of industries creating problems for fisheries!– with regard to afforestation, there is a need to make village peoples’ needs the primary objective so as to establish a healthy rural economy. Maximizing revenues for the government and maximizing yields for industry should be of secondary importance.– forests are of great importance to managing water resources. Two major uses include (I) the regulation of the disposition of rainfall, thereby reducing the chances of soil erosion; and (ii) regulation of floods through management of forests in the upstream catchments.– water is very important to life but it is unevenly distributed in the world, and subject to misuse. Continued exploitation of global water resources can have disastrous implications.– let us have alternate technologies for increasing source of drinking water. The source would differ depending upon the terrain. Traditional methods can be improved with latest scientific technologies.– we cannot afford to ignore the hazards of nuclear (energy) plants. Radioactive waste is to be safely disposed of, but very often, built in 37
  38. 38. design safety systems offer no guarantee of protection. As happened during the Chernobyl gas disaster (former USSR), the general publics in the surrounding towns and villages may not have been warned about radiation hazards.– during famine-relief operations, authorities should allow decision- making at all levels. Self-planned and self-managed relief activities by (local) rural women’s groups will go a long way in famine relief. Call it ‘gender-based famine relief’!– let us “embrace trees” to protect forests from commercial felling! ((The Evolution, Structure and Impact of the “Chipko” (embrace the tree) Movement, India, May 1986)).– development depends on the environment. The problem(s) of the environment exist in a vicious circle and the solution lies in improving the country’s gross nature product.– “conservation of resources” does not run on its own. For conservation, there must be broad policies based on economic principles and human ethics. To achieve conservation, policies should encompass: (I) substitution (e.g. synthetic fiber for cotton), (ii) recycling (reuse of wastes), (iii) innovation (through study and research), (iv) minimization of wastage, (v) extension of education and knowledge, (vi) enactment of laws of conservation, (vii) correct estimation of reserves (e.g. of fossil fuels, fish, etc.), and (viii) an assessment of requirements for the future.Floods are becoming rampant in China and India. Drought has devastatedthe American Midwest and Africa. Storms and hurricanes in Europe andthe Caribbean are taking heavy tolls. Waves in the North Atlantic have gotbigger. 38
  39. 39. There is environmental imbalance throughout the globe. Health is atconsiderable risk, for instance, young children in Bangkok and Mexico aresuffering from high lead levels. Lopsided development and rampantconsumerism is leading to ozone depletion, global warming, the greenhouse effect, rise in ocean and sea levels, and glaciers and ice caps willmelt. Bangkok is sinking at the rate of one inch per year (to be confirmed).The rise in temperature does not merely threaten life and property ofhumans but puts in danger the entire biodiversity of the earth. Marine lifewill very soon become extinct.Worldwide, today there are 1-1.5 lakh additional cases of cataract-inducedblindness. Predictions are that in the lower latitudes, the eye cancer ratewill greatly increase in the coming years … The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency has projected that in the 50 years between 1991-2041,12 million Americans will be affected by skin cancer and 2,00,000 will diefrom malignant melanoma…Changes in the Earth’s climate will sweep away one-third of the globalforests. The rain forests in Africa are shrinking by 1.3 million hectaresannually…Although following the Kyoto protocol in Dec 1997 the U.S. hasreluctantly agreed to reduce its emissions to 7 per cent below the 1990levels by 2012, this cut is too little for a nation which consumes a majorpercentage of the Earth’s energy…World policies on energy usage and control of greenhouse gases have tochange, or global warming will demolish ecological balance. Time tothink! 39
  40. 40. “Today the most religious movement in the world is environmentmovement.”- Archbishop of Canterburyi. “environmental management” rests with individuals – those who manage land, sea and space. Such scientists as oceanographers, social scientists, ecologists, demographers, economists, geologists, geographers and medical scientists all collect and analyze environment data. But what is important is how and to what extent each individual participates in environment conservation. Global environments are deteriorating and becoming more and more “unlivable”. Our lives now stand affected. It is the poor and the marginalized that are suffering the most.ii. awareness of the environment: only concerned persons can influence attitudes and bring out change… the need of the hour is an “environment awareness program”-to pressurize the ministry, the courts, the administration and the legislature. Press and the media and educational institutions can disseminate information on environment. Groups of vital importance to the environment include – rural people who depend on forests for their livelihood, livestock grazers on common lands, urban housewives who can recycle or dispose of domestic waste, rag-pickers who help recycle used household material, politicians and the courts…iii. there are some that feel that environment should be taught in schools. Education on environment can make it a part of our lives. How many of us are (actually) willing to behave in an “environment-friendly” way, 40
  41. 41. like recycling paper, waste, etc., reducing car emissions, or not using CFC-based car air conditioners or refrigerators?Non-formal methods of education should be incorporated into formalschool and college education in addition to community “environmentcampaigns”.A very good way to make for more “environmentally – sensitive”individuals is to actually take students on “site visits” towards observationof natural services, damages caused to them. Sites include – deforestedwastelands, rivers and such quantities of garbage as cannot be managed…we can set up “eco-(friendly) clubs” to instill respect and love for natureamong our children, the citizens of the world’s tomorrow…Let us pursue issues related to forests, wildlife, pollution, environmentaldegradation and cruelty to animals.“Environmental Information Systems” can be setup…Article 51 (g) of the Indian constitution states “it shall be the duty of everycitizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment includingforests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for livingcreatures.”Nature conservation and environmental protection form the basis forsustainable development. Remember where food comes from? Thefollowing areas need serious thought and concrete action: environment education and awareness; conservation of biological diversity; sustainable utilization of natural resources; 41
  42. 42. pollution and waste; lifestyles; and exploitation of renewable energy.Conservation of nature… will inevitably lead to human happiness!(Most of the above are extracts from a book on Community Development,courtesy: the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, date notknown) 42
  43. 43. CHAPTER 3B FROM GOLF GREENS TO EARTH FRIENDLY GREENS, LET US PLANT MORE TREES IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM“The world requires a few hundred bold men and women. Practice that boldness which dares know the truth…then you will be free.” -Swami VivekanandaI am quoting Swami Vivekananda at this moment because one bold woman’s effort could convince a mighty corporation of a need for “Green Earth”. A Californian woman, Miss Julia Hill finally returned to Earth at the weekend after saving the Giant Red Wood tree that had been her home since December 1997. She lived in the sixty meter Red Wood as a one - woman protest against continuous logging of the massive trees, which can live for two thousand years and which once covered two million acres of the Western U.S. Miss Hill finally reached an agreement with the Pacific Lumber Company (Corporate social responsibility, Corporate partnership- we will come to this point later), which owns the land, that she called ‘Luna’- and a two point nine acre buffer zone around it would be spared the axe. We remember Sting (Gordon Sumner) who had sung for the Amazonian forests (charity music). This time singers Joan Baez and Bonnie Raitt were among celebrities who clambered up to her platform to express their support. Any way, many other trees are being felled at this moment and the sources of livelihood for 43
  44. 44. indigenous peoples are being destroyed. And space shuttle “Discovery” (what about the other important things waiting to get discovered???) is streaking into orbit from the Kennedy space center in the United States of America.Anyway, let us not waste time. Let us recycle waste in the cities, crushmineral water bottles after use. Fight pollution-for instance, preventourselves from throwing waste into the seas and the oceans. Pollutants andindustrial waste from factories kill a number of people. After inspection,such factories should be closed down. It is our moral duty to protectinnocent people, who are often victims (of no fault of theirs) of suchindustrial pollution.Much of what follow are extracts from “Every Girl’s Handbook” by RogerCoote, 1994:It is to be known that there are about fourteen lakh (1400000) species ofplants, animals and other living things on earth. Many biologists believethat there are countless other species that have not yet been discovered andthat the real total may be more than one crore (10000000).All life depends on plants, which recycle the gases in the atmosphere toproduce the oxygen that is vital to life, and provide many animals withfood.In each habitat-forest, desert, sea or any other, the larger ones eat thesmallest organisms and still larger creatures eat them in turn. Every specieshas its place and depends in some way on the others. So, if a single speciesbecomes extinct, the balance of the habitat may be threatened. Whathappens in the Arctic-the polar bear at the top depends on all the otherorganisms – the seals it eats, the haddock the seals eat, and the small fish, 44
  45. 45. the animal plankton and the tiny plant-plankton right at the bottom.Tropical rainforests are the richest habitats on Earth and contain moreliving species than any other. Let us work to protect our forests- yes, I amtalking of “conservation” of natural species. Remember what happenedaround 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period and theJurassic period, which preceded, the dinosaurs and many other reptiles andplants died out. No one knows why this happened. The most likely reasonseems to be that a huge meteorite from space struck the Earth withimmense force. This could have set off wildfires, the giant Tsunami, and acloud of dust. All of these effects could have combined to wipe out thedinosaurs and other life forms.After the death of the dinosaurs, more and more mammals appeared, andamong them, man has come to dominate the earth.Charles Darwin in his “Origin of Species” has spoken of “survival of thefittest”, and using his terms, the dinosaurs may have neglected nature andhave been wiped out, leading to the emergence of man. Now if manneglects nature, the human race may become extinct. But in this world too,women are surviving in a man’s world, sea creatures and river creaturesand forests are surviving in a human world, plants and flowers and childrenin an “adult wild world”. Imagine for a moment, if some men and womensettled on Mars or Venus and threw down waste on Planet Earth, whatwould happen to the planet??? Think and act-before that happens!!!!!Consider this-many species of plants and animals on our planet are at risk,and in most cases, they are threatened by human beings (birds beingpoached?). The most common cause of extinction is loss of habitat-theplaces where wild animals and plants live are taken over or altered bypeople. 45
  46. 46. The most famous example of this is the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.Everyday vast areas of rainforest are cleared to make room for farms, roadsand towns. Many thousands of species could be wiped out and lost foreverunless the destruction of the forest is halted.Let us sing at this stageFrom Bretton Woods to the Amazon Woods / the Giant Redwood, have wecome a long way???There are many other examples: the Giant Panda has been pushed out oflarge areas of its natural habitat in Northern China. Hunting and poachinghave also been responsible for the extinction of many species in the past,and many others are threatened now.The Siamese Crocodile has been hunted for its skin and is now extinct inthe wild. It survives only on crocodile farms in Thailand. The NorthAmerican Red Wolf has suffered a similar fate: there are now very few leftexcept in zoos.Tigers are in danger because their jungle homes have been destroyed; theyhave been hunted for their skins and killed by farmers who accuse them ofkilling livestock. Despite the ban on the trade in rhino horn and elephantivory, we come to hear of instances of ivory trade and horn trade.Man’s mind is getting polluted. While the WWF acts to protect wildlife,man sits at Trump Plaza and watches WWF-the World WrestlingFederation and cheers on brute aggression?????It is time we built natural reserves for our animals, and the money paid byvisitors helped to pay for the costs of running such a reserve, providingsafety and security to the animal concerned. Let us in our own lives love 46
  47. 47. and protect our pets- take them to the veterinary hospital as and whenrequired. Let us practice pet therapy for our (pet) animals.Let us protect the vital rainforests of South and Central America, SoutheastAsia and Central Africa, which contain at least half of all the world’s plantand animal species. Yet, these forests are being destroyed or damaged atthe rate of about 50,000 hectares each day. Almost half of the world’srainforests have disappeared in the last fifty years.Most of the destruction is caused by poor people desperately trying to findland for farming. They clear and burn an area of forest and plant their cropsbut after two or three years the soil loses its fertility and produces fewercrops and the people move on to clear a new area of forest. This way thevital rainforests are becoming extinct.In the distant past, I remember having read in the newspapers that aninjured whale had been dragged on to the beach in some part of Asia (insome part of the Earth? distant??) and the media were taking photographsof it, what a pity! (how the media glamorizes events! the paparazzi chasedPrincess Diana to a death she did not deserve. the Diana Memorial Appealnow works for victims of land mines, yes, the environment is involved).(Lady Diana touched a malnourished child in Africa, she touched a child atNirmal Hriday –Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, sheobliged the International Red Cross at Sudan, she did so much for theworld, really!). But before we talk of working for the world, let us comedown to earth and take blessings from God.God blessEvery desertEvery scrub and semi desert 47
  48. 48. Every tropical rain forestEvery savannaEvery temperate forestEvery coniferous forestEvery tundra and ice forestAndEvery other species of plant or animal that has adapted itself to itsimmediate natural environment.What is natural and what is artificial?What is natural-music of the mountains, the rivers, the seas, the blue sky,the beautiful waterfalls, the glaciers, the free bird, the free tiger ((not toroam about the cities (then they would, ‘perhaps’, pose a threat to man) butin their natural habitat)) – again man has sensed a threat to his ownsecurity, he craves for peace, man may have peeped into a “natural historymuseum” and sensed that the Earth is in danger.Very soon, the tiger will roam the streets freely, and apes and gorillas willhang onto city trees, and strange - looking populace wearing space suitsand calling themselves Robo- cops and singing ‘ we are the Robo boys andgirls’ (!), and carrying strange cyber- paraphernalia in their hands will landin an “unidentified flying object (UFO)” called “Stars of Mars” to facilitatea process called “Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind” (Are we notforgetting the Third World ?)Yes, the Earth is in danger, because human beings are neglecting theplanet, damaging our planet in a number of ways-by destroying the habitats 48
  49. 49. in which plants and animals live, by using up precious resources tooquickly and by pollution. Transport is the major source of air pollution.Cars are especially damaging to the environment because of the poisonousexhaust gases they produce, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxidesand sulphur oxides. Air is also being polluted by heating homes, burningforests, some factory pollution involving burning fossil fuels-oil, gas andcoal and burning wastes.Water pollution occurs with toxic chemicals, oil (yes, oil can pollute thesea, when oil tankers run aground or collide and leak) and sewage (yes, ourbeautiful seas and oceans are being contaminated). Chemical fertilizers andpesticides damage the soil. Added to this, is the destruction of parts of theozone layer mostly over Antarctica, also over North America, Asia, Europeand Australia. Another major problem is “global warming”. Theatmosphere traps in some of the heat we get from the sun. This is called the“green house effect”. Many scientists think that too much heat is beingtrapped in because we are adding to the amounts of certain gases in theatmosphere. These “green house gases” mainly carbon dioxide andmethane- are produced by factories and by the burning of forests to makeway for cities and farmland. If the world’s temperature does increase evenby a few degrees, the polar ice caps could begin to melt, raising the sealevel and flooding many coastal areas. In other places, food crops could bedestroyed by hotter drier climates, and wild life could be threatened withextinction.Most scientists believe that the universe began with the “Big Bang”, a hugeexplosion that occurred about 18 thousand million years ago. Since then,the universe has been expanding outwards at an enormous speed. Some 49
  50. 50. astronomers believe that the earth will stop growing and then collapse backagain, ending in a “big crunch”. Hope that never happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Some others believe that the Earth is in danger because there are chancesthat the sun will run out of fuel. When this happens, it will expand tobecome a red giant and swallow up the earth and most of the other planets.The sun will then become more dense and explode, destroying the rest ofthe solar system. All that will remain will be a tiny dwarf star. Very soon we shall all be singing, twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder where you are????Yes, stars (under present circumstances of pollution) cannot be seen in theskies at night???? 50
  51. 51. CHAPTER 4A Peace comes only from loving, from mutual self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness. Few today have humility or wisdom enough to know the world’s deep need of love. We are too much possessed by national and racial and cultural pride.- Horace W. B. DoneganMy life has been an intensely happy one, not only in my family circle, butalso in the world outside it…Looking back on a life of over eighty years, I realize how short life is andhow little worthwhile are anger and political warfare.The most worthwhile thing is to try and put a bit of happiness into the livesof others.- Excerpts from Robert Baden Powell’s farewell message “to the general public”.Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each otherthat without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universalbrotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really 51
  52. 52. are part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangersto our very existence – let alone bring about peace and happiness.- The Dalai Lama, from “A Human Approach to World Peace”If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of humanrelationships- the ability of all people of all kinds to live together and worktogether in the same world, at peace.- Eleanor RooseveltThe time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only twochoices – submit or fight. That time should never again come in the life ofany nation…. let us try to achieve “true” liberation without bloodshed andcivil clash –-Anonymous“Human Security” binds together all people and all nations, and it can beaddressed only through “sustainable human development” strategies, notthrough the acquisition of ever-more-powerful weapons. This securityconsists of the security of people in their homes, in their jobs, in theircommunities, in their environment. There is need for preventive diplomacyon the part of the international community….also, any decline in globalmilitary spending can be (translated into improved human development)and used to finance the world’s social agenda.What we need now is a pressurizing for reduced global military spendingand to make an explicit link between reduced military spending andincreased social spending… 52
  53. 53. The industrial nations should be persuaded to close their military bases,phase out their military assistance and eliminate their subsidies to exportersof arms…A major concern of many countries in the future must be to avoid violentsocial dislocations-especially-ethnic conflicts. To achieve “socialintegration”, measures to promote more equal opportunities for all include: equality before the law – to bring about an integrated society, we must ensure basic legal rights for all; rights of the minority – countries must ensure minority rights, including those related to minority culture; antidiscrimination policies – measures to counter discrimination (and application of penalties for violation) should be taken by governments; education – governments must ensure that all sections of society have access to basic education respecting local cultures and traditions; employment – the state should make employment opportunities available to disadvantaged and marginalized sections like women; and, governance – should be brought closer to the people, through decentralization and accountability, by promotion of grass-roots organizations and by creation of avenues for people’s direct participation. 53
  54. 54. - (Source: Human Development Report, UNDP,’ 94).“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears intopruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shallthey learn war any more.”This prophecy did not come true with the end of the Cold War. At any onetime, many military conflicts are going on in “trouble areas” globally.These conflicts are increasingly threatening the lives of military as well ascivilian populace. At the beginning of the 20th Century, around 90% of warcasualties were military. As of now, about 90%, disastrously, are civilian!One of the greatest worries of the 20th century was the extent to whichwhole societies were militarizing themselves. This fear will pervade the21st Century as well…In weak democracies, armed forces have been positioned strong enough todirect the political process and subvert democracy.Armed conflicts within states increasing: of the 82 armed conflicts between1989 and 1992, only 3 were inter-state. Most conflicts are in developingcountries. But, practically, all regions have experienced conflicts-BosniaHerzegovina in Europe; Iraq, Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East;Colombia and Guatemala in Latin America; India, Myanmar and Tajikistanin Asia; and Angola, Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda in Africa. More than halfof conflicts in 1993 took the lives of 4 to 6 million people. These conflictshave caused millions to flee their countries to avoid repression and death,creating a trend in “war-induced international migration”.Since 1945, millions of people have perished in wars and other conflictsand the numbers are simply not abating. Kashmir, a center of strife within 54
  55. 55. the Indian sub-continent has seen thousands of casualties in the past years.Unless national and international communities take concrete action, deathswill continue unabated.Despite all the brouhaha over the global agenda of human insecurity, worldmilitary spending still equals the income of nearly half the world’s people(as of 1992).The continuing nuclear threat: the threat of nuclear war has definitelydwindled, but it has by no means disappeared. A major concern is nuclearproliferation. In addition to the five nuclear powers (China, France, Russia,the United Kingdom and the United States), there are states like India,Israel and Pakistan which have the capacity to deploy nuclear weapons onshort notice. On the positive side, 3 other states (Argentina, Brazil andSouth Africa) had halted nuclear weapons development as of 1992. It wasfurther proposed to extend the 1967 Non-Proliferation Treaty after 1995.However, some countries complain of “Nuclear Apartheid”, and somedeveloping countries feel that nuclear technology can have “non-nuclear”uses. Some countries feel threatened by their neighbors and value thepossession of nuclear weapons. What is most important is removal of thecauses of conflict.The human cost of military spending in developing countries is enormous.As of 1992-94, 12% of military spending could be diverted to health(preventable, infectious disease, malnourishment, access to safe water,primary health care including immunization), 4% to education (primaryeducation, adult literacy, female literacy) and 8% to population control(basic family planning services and family welfare)… In developingcountries, people are 33 times more likely to die from social neglect 55
  56. 56. (malnutrition and preventable diseases) than from war. Yet, there are 20military personnel for 1 doctor…Arms spending eat up precious resources than could otherwise be spent onhuman development. Some of the world’s poorest countries – Angola,Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique and Pakistan spend more on their armedforces than on public education and health.High military spending among poor countries GNP p. capita Military Expenditure Country ($US) p.c. ($ US) 1991 1990/91Sudan 400 23.3Ethiopia 120 14.9Chad 210 10.7Burkina Faso 290 10.5Mozambique 80 9.5Mali 270 6.8Promoting human security globally will be a tedious process. The future ofworld disarmament demands higher goodwill between the ‘North’ and the‘South’- the creation of new fora for peace discussions, regulation of tradein arms and a novel role for the United Nations. The Third World urgentlyneeds disarmament. The job is only half done. Let us-i) Establish fora for disarmament: first of all, let us start with existing fora such as the Organization for African Unity (OAU); the Organization of American States (OAS); the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN); the Non-Aligned Movement; etc. Some neighboring countries can apply some pressure towards peace. The Tegucigalpa 56
  57. 57. Commitment (Dec. 1991) by six central heads of state is a good beginning. The UN could involve itself more forcefully. It has already taken initiatives on one of the worst killers-land mines;ii) Defuse tensions around the globe: since opposition parties and domestic public opinion may treat peace alliances as unrequired interference, it would be better to involve the United Nations in major problems. We should bear in mind that these problems may arise from economic, social and natural causes. a former UN Secretary-General has said in his ‘Agenda for Peace’ : “Drought and disease can decimate no less mercilessly than the weapons of war. So at this moment of renewed opportunity, the efforts of the organization to build peace, stability and security must encompass matters beyond military threats in order to break the fetters of strife and warfare that have characterized the past.” To conclude, the role of the UN in development must be strengthened;iii) Phase out military assistance: military bases, which contribute to the militarization of developing countries, should be phased out;iv) Regulate the arms trade: commercial arms traders have no regrets about making profits out of poverty – selling “high-fidelity” jet fighters or nuclear bombs to nations in which millions struggle to survive each day in their lives. Not only this, arms are supplied to ‘potential’ trouble areas, leading to further conflict. We must design a concrete policy framework for regulating the arms trade. Both industrial and developing countries should cut down on their arms production. 57
  58. 58. Chemical weapons and land mines (which cause such terrible suffering to civilians: globally, millions of land – mines remain buried in unsuspected locations) should be emphasized. Land mines kill and maim civilians even when wars are over. Clearing them is very cumbersome and costly. The UN should make a list of sophisticated arms, maintain regional (Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America) registers of armaments, tax the sales of arms and establish more innovative methods of peace- keeping;v) Design a new aid policy dialogue: the need of the hour is to make allocations of aid subject to a “military: social spending index”, or giving positive incentives in the form of greater aid to those countries that are working towards peace;vi) Agree on criteria for UN mediation in conflicts within nations: the UN has always intervened in conflicts between nations – through cease- fires, sanctions and more permanent solutions. However, intricate questions arise when the UN is called upon to intervene within nations, with regard to the form of intervention to be made – UN forces, temporary assistance or long-term development aid?vii) Create more effective information systems: we need to build up more effective information systems to follow the movement (s) of arms; Finally, we need to bear in mind that a genuine improvement in human security requires the complete harnessing of that one most important world resource – peace, peace and only peace.- (Source: Human Development Report, UNDP, 1994) 58
  59. 59. I remember what Oscar Arias, winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize had tosay:“…I would like to propose the establishment of a global demilitarizationfund… Let the nations of the world, both rich and poor, commit themselvesto atleast a 3% a year reduction in their military spending levels over thenext five years…The actual numbers are not important…Only global cooperation can foster the security, which we have sought forso long, but which has eluded us so frequently. Let us make a definitiveeffort to use the peace dividend for the construction of just, prosperous anddemilitarized societies. And let us capitalize on the benefits of disarmamentto promote and guarantee the rewards of peace.”– War Crimes Court: the world’s first permanent ‘War Crimes Court’ will try war crimes, genocide and crime(s) against humanity.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is said to have remarked: “In taking thisaction… we reaffirm strong support for international accountability andbringing to justice perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes againsthumanity.”- 25 years after the Vietnam War, the people of Vietnam gave a red carpet welcome to U.S. President, Bill Clinton, when he visited their country… even when they are still suffering from the war’s after-effects – the Vietnam landscape still hiding hundreds upon thousands of mines that still kill and maim many unaware innocent citizens… a dear price for the scourge and cruelty of war… 59
  60. 60. CHAPTER 4B TALKING OF THE STARS AND STRIPES, LET US HOPE THAT THE [UNITED] ‘STATES’ DO NOT START ASKING FOR SEPARATE STATEHOOD, WE WANT TO SEE NO MORE SOCIAL DISINTEGRATIONOR ETHNIC CLEANSING, WE WANT TO SEE PEACE.In recent years, some parts of the world have changed dramatically. In1989, revolutions spread through the countries of Eastern Europe, and thepeople drove out the Communist leaders who had ruled them since 1945. In1991, the USSR suffered a similar fate, and that vast country broke up into15 separate states.Meanwhile, in South Africa, the policy known as “Apartheid” was comingto an end. Since 1948, color of skin formed the basis of segregationbetween the whites and the non-whites. The ANC or African NationalCongress fought for change for many years, and in May 1994, NelsonMandela became the country’s first Black President.When Civil War broke out in the former Yugoslavia, UN peacekeepingforces were sent in to intervene, at a place where atrocities were beingcarried out on women and children. At this moment, I feel there should bean “international government”(apart from the UN) composed of all nations, 60
  61. 61. with one principal “shareholder” in each nation, a group of individualscommitted to human rights, peace, poverty, and the environment.Institutions can be set up for the Ghetto populace in America, the homelessin Britain, street children in the Third World, those sleeping on the streets,etc, by this international government. The need for such a governmentarises because most other organizations will serve only particular countries-e.g. NATO will serve only countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance,the Colombo Plan will serve only member countries, SAARC will serveonly SAARC countries etc.Coming back to world political affairs, let us judge the present situation.Hijacking of aircraft, plenty of ethnic cleansing going on, socialdisintegration, sabotage, espionage, nationalistic sentiments rising anddifferences within the ranks of national leaders. Does it not seem that theworld is heading for frozen peace??? The era of good feelings that followedthe collapse of communism has ended. It has been on the wane for sometime. Europe, particularly, is in danger of plunging (after Kosovo, Poland,the USSR, East Germany, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia andBulgaria- all experienced revolutions) into a cold peace. A cold peacecould be nearly as tricky to handle as the cold war was.While the threat of nuclear war (after the nuclear non-proliferation treaty)has dwindled (or has it?) the risk of small but devastating ethnic ornationalist wars is rising. We cannot forget the Rwanda massacre in whichinnocent children were affected the most. And for years in the birthplace ofChrist, a war has been raging. If only Christ the Lord were alive!!! 61
  62. 62. Our message of peace: instead of a toy gun, give a sweet Christmas presentto a child at Kosovo- Pristina. Lord, forgive them, for they know not whatthey do, and help us work on the planet as it is. 62
  63. 63. CHAPTER 5AThere is no alleviationfor the sufferings of mankindexcept veracity of thought and action,and the resolute facingof the world as it is.- Thomas H. HuxleyQuestions on “survival” in theThird World have always haunted me.Whenever I journey by train,I look at the countryside, the barren fields,the huts; etc. my mind tries to traceand locate the answer:how does an averageman in the Third World “survive” (e.g. in extreme summers or in extremewinters)?World Economic Crisis: some fundamental issues:Our world economy is passing through a phase of unprecedented crisis. Atone end, are the problems of population explosion, food shortages and totaldepletion of raw materials, energy and non-renewable resources-a longterm perspective on which was laid down by Dennis L. Meadows and histeam, who concluded that: “If the present growth trends in worldpopulation, industrialization, pollution, food production and resourcedepletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on the planet will bereached some time within the next one hundred years. The most probable 63
  64. 64. result will be a rather and uncontrollable decline in both population andindustrial capacity.” And then there is the most immediate and pressingproblem of debt burden of the developing countries, the incidence of whichis quite staggering.The other important dimensions of the world economic crisis include:a) slow growth of global output – particularly, output of the developed countries;b) sharp increase in the unemployment rate in the developed countries;c) persistence of acute poverty, destitution, low purchasing power among the millions of the third world;d) persisting of and widening of the gaps in income levels, technology, resources, etc. between the developed and the developing countries;e) continued disillusionment with the abilities of international institutions, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UNCTAD and GATT to deal with the problems of developing countries.Statistics alone cannot provide good insight into the major intricacies offactors responsible for and remedies for dealing with the current economiccrisis. The need of the hour is to trace the origin of the current crisis. Withregard to the above, several misconceptions and wrong perceptions – somein the vested interests have arisen, and a number of fundamental issues arebeing neglected.There are many paradoxes to the present crisis:– firstly, the world economic situation was never considered a crisis as long as phenomena such as high rate of unemployment, poor resources, 64
  65. 65. high incidence of poverty, etc. were confined to the developing countries even though they accounted for 2/3 rd of the world population. The situation became a crisis as soon as the same phenomena started engulfing the developed countries those have near total command over the reins of the world economic system;– secondly, surprisingly, the problems which the south presents to the north – such as poverty, resource constraints etc. are being experienced by the North itself. It is to be noted that developed countries are not so much concerned about the South which are restructuring the world trading system, as they are for themselves;– again, paradoxically, at a time when the South was trying to realize better and fairer returns to the producers of primary products, it was being punished by significant falls in commodity prices;– fourthly, countries claiming to be intellectually rigorous are “disastrously” adopting restrictionist policies to meet their internal crisis. Further, those countries professing liberalism and a free environment for production and trade have themselves adopted highly protectionistic policies…Even as way back as 1977, many thoughtful men had pleaded before theJoint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, that the government neednot take drastic measures in response to the trade deficits of 1976, 1977.Professor Cohen argued: ‘… I do not view the present U.S. trade deficitwith alarm, nor do I feel that radical revision of current U.S. economicpolicies is warranted… The present trade deficit signifies neither a seriousdeterioration of our competitiveness in international markets nor asignificant loss of a capacity of world economic leadership, although thefact of a deficit remains…’ 65
  66. 66. It is clear that the main question is, how should the South pursue itsobjectives, particularly, the combating of poverty and fusion of internalpeace and security with development? The “poor” South has long livedunder the illusion that the North is extremely generous in its attitude…Partial delinking with the North and more effective “South – South”cooperation is necessary. More attention should be diverted towards bodiessuch as OPEC, ASEAN, SAARC, NAM and the Colombo Plan. A separateThird World Secretariat located at a Third World country (particularly, oneranked low on the Human Development Index), holding of independentThird World summit meetings and encouragement of preferentialarrangement for intra-South flows of goods, manpower resources, etc, arethe needs of the hour. A center for science and technology for developingcountries, a “bank” (particularly, micro-credit) for developing countries, a“research and information system”, a “solidarity fund” for economic andsocial development, are now just for remaining on “official machinerypapers”. Concrete action programs should back them. We can also have a“consortium” or “group” of debtors…There is need for a new strategy for development. It is high timedeveloping countries built up more efficiency in agriculture, agro-basedindustries and optimum land utilization. W.W. Rostow in his suaveanalyses of the world economy has also argued for a shift in “thinking”from “lame” industrialization to agriculture.Finally, the world economic crisis should be viewed in its widerperspectives through less of debates and more of concerted actionfollowing “dialogues” between the North and the South.The critical role for official development assistance: (developing countries)(source: BIS Review): 66