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About the Author


Ms Nilanjana Sanyal has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from IP College,
Delhi University. She stood second in the university in her Ist Year, and
eventually went on to top college. Since then, for the last four to five years, she
has voluntarily worked or freelanced with various organizations in the social
field. She has had published a couple of articles in magazines and newspapers.
It was during her post academicia period and in the late nineties that she went
through difficult circumstances.. It was then that the plan for a book took shape
in her mind. In her own words, “…I was always thinking about the
degeneration of my country, as well as to some extent, that of the world. I was
spending sleepless nights….and days filled with stress…I had to find a way to
release my discontentment at the system. And my feelings, my dreams took
shape in the form of this book. With no avenue to express myself orally, I
started putting my thoughts on paper. The outcome was the book….”

Edited and Self Published by


Mr M K Sanyal
&
Jacket Design by
Mrs Sarbani Sanyal & Ms Nilanjana Sanyal
&
Computer H/W & S/W Support by
Master Anirban Sanyal
&

Printed by
3D Technoprints, Jamshedpur, India

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Imagine…
A better world…

Ms Nilanjana Sanyal

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B Muthuraman
Managing Director

FOREWORD

There are two special reasons for agreeing to write this foreword:
First, Nilanjana is the daughter of one of my colleagues and, therefore, a member of our extended
“Tisfamily”. The accomplishments of any particular individual are normally a matter of joy to the rest in
the family. So I am very happy to see her book. In this case, however, the joy is doubled because of
the circumstances surrounding the author. She, and her parents, have been through very trying times.
Yet, they have maintained their equanimity and their optimism in life. This book is a testimony to their
admirable fortitude.
Second, Nilanjana’s book moved me with its eloquence. She has produced a masterly critique of
society and the development processes we have adopted so far. Though there is no denying that there
have been remarkable advances made in a variety of areas, she draws our attention to some of the
adverse after-effects. Furthermore, she describes graphically how large sections of our society have
been left untouched by whatever development has taken place. Therefore, there is an ‘unfinished
agenda’. She has raised a series of haunting questions. How to reach the fruits of development to the
rural poor, the underprivileged, the physically handicapped, the female child? How to ensure that what
passes for development is not achieved at the expense of nature and the environment? How to
organise popular movements for the restoration of values and genuine peace in society?
This book brings together an incisive mind, a powerful pen and some of the most burning socio-
economic issues we face.

B Muthuraman

The Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited


Jamshedpur 831 001 India
Tel 91 657 423298 Fax 91 657 431818 e-mail tismdoffice@lot.tatasteel.com
Registered Office Bombay House 24 Homi Mody Street Mumbai 400 001
www.tatasteel.com
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER, TITLE & PAGE NUMBER

CHAPTER TITLE PAGE


NO.
CHAPTER 1a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 1b “TOWARDS A HAPPIER WORLD, OUR


MISSION SHOULD BEGIN NOW”
CHAPTER 2a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 2b THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE 20th


CENTURY, CHALLENGES FOR THE 21st
CENTURY AND BEYOND
CHAPTER 3a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 3b FROM GOLF GREENS TO EARTH FRIENDLY


GREENS, LET US PLANT MORE TREES IN
THE NEW MILLENNIUM
CHAPTER 4a A PRELUDE

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 DISINTEGRATION OR ETHNIC
CLEANSING, WE WANT TO SEE PEACE
CHAPTER 5a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 5b THE WORLD AS IT IS


CHAPTER 6a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 6b SEXUAL REVOLUTION IN INDIA – A MYTH


OR A REALITY
CHAPTER 7a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 7b FROM BLUE REVOLUTIONS TO GREEN


REVOLUTIONS
CHAPTER 8a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 8b ONLY VISIONARY MANAGERS CAN DREAM


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OF DREAM- VILLAGES
CHAPTER 9a A PRELUDE

CHAPTER 9b OUR CREDO SHOULD BE: LET US HELP A


VISUALLY HANDICAPPED MAN CROSS THE
STREET
CHAPTER 10a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 10b THEY ARE NOT OF MY CASTE, CREED OR
RACE, NEVER MIND, HELP!
CHAPTER 11a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 11b FROM GOD’S CHILDREN TO THE CHILD
CHAPTER 12a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 12b AS A CHILD OF ( THE ) FUTURE( INDIA), I
DESERVE TO BE EDUCATED
CHAPTER 13a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 13b AT THE TURN OF THE 21ST CENTURY,
HUMAN RIGHTS: THE NEW CONSENSUS
CHAPTER 14a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 14b CREATING A RIPPLE OF HOPE – HOW DO WE
ORGANIZE THE RURAL POOR?
CHAPTER 15a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 15b LET US DEVELOP THEM GENUINELY
CHAPTER 16a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 16b POVERTY IS A STIFF BILL OF GOODS
CHAPTER 17a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 17b THE POOR ARE CLOSER TO YOU THAN YOU
THINK
CHAPTER 18a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 18b WE GROW UP ON THE STREETS
CHAPTER 19a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 19b I MAKE MY LIVING BY BEGGING
CHAPTER 20a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 20b LET US CARE FOR THE DYING, THE
DESTITUTE, THE LONELY, THE HOMELESS,

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THE ELDERLY AND THE INFIRM
CHAPTER 21a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 21b WE, THE INDUSTRIAL REFUGEES AND
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE CONSTANTLY
SUFFERING
CHAPTER 22a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 22b WHEN NATURE HAS THE LAST SAY
CHAPTER 23a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 23b A LOT OF UNREST IN MAN’S MIND
CHAPTER 24a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 24b FORGIVE US OUR SIN
CHAPTER 25a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 25b LET US GO FUND-RAISING FOR A BETTER
WORLD
CHAPTER 26a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 26b FROM GUIDELINES TO GOALS
CHAPTER 27a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 27b WOMAN IS THE CREATOR OF SOCIETY
CHAPTER 28a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 28b CAN WE FEED THE FUTURE WORLD
POPULATION?
CHAPTER 29a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 29b NGO’S-ROLE TO PLAY-A TYPICAL
APPROACH
CHAPTER 30a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 30b VOICES FROM THE GRASSROOTS
CHAPTER 31a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 31b MESSAGE OF PEACE COMING FROM
RELIGION
CHAPTER 32a A PRELUDE
CHAPTER 32b SAVE OUR WORLD, YOU AND I ARE NOT
POWERLESS

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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 common
enemies of man : tyranny, POVERTY, disease and war itself. Can we forge
against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and
West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind?”
-President J F Kennedy, USA, in an address to the nation

Our world’s future hangs precariously…Lopsided development and rampant


consumerism have widened the chasm between the world’s rich and the world’s
poor. We have witnessed a gross violation of human rights across the 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 gross inequities in food and
nutrition, income (s) and opportunity. Terrorism is devastating large parts of the
globe. Millions of the world’s people lack access to safe drinking water, decent
health care, shelter, education, and means of communication and jobs. The task
of ending world hunger remains formidable. Increasing population pressures,
deforestation and desertification are eating away our precious natural resources.
Many countries face the ‘darker’ side of development, “Debt”. War and disease
are forcing millions to flee their home countries. And, indigenous people all
over the world are becoming fast endangered under pressure from the forces of
global expansion. Also, there are those innocent people being sexually abused,
raped or mutilated (as in war). Drugs, alcohol, poor mental health, juvenile
delinquency and HIV/AIDS are taking a heavy toll. Pollution is now a major
health hazard. The ozone layers are getting depleted. And the Earth is warming
up…
Numbers do not matter. We are too much preoccupied with them. What we need
today is sound vision coupled with forceful, efficient and effective policies and
a firm commitment to the eradication of POVERTY and its attendant ills. The
time has come in the history of nations to liberate their peoples from centuries
of illiteracy, ignorance, POVERTY, disease and war.
For instance, a part of global spending on arms can be diverted to the social
sector. Why at all spend so much? I understand there are countries that do not
have a defense budget. This book seeks to address the vision required towards
effective global change by tracing world problems, topic by topic. This book is
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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 do
understand is the language of the poor and the marginalised, the language of the
harsh realities of staying alive till the next moment, the next day, the language
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 sleep
And miles to go before I sleep…”
-Robert Frost

I am trying to convey a message: a message of PEACE of my dreams of utopia


(or near utopia) on Planet Earth. I firmly believe that the best way to serve the
poor and the underprivileged is to walk hand in hand with them and allow GOD
to show you the way. Each one of us has a promise to keep. If each one kept
his/her promise, the world would surely be 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) to bring
about a happier world.
Let us help shift development attention away from economic growth as the main
index of progress to look more closely to what is happening to the poor in terms
of equitable distribution of income.
One’s world could be BIG or SMALL, depending on opportunities and
circumstances. Therefore, we should always make an effort towards
improvement 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: “ tiny drops of
water make up the ocean”. Only when we work together hand in hand can we
create a better world to live in.
Man’s quest for the unknown, his thirst for knowledge will never end, and
believe me, factors such as burgeoning populations and a decrease in arable
lands, the absence of PEACE and prevalent POVERTY and civil strife may
force man to settle in space or inside PEACE stations.

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This may be a dream. We know of the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd worlds. Very soon
we will have a ZEROTh World (most advanced) characterized by highly
sophisticated SCIENTI-TECHNOGENIC people residing in space – possibly on
the Moon or on Mars? Will these be PEACE stations? The emphasis on ZERO
in the 1st CHAPTER highlights the stark contrast between the 0th World and
frozen POVERTY. The 0th World may be characterized by hi-fidelity cities, a
complete disregard for the health of (the) Earth, suave cyber – commoners,
cyber-laws, cyber-vehicles, cyber-parliaments, cyber-shanty towns etc. I seek to
add here that settling in the distant future may ease population pressures on
land, and that would be a tremendous achievement, but new problems may
arise!!!
The need of the hour is an intelligent humano-cryogenic system to awaken man
out of his deep slumber and work towards solutions to problems persisting 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…”
This book traces problems around the globe and makes us aware just how
urgent is the need to make an attempt for solutions. It is a compendium of
selected articles pertaining to issues and problems around the globe. I have
tried to bring together some interesting facts for the benefit of a larger
audience. Quite a few of the extracts have been taken from various authors
during the course of my study on these subjects. I apologize I could not
write to these authors individually (I shall, however, make all efforts
towards acknowledging their respective contributions in future editions of
the book). Please accept the book in the spirit in which it has been written.
It is not a solution provider but makes an attempt to “open” our eyes to the
harsh reality around us. It provides a bird’s eye view of development as I have
read and observed in these four to five years. We need to act urgently on issues.
Some of the most pressing issues are global warming, the extinction of species
around the globe, massive population growth, POVERTY and hunger and
human rights abuses. The poor are 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 they stand infected with TB/HIV/AIDS.
The book begins with a surrealistic view of hope and contradiction…. a note of
pathos.…
In the end, it offers hope for me, hope for you, and hope for all of us, a hope for
mankind….

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EVERY CHAPTER CARRIES A PRELUDE WITH NOTES, WHICH SETS
THE MOOD FOR EACH CHAPTER. THESE SHORT NOTES ARE
SEPARATE. IT IS UPTO THE READER TO ESTABLISH LINKAGES IN
HIS/HER MIND. IN MANY CASES, THE PRELUDE TO A CHAPTER MAY
BE LONGER THAN THE CHAPTER ITSELF. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT
AN ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE TO MAKE THE CONCLUSION OF
EACH CHAPTER FLOW LOGICALLY INTO THE TITLE OF THE NEXT
CHAPTER, WITH THE SHORT NOTES IN BETWEEN THEM. PUTTING
IT SIMPLY, PART (b) OF EACH CHAPTER IS INTENDED TO FOLLOW
SMOOTHLY INTO PART (b) OF THE NEXT CHAPTER.

Will it be fair to conclude that as long as there are people, there will be
problems? We can however, minimize the extent and enormity of such
problems (and alleviate them all together) by better investing in our
CHILDREN (primarily in the form of love, security and education),
particularly CHILDREN in the rural areas and /or in unfortunate circumstances
(CHILDREN on dope, AIDS orphans, young alcoholics, juvenile delinquents,
minor offenders, street CHILDREN, CHILD labor etc).

I have faced a lot of pain in my life so far. Certain things, especially the
beginning, are in the abstract. There may not be a link between certain things.
There is more linkage towards the latter half. This was not deliberately done. I
have expressed my emotions, particularly anger and discontentment at the
system. When I wrote this book, I was knee deep in depression. About two
years back, I went through serious eye trouble and a depressive illness. It was
then that the plan for a book took shape in my mind. I was always thinking
about the degeneration of my country, as well as to some extent, that of the
world. I was spending sleepless nights…. and days filled with stress…I had to
find a way to release my discontentment at the system. And my feelings, my
dreams took shape in the form of this book. With no avenue to express myself
orally, I started putting my thoughts on paper. The outcome was the book.
Initially, it was only a junk of paper with scribbling, since there were ideas
rambling in my mind. As the Sun rose higher and higher in the East and the day
became brighter and brighter, my thoughts started getting clearer and clearer. I
could see rays of light through a dark tunnel and the book took shape. I wish to
reiterate that I have actually spent sleepless nights thinking about the
degeneration of my country and elsewhere.

I could feel the ferment within me, as I wrote this book. The ferment to come
forward and work towards the health of human beings and that of the
environment.

I am sure you can imagine how difficult it must have been for me, but the initial
manuscript of the book was written within the course of a year and a few
months, when I was confined to my house and was under deep depression. The
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notes and essays in the book may not be in any particular sequence and may not
be flowing in a cohesive pattern. It is the sheer inner urge of frustration that kept
me going and egged me on to write.

I am still surviving on medication but I have not given up hope. In fact, even
during my illness, I ventured out into working with the poor in our local slums
and villages. It was at this time that I realized how much they need us. Those
innocent eyes look for a ray of light, a ray of hope and aspire to be a part of the
larger society. It was during this period that I saw the stark realities that
confront them…the vicissitudes and the vagaries of life, the challenges of life,
the very essence of survival for them…

I have not been able to write a bibliography of names to which I should be


grateful. There may have been many, however small or big their support
and contributions have been. I thank all of them. PLEASE FEEL FREE
TO WRITE TO ME IF I HAVE FAILED TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR
CONTRIBUTION AS THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF AN EXTRACT OR
QUOTATION. My illness has made it difficult for me to (carefully) keep
track of and reference my sources. From time to time, I have, however,
made an attempt to acknowledge the authors of the ideas that I have used.
Above all, I must thank the Almighty without whose blessings, I would not
have had the courage and energy to take up this daunting task. The other are my
parents, without whom I would not have come out of the bed, whether they be
administering medicines at the right time, training me on computer or taking me
out for a long drive, whenever I wanted. They were a constant source of
encouragement, in spite of the traumatic and difficult time, which, as I now
realize, they had gone through during that period along with me.
I wish to thank Mr.D.K.Dey, Mr. Vincent Athaide, Ms.A.Leelavathy,
Mr.D.D.Pathak, Mr.G.M. Sharan and Mrs.Shakti Sharma, all former or current
Tata Steel officials.

I also wish to thank Sanjay ‘bhaiya’ (brother) for the help rendered in typing the
manuscript and printing.

Last but definitely not the least; I must name Dr Prabhat Verma, Dept. of
Neuro-psychiatry, Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, India, who, as a
doctor, gave me a new lease of life. The whole period, as I look back at it,
seems like resurrection…

I cannot provide solutions. In fact, at places, the ideas and thoughts may appear
to be contradictory. I am neither a mature writer nor an expert nor a specialist.
Besides, solutions come through work and experimentation. It is to the poor,
the most unfortunate, the most wretched and the ugliest on the planet that I

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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 ‘Highly
Indebted Poor Country Initiative’ for instance), let us start with a vision of a just
and sustainable world. Let us relegate POVERTY to history! Let us work
towards a future that is economically, socially and ecologically viable for all, in
other words “Sustainable”. People who matter, need to have a closer look at
realities and make targets, which can not only be met but can also be sustained
over a period.

AND IMAGINE… A BETTER WORLD…


MAY GOD BLESS THE WORLD!

Ms Nilanjana Sanyal
sanyal_nilanjana@mailcity.com
Jamshedpur, India.
Dated 24/06/2002

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CHAPTER 1a

If I can stop one heart from breaking,


I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life from aching, or
Cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin into his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

- Emily Dickinson

I fall at the feet of the Lord Almighty that he may protect the planet from ultimate
destruction and send some ‘Divine Martians’ to protect every CHILD and every
flower and every bird and every forest and every other creation of God from
being abused.
It may seem Man is trying to escape to Mars with all this Applied Space Research
because he may have discovered there is no PEACE left on Earth after Nazism,
Fascism, the Cold War, Bosnia and so on. If man starts behaving like God, God will
remind him that as a human being, he has certain responsibilities left on Earth. At
this moment, a CHILD may be crying out of hunger, another may be getting
sexually abused (or, mutilated by a landmine), a man may be dying of cold on
the streets at night, and a bird or an 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 come down to Earth, and for once,
stop running after the Martians and the Venetians.

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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 all controls and
communication instruments, pressure testing the combustion chamber, testing the
nozzle, testing the fuel.

Time: 10: 15: 03 GMT.

At this particular moment, something else is happening in another part of the world,
called the THIRD WORLD, (may be), in Brazil or in India, GOD is trying to touch a
trash can, yes, A LITTLE FLOWER CALLED A CHILD is picking subsistence (“food
for thought”) out of a trash can (actually, a garbage dump). And GOD wanted to warn
policy-makers and environmentalists of the perils of neglecting a CHILD (hunger /
malnutrition) and neglecting the environment, our beloved Eco-system. Yes, the
policy-makers and environmentalists were sleeping and the two superpowers were
vying with each other trying to build superior space shuttles. One underwent a series
of reforms with Glasnost and Perestroika…as also a fall of its system (Communism)
…Another power (may be star power) rose out of the ashes after President Harry
Truman and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes, the land of Zen Buddhism, ‘Shinto’ and
beautiful Mt.Fujiyama and the Kamakura is now busy building fashionable cars, more
comfortable cars. PRAY, HOW MUCH MORE COMFORT DO WE NEED? When, at
this moment, a CHILD is being born 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, can cure
much of what ails mankind).

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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 may be
dreaming of PEACE, actually dinosaurs, which means life in the jungles (yes, man
probably thinks he was at PEACE in the jungles, the beginning of civilization, 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 OBSERVE A MOMENT
OF SILENCE:

“OM SHANTI” (A salutation to the concept of PEACE)

“SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT”(A salutation to Lord Jesus, Christ the Lord)

“BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACHHAMI” (A salutation to Lord Buddha, the prince who


renounced the world, let us put ourselves under his protection) AND PRAY:

 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-
 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-

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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 a condition of
ZERO gravity, weightlessness, perhaps carrying a cat (first there was a dog called
“Laika” in outer space). At this moment, a man in a country called Nepal in the
Trans-Himalayas is FREEZING in the cold on the streets at night, when the
temperatures have fallen below ZERO. (Be they in Nepal or in America, IMAGINE
those having no homes to go back to?) At this time, in the Northern Hemisphere
(GOD, why on Earth is everything on this planet so divided-including the
hemispheres?) lakes have FROZEN at the North Pole. SO A MAN HAS FROZEN
ON THE STREETS WHEN TEMPERATURES HAVE FALLEN 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 NOT FOR OTHER
REASONS, UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS OF GLOBAL WARMING!).
So, let me sacrifice my ice cream for a hungry CHILD on the street. Let me look
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 to green a
desert.

SILENCE PEACE
OM SHANTI A SALUTATION TO PEACE
PEACE PEACE
COMMONALITY TOGETHERNESS
At this moment, interballistic missiles are getting fired!!!!!
Think for a moment, while I pay homage to an American called Carl Sagan of
“COSMOS” fame and a Frenchman called Jean Jacques Cousteau of “Secrets of the
Sea” fame. With or without heresy, (remember Copernicus?), once again, take the
plunge. GET A LITTLE DEEPER INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S WORLD. I know that in
1960, Bathyscape TRIESTE reached the deepest ocean bed- the Mariana Trench in
the Pacific Ocean. But you do not have to build a “more fashionable” Bathyscape. 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
tasks on the global agenda-
POVERTY

THE ENVIRONMENT

AND

GLOBAL HUMAN SECURITY

And ways to manage the events !!!!!!!

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CHAPTER 2a
We are facing a number of threats to the welfare of the world’s population … Some
arise from natural causes such as droughts, floods, locusts, crop failure 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), we are living in a dangerous world, of
human rights abuses, man’s lack of humanity to man… A grim picture… Refugees…
war – torn countries in which both young and old suffer…a burgeoning population
threatening life itself… too many of the world’s CHILDREN still cling hazardously to
their lives…natural disasters… unemployment… crime and extremism (also,
commonly known as guerrilla warfare) … racism, sexism… religion… we are living in
a world full of inequalities… gender inequality… a straight demarcation between the
“North” and the poor “South,” where people continue battling hunger, ignorance and
disease… To make better lives, we have to relieve the immediate suffering of people
in the developing countries, and to help them raise their standards of living by their
own efforts. 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 on arms instead of on
essentials… in many of the world’s largest cities (and remote rural and tribal
hamlets), people fight for survival (picking out “Food” from garbage dumps)… There
is extreme malnutrition.. infant and maternal mortality… There is a need to close the
gap… and then, there is, the problem of “Debt”… We are examining the darker side
of development…. And there arises a need to re-orient national and international
plans and policies in favor of the poor…
The UN has brought relief from under-nourishment to many millions (in the Third
World) and saved many more, by providing vaccination and treatment… from
disease… has delivered many small farmers in developing countries from struggling
on poor or unirrigated soil… our world is changing… We have achieved a victory
over smallpox…new vistas of communication have opened up… The risk of nuclear
war has receded… and yet, a vast number of people are living in inhuman and
degrading conditions… we face environmental pollution, extinction of animal and bird
species and most importantly, depletion of our ozone layer and global warming..
Talk cannot prevent a CHILD from dying… cannot produce enough food for a single
family… or sink wells or dig irrigation channels to produce better crops… it cannot
provide medical care for families that have never seen a doctor in their lives… all
“Unfinished Business of our ‘Beloved” Planet.. so much to be done,…so much that
can be done… its high time we begun…..
“Western civilization has made and continues to make great progress in material
development, but if techniques can also be created for achieving internal happiness,
modern society will become far more advanced. Without such internal growth, we
become enslaved to external things, and even though called humans, we become
like parts of a machine.”
- The Dalai Lama

18
It is not just one planet
It is one home
One family.

“What the world has to eradicate is fear and ignorance.”

- Jan Masaryk

Although 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 to your
CHILD…. Begin by helping someone in need in your community … do something
beautiful for God.”

- Mother Teresa

Let us eat the food, learn to weave a mat or make a gesture of respect … or recite 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 IS OUR WORLD, WE
BETTER TAKE CARE OF IT.”

- Ken Heyman

The gap in living standards between the few with money, houses, or good jobs, and
the many that have none of those good things, is wide. It may be widely resented….

Some are out of the era, some still in it… of cannibalism, headhunting, infanticide,
incest… The rest of the world has moved ahead. What an anomaly?

POVERTY…. racism, unemployment, gender inequality, employment of CHILDREN


in factories… street CHILDREN…. illiteracy…. ignorance…. A lot more to achieve…

“Many of us have fixed ideas… We should talk together with open minds and 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, 1925

The 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… In learning to care, in
thinking of hunger not as an abstraction but as one empty stomach, in having a
hospitable mind, open like a window to currents of air and to light from all sides.

- Anonymous

19
“It is a pity that operations to find homes for millions of refugees, to bring rapid
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 the world, to help
organize family planning activities among much of the world’s population, to organize
the world’s meteorological services, or abolish pollution in the oceans, to mention
only a few, are not so well known to the general public as the angry speeches hurled
across the horseshoe 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 2000 places India in the 69th
position in a list of 90 countries. India’s performance is worse than that of China,
Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa.

The UNDP Report on Human Development, 1999 on South Asia, tells us that if
corruption in India goes down to that of Scandinavian countries, the GDP as well as
foreign direct investment will go up (and much of this growth can be redirected into
agriculture, the mainstay of the Indian economy)….Time for introspection!

20
CHAPTER 2b
THE UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF THE 20th CENTURY, CHALLENGES
FOR THE 21st CENTURY AND BEYOND
QUOTE

“And it is not only that the Master sees when a particular method is suitable. It is
much more. There is an alchemy that takes place when we meet 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 our own flowering. This trust is enough to start
us on the path.”
UNQUOTE
Excerpt from OSHO (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)
The greatest unfinished task on the global agenda is managing AN EVENT CALLED
TIME. AN EVENT IS HAPPENING AND WE ON PLANET EARTH ARE RUNNING
OUT OF TIME. AT THIS MOMENT, SOMEONE’S EXPECTATIONS ARE
RISING.CAN WE PREDICT THE CONSEQUENCES OF A RISING
EXPECTATION? A man in A REMOTE VILLAGE expects an e-mail facility in his
village at subsidized rates so that his wife can send a message to him during his
lunchtime in the field. But think, a heavy metal group slashes INNOCENT PIGEONS
on stage and a big group of people watch. Is Interpol sleeping? Come to think of it,
such a thing happening at the turn of the Century?
Actually, how humane are we? Glaring inequalities in society exist. Those wallowing
in luxury and privileges beware. Unrestrained open displays of wealth and privileges
and indifference to the poor might one day arouse such 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 or
compassionate or sufficiently tolerant.
Growing instances of communal and caste conflicts, religious fundamentalism,
domination of the forces of “mono-thinking”(which is destroying world PEACE), lack
of gender equality, lack of concern for the underprivileged and crass materialism
pervade. Oppressive practices such 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 in Sialkot 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 FOR HUMAN BEINGS.
In India, for instance, despite the “WAKE UP” calls (revival / renaissance) given more
than a century ago by national and religious leaders beginning with sages like Rishi
Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and Raja Rammohan Roy, the national scenario is
still uninspiring. The country has (relatively) the largest number of illiterates.
EMACIATED WOMEN OF RAJASTHAN STATE TREK LONG DISTANCES TO
FETCH DRINKING WATER. FEMALE INFANTICIDE EXISTS. CHILD MARRIAGE
EXISTS. IN MANY AREAS, THE PLIGHT OF WOMEN IS NO BETTER THAN

21
THAT OF CATTLE. And often-mere objects of man’s lust… The obnoxious
practice of “Lausa” exists wherein rural women in Rajasthan state have to
wear iron underwear when their husbands are away. AND THEN, THERE ARE
THOSE VICTIMS OF SUPERSTITION AND IGNORANCE WAITING FOR LIGHT IN
THEIR LIVES:
ONLY GOD KNOWS WHY A GROUP OF PEOPLE STOOD AND WORSHIPPED
WHILE A YOUNG INNOCENT WIDOW BRIDE CALLED ROOP KANWAR WAS
MADE “SATI”, BURNT TO 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, more tolerant, and truly
secular and democratic is advocated.
“ATMABODHA”
OR
SELF-KNOWLEDGE:

I am composing the “ATMABODHA”or “SELF-KNOWLEDGE” to serve the needs of


those who have been purified through the practice of austerities and who are
Peaceful in heart, free from cravings, and desirous of liberation.
To serve the needs etc-needs conducive to the attainment of liberation, only self-
knowledge can destroy ignorance and free one from repeated rebirths, in “Samsara”,
the relative world of incessant change and movement, which is characterized by pain
and pleasure, weal and woe, LOVE and hate, life and death, and other pairs of
opposites.
“THEREFORE KNOW THYSELF. WHEN THE TRUE SELF IS KNOWN, THE JIG-
SAW PUZZLE OF THE WORLD GETS SOLVED, DOUBTS ARE AT AN END, AND
ALL MISERY VANISHES.”
-Sri Sankara, Swami Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Institute of
New York, USA.
At this moment, the internet is probably replacing a learned man in explaining the
philosophy of the Holy Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagwad Gita????? What a
pity!!!!!
We constantly find that man acts relative to society, we are all victims of society in
some way or the other, for instance, the victim of POVERTY. LET US LEARN TO
CONVERT OUR DISLIKE FOR SOCIETY (presuming that atleast some of us dislike
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 than in the
previous 200, according to a recent report from a CHILDREN’s organization.
Average life expectancy has risen. There has been a wide range of improvements in
income, nutrition, health care and education. In the last 50 years, the proportion of

22
CHILDREN who die before the age of 5 has been reduced. Adult literacy rates have
doubled to approximately 70%. There has been a victory over smallpox. Rising
immunization levels have eradicated Polio from the Western Hemisphere. Let us
work to eradicate the virus ((which virus)?) from the other hemispheres?????
The British Historian Arnold Toynbee predicted in the 1940’s that the 20th Century
will be chiefly remembered…not as an age of political conflicts or technical
inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the
whole human race as a practical “objective”.
Judging from the headlines of the 1990’s, this prophecy seems a bit too optimistic.
Politically, the disintegration of Russia and the failure of Communism will be
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 of democracy (or, democratization) has been
achieved? THE EARTH ITSELF IS IN DANGER?? A fifth of the world’s people still
live in absolute POVERTY (or, relative POVERTY)?? They are the 1 billion absolute
poor-“those who are without the basics of life, those without EDUCATION and jobs
(mass UNEMPLOYMENT), those without clean water or basic HEALTH care, those
whose CHILDREN die or become disabled in such numbers, those who are forced to
ruin their own environments and futures for the sake of staying alive today”. WOMEN
are among the poorest of the poor. Women in the developing world face gross
inequities.
“Meeting these unmet needs” is the primary unfinished business of the 20th Century.
And not to do so is unconscionable in a world made one by communications. The
main question is that of morality, which must match with global increases in
productive capacity. The world’s primary need is meeting the needs of the poorest
CHILDREN. CHILDREN IN THE THIRD WORLD suffer from malnutrition,
CHILDhood diseases, Polio, suffer from lack of a nutritious diet, from the lack of
primary school education, the lack of clean water 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 lesser time. The
world will then have taken a major step towards finishing the job 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 must be
(yes, the biggest disease on this planet), so long as the disease known as civilization
exists: and hence the need of relief.”
Swamiji (quoted above) spoke of greed, now every village probably has a television
set, and out of the attraction of a city life, (moreso, out of sheer desperation over
difficult living conditions in the villages) millions are flocking to the cities, creating
slums, squalor, shanty towns. Some are sleeping on the streets, some on railway
tracks, some are having to dig food out of trash bins. One important question that
policy- makers should consider, is that, where is there more happiness-in the villages
(despite POVERTY) or in the cities (urban POVERTY)? Are they poorer in the cities
or in the villages? Policy-makers should carry out PRA (PARTICIPATORY RURAL

23
APPRAISAL) and PUA (PARTICIPATORY URBAN APPRAISAL) WITH THE POOR
to measure their degree of happiness? Then starts our event management. THE
PRINCIPAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR MEETING THE UNMET NEEDS AT LOW
COST ARE ALREADY AVAILABLE AND THE FINANCIAL COST IS NEGLIGIBLE
IN RELATION TO WHAT HUMANITY HAS AT STAKE. Money alone will not be
sufficient. Political commitment and competent management are just as important.
However, according to one estimate, the total cost of providing basic social services
in the developing countries, including health, education, family planning, clean water,
and all of the other basic goals agreed on at previous social summits is less than
what the world spends on playing Golf ???

24
CHAPTER 3a
God Created NATURE
and then He created MAN
DID HE THINK OF THE CONSEQUENCES?

Today the birds no little chirp


the waters of the mountain stream carry a melancholic strain
AND OUR PLANET WEEPS,
Pray, have we forgotten how to think deep
Oh! Give me a world,
where all looks green
where you can hear the music of the water
and the song of the stream
where seldom is heard a discouraging word
and seldom can a barren tree be seen.

And in our efforts to preserve nature


and to restore harmony,
Oh! Let us work as a team,
SAVE THE PLANET,
SAVE MANKIND
HELP!

- Nilanjana Sanyal

Making an effort to clean our immediate surroundings is the first step towards a
clean environment.

The well being and the hopes of the peoples of the world can never be served until
the environment and Eco-systems that sustain all life on Earth are secure.
People have now to survive on an environmentally fragile planet. By the middle of
the next century-during the lifetimes of today’s CHILDREN – the world population
may double and the world economy may quadruple. Food production must triple if
people are to be adequately fed, but the resource base for sustainable agriculture is
eroding. Energy is needed, but even at present levels of use, fossil fuels threaten
stability of world climatic conditions. The world’s forests are being destroyed each
day, and the loss of biological wealth and diversity continue relentlessly.
We cannot expect the poor to be preoccupied with the blaring emergencies of global
warming or the depletion of the ozone layer. It is the silent emergencies – polluted
water or degraded land-that put their lives and livelihoods at risk. Unless POVERTY
‘per se’ is addressed, environmental sustainability cannot be guaranteed…
One way to control “global climate warming” would be to spread more greenery
around the area of operation (E.g. A City).
There need not be any tension between economic growth and environmental
protection and regeneration. Much of environmental degradation (E.g. Destruction of
forests) results from POVERTY and limited human choices… Therefore, economic
growth becomes vital for poor societies.

25
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 is true to the spirit of Robert Baden-
Powell, with his love of nature and hatred of pollution and over production.
Worldwide, pesticides and toxic chemicals pose a risk to public health and the
environment. Let us promote safer means of pest control.
Think, industrialization and urban expansion have taken a toll on the famous
Sherwood Forest, the vast expanse of wilderness just North of Nottingham, 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, which may,
earlier, have been forested land. Land, which is covered with trees and bushes,
supports all life forms, including human life. Roots of plants hold the rich topsoil and
prevent its erosion by wind and water, help the soil absorb rainfall thereby raising the
water table, which fills the wells. Trees and shrubs slowly create humus, which
makes the topsoil rich. Trees and other plants produce a more comfortable
temperature and more oxygen, thereby creating a pleasant living environment.
Every organization, which has under its charge a large area, must try to afforest
atleast those regions, which are within the vicinity of living areas. There are two
basic methods of Afforestation. In places where the land already had trees and other
plant cover, protection and watering will lead to natural afforestation. On bare land,
one has to plant trees to effect afforestation. One can imaginatively plant trees to
capture the real and aesthetic effects of a “True” forest.
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 land and
fuelwood and fodder programs, seed development, etc., to create a PEACEful,
sustainable living environment.

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The world’s Oceans contain enormous volumes of biotic, mineral and energy
resources. The Ocean’s role in creating the conditions required for life on Earth is
highly significant. The Oceans still continue to sustain many living organisms, and as
such, are called “Genetic Nurseries”. In recent years, due to indiscriminate human
interference in the form of unplanned catching of fish, offshore oil drilling and
dumping of waste products, the natural environment of the Oceans has been greatly
disturbed. As a result, a large number of marine species have become extinct.
It is estimated that 80 percent of fossil fuels will be exhausted in a century if the
current rate of exploitation continues. Similarly, overfishing has led to scarcity of fish
even in some of the once important fishing grounds of the world. All these call for
“Conservation”.
The process of “Bio-diversity Conservation” means the conservation of all forms of
natural life that would earlier exist in a particular area, and would still exist there, if
not human beings had altered the land and water and / or polluted them. Let us raise
awareness towards conservation of natural life forms such as elephants, tigers and
crocodiles … and allow other natural species, both plant and animal, to live
PEACEfully….
Conservation is necessary in that much of land and water surrounding natural life is
getting altered. Bio-diversity Conservation requires that a part of the unutilized area
in a region be protected, to allow a small pocket of nature to live PEACEfully….
Both wasteland development and Afforestation can be planned in innovative ways
(using mostly local species of plants) to help bio-diversity conservation.
Conservation of coastal and marine life like sharks, jellyfish, corals, plankton, etc. is
also of prime importance…. The first step would be to identify those species of flora
and fauna that lie threatened or endangered…
“Wastelands” are degraded, under-utilized or deteriorating (owing to lack of water
and soil management, or natural causes) lands. These wastelands can 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’s land area
but 15% of the world’s human population and about 16% of the world’s cattle
population. Due to increasing population pressure, per capita land availability has
declined. Over exploitation of natural resources, mass increase in the demands of
food, fuel, fodder, fiber, shelter, industry, communication, etc. and changes in
individual lifestyles have exerted tremendous pressure on India’s land resources,
leading to soil erosion, land degradation and finally wastelands. An estimate places
23% of India’s geographical 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.

27
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.
Initiatives should be taken to tackle the problem of degraded lands and putting
wastelands to uses that respect the principles of sustainability…
There is a need to educate common people on issues such as land degradation, soil
erosion, conservation of land and water, technology for Afforestation, income-
generation and social issues. This gigantic task has to involve government and
voluntary agencies as well as the community…
To achieve higher productivity, local “Eco-friendly” species should be planted. We
would be able to generate more fuel and energy.
Finally, this “Greening” will have a significant effect on the immediate vicinity…
Talking about putting wastelands to productive use! –
The entire developing world is facing the problem of acute energy shortage, so very
important for developmental activities. “Renewable energy” or energy from the sun,
wind, biomass and water are not only viable options but also reduce pressures on
fast-depleting conventional fossil fuels. Renewable energy is pollution free, locally
available abundantly, external, efficient and cost-effective.
Alternative sources of energy can be utilized in many ways:
(i) Bio-Gas: Is obtained from cowdung and human waste. It is efficient, simple,
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;
(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.

28
A “Revolving fund” should be formed to provide monetary help to producers and
users of renewable energy technology.
Renewable energy sources (or devices) such as smokeless cooking stoves, solar
lanterns, solar homelighting systems, domestic heaters; etc. should be sold at
subsidized prices to the rural poor….
The government should promote the establishment of co-operatives of renewable
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 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, that 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).

– 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).

29
– 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 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, May1986)).
– 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 devastated the
American Midwest and Africa. Storms and hurricanes in Europe and the Caribbean
are taking heavy tolls. Waves in the North Atlantic have got bigger.

30
There is environmental imbalance throughout the globe. Health is at
considerable risk, for instance, young CHILDREN in Bangkok and Mexico are
suffering from high lead levels. Lopsided development and rampant
consumerism is leading to ozone depletion, global warming, the Green House
Effect, rise in ocean and sea levels, and glaciers and ice caps will melt.
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 of humans but
puts in danger the entire biodiversity of the Earth. Marine life will very soon become
extinct.

Worldwide, today there are 1-1.5 lakh additional cases of cataract-induced


blindness. Predictions are that in the lower latitudes, the eye cancer rate will greatly
increase in the coming years … The U.S. Environmental Protection 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 die from malignant melanoma…
Changes in the Earth’s climate will sweep away one-third of the global forests. The
rain forests in Africa are shrinking by 1.3 million hectares annually…
Although following the Kyoto Protocol in Dec 1997 the U.S. has reluctantly agreed to
reduce its emissions to 7 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2012, this cut is too little
for a nation which consumes a major percentage of the Earth’s energy…
World policies on energy usage and control of greenhouse gases have to change, or
Global Warming will demolish ecological balance. Time to think!
“Today the most religious movement in the World is environment movement.”

- Archbishop of Canterbury

i. “Environmental Management” rests with individuals – those who manage land,


sea and space. Such scientists as oceano-graphists, 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…

31
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, 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 formal school


and college education in addition to community “Environment campaigns”.

A very good way to make for more “Environmentally – sensitive” individuals is to


actually take students on “Site Visits” towards observation of natural services,
damages caused to them. Sites include – deforested wastelands, rivers and such
quantities of garbage as cannot be managed… We can set up “Eco-(Friendly) Clubs”
to instill respect and love for nature among our CHILDREN, the citizens of the
world’s tomorrow…

Let us pursue issues related to forests, wildlife, pollution, environmental degradation


and cruelty to animals.
“Environmental information systems” can be setup…
Article 51 (g) of the Indian Constitution states “It shall be the duty of every citizen of
India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers,
and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”
Nature conservation and environmental protection form the basis for sustainable
development. Remember where food comes from? The following areas need
serious thought and concrete action:
 Environment education and awareness;
 Conservation of biological diversity;
 Sustainable utilization of natural resources;
 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 not
known)

32
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 Vivekananda
I 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 upto her platform to express their support. Any way, many other trees are
being felled at this moment and the sources of livelihood for 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, crush mineral water
bottles after use. Fight pollution-for instance, prevent ourselves from throwing waste
into the seas and the oceans. Pollutants and industrial waste from factories kill a
number of people. After inspection, such factories should be closed down. It is our
moral duty to protect innocent people, who are often victims (of no fault of theirs) of
such industrial pollution.
Much of what follow are extracts from “Every Girl’s Handbook” by Roger
Coote, 1994:
It is to be known that there are about fourteen lakh (1400000) species of plants,
animals and other living things on Earth. Many biologists believe that there are
countless other species that have not yet been discovered and that the real total may
be more than one crore (10000000).
All life depends on plants, which recycle the gases in the atmosphere to produce the
oxygen that is vital to life, and provide many animals with food.
In each habitat-forest, desert, sea or any other, the larger ones eat the smallest
organisms and still larger creatures eat them in turn. Every species has its place and
depends in some way on the others. So, if a single species becomes extinct, the
balance of the habitat may be threatened. What happens in the Arctic-the polar bear
at the top depends on all the other organisms – the seals it eats, the haddock the
seals eat, and the small fish, the animal plankton and the tiny plant-plankton right at
the bottom. Tropical rainforests are the richest habitats on Earth and contain more

33
living species than any other. Let us work to protect our forests- yes, I am talking of
“Conservation” of natural species. Remember what happened around 65 million
years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period and the Jurassic period, which
preceded, the dinosaurs and many other reptiles and plants died out. No one knows
why this happened. The most likely reason seems to be that a huge meteorite from
space struck the Earth with immense force. This could have set off wildfires, the
giant Tsunami, and a cloud of dust. All of these effects could have combined to wipe
out the dinosaurs and other life forms.
After the death of the dinosaurs, more and more mammals appeared, and among
them, Man has come to dominate the Earth.
Charles Darwin in his “Origin of Species” has spoken of “Survival of the Fittest”, and
using his terms, the dinosaurs may have neglected nature and have been wiped out,
leading to the emergence of man. NOW IF MAN NEGLECTS NATURE, THE
HUMAN RACE MAY BECOME EXTINCT. But in this world too, women are surviving
in a man’s world, sea creatures and river creatures and forests are surviving in a
human world, plants and flowers and CHILDREN in an “adult wild world”. Imagine for
a moment, if some men and women settled on Mars or Venus and threw down waste
on Planet Earth, what would 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 being poached?). The most
common cause of extinction is loss of habitat-the places where wild animals and
plants live are taken over or altered by people.
The most famous example of this is the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. Everyday vast
areas of rainforest are cleared to make room for farms, roads and towns. Many
thousands of species could be wiped out and lost forever unless the destruction of
the forest is halted.
LET US SING AT THIS STAGE
FROM BRETTON WOODS TO THE AMAZON WOODS / THE GIANT REDWOOD,
HAVE WE COME A LONG WAY ???
There are many other examples: the Giant Panda has been pushed out of large
areas of its natural habitat in Northern China. Hunting and poaching have 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 in the wild. It
survives only on crocodile farms in Thailand. The North American Red Wolf has
suffered a similar fate: there are now very few left except in zoos.
Tigers are in danger because their jungle homes have been destroyed, they have
been hunted for their skins and killed by farmers who accuse them of killing
livestock. Despite the ban on the trade in Rhino horn and Elephant ivory, 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
WRESTLING FEDERATION AND CHEERS ON BRUTE AGGRESSION?????

34
It is time we built natural reserves for our animals, and the money paid by visitors
helped to pay for the costs of running such a reserve, providing safety and security
to the animal concerned. Let us in our own lives love and protect our pets- take them
to the veterinary hospital as and when required. Let us practice pet therapy for our
(pet) animals.
Let us protect the vital rainforests of South and Central America, Southeast Asia and
Central Africa, which contain at least half of all the world’s plant and animal species.
Yet, these forests are being destroyed or damaged at the rate of about 50,000
hectares each day. Almost half of the world’s rainforests have disappeared in the last
fifty years.
Most of the destruction is caused by poor people desperately trying to find land for
farming. They clear and burn an area of forest and plant their crops but after two or
three years the soil loses its fertility and produces fewer crops and the people move
on to clear a new area of forest. This way the vital rainforests are becoming extinct.
In the distant past, I remember having read in the newspapers that an injured whale
had been dragged on to the beach in some part of Asia (in some part of the Earth?
Distant ??) and the media were taking photographs of it, what a pity ! (How the
media glamorizes events! The paparazzi chased Princess Diana to a death she did
not deserve. The Diana Memorial Appeal now works for victims of land mines, yes,
the environment is involved).
(Lady Diana touched a malnourished CHILD in Africa, she touched a CHILD at
Nirmal Hriday –Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, she obliged the
International Red Cross at Sudan, she did so much for the world, really!). But before
we talk of working for the world, let us come down to Earth and take blessings from
God.
God bless
Every desert
Every scrub and semi desert
Every tropical rain forest
Every savanna
Every temperate forest
Every coniferous forest
Every tundra and ice forest
And
Every other species of plant or animal that has adapted itself to its immediate 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 to roam about the
cities (then they would, ‘perhaps’, pose a threat to man) but in their natural habitat))
– again man has sensed a threat to his own security, he craves for PEACE, man

35
may have peeped into a “natural history museum” and sensed that THE EARTH IS
IN DANGER.
Very soon, the tiger will roam the streets freely, and apes and gorillas will hang onto
city trees, and strange - looking populace wearing space suits and calling
themselves robo- cops and singing ‘ we are the robo boys and girls’ (!), and carrying
strange cyber- paraphernalia in their hands will land in an “unidentified flying object
(UFO)” called “Stars of Mars” to facilitate a process called “Close Encounters of the
Fourth Kind” (ARE WE NOT FORGETTING THE THIRD WORLD ?)
YES, THE EARTH IS IN DANGER, because human beings are neglecting the
planet, damaging our planet in a number of ways-by destroying the habitats in which
plants and animals live, by using up precious resources too quickly and by pollution.
Transport is the major source of air pollution. Cars are especially damaging to the
environment because of the poisonous exhaust gases they produce, including
Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Sulphur Oxides. Air is also being polluted by
heating homes, burning forests, some factory pollution involving burning fossil fuels-
oil, gas and coal and burning wastes.
Water pollution occurs with toxic chemicals, oil (yes, oil can pollute the sea, when oil
tankers run aground or collide and leak) and sewage (yes, our beautiful seas and
oceans are being contaminated). Chemical fertilizers and pesticides damage the soil.
Added to this, is the DESTRUCTION OF PARTS OF THE OZONE LAYER mostly
over Antarctica, also over North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Another major
problem is “GLOBAL WARMING”. The atmosphere 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 being trapped in because we are adding to the amounts
of certain gases in the atmosphere. These “Green House Gases” mainly Carbon
Dioxide and Methane- are produced by factories and by the burning of forests to
make way for cities and farmland. If the world’s temperature does increase even by a
few degrees, the polar ice caps could begin to melt, raising the sea level and
flooding many coastal areas. In other places, food crops could be destroyed by
hotter drier climates, and wild life could be threatened with extinction.
Most scientists believe that the universe began with the “Big Bang”, a huge explosion
that occurred about 18 thousand million years ago. Since then, the universe has
been expanding outwards at an enormous speed. Some astronomers believe that
the Earth will stop growing and then collapse back again, ending in a “big crunch”.
Hope that never happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some others believe that the Earth is in danger because there are chances that the
sun will run out of fuel. When this happens, it will expand to become 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 of the 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 THE SKIES AT NIGHT????

36
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. Donegan

My life has been an intensely happy one, not only in my family circle, but also in the
world outside it…

Looking back on a life of over eighty years, I realize how short life is and how little
worthwhile are anger and political warfare.

The most worthwhile thing is to try and put a bit of happiness into the lives of others.

- Excerpts from Robert Baden Powell’s farewell message “to the general
public”.

Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other that


without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood and
sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really are part of one big human
family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to 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 human relationships- the


ability of all people of all kinds to live together and work together in the same world,
at PEACE.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

The time comes in the life of any nation when there remains only two choices –
submit or fight. That time should never again come in the life of any nation…. Let us
try to achieve “true” liberation without bloodshed and civil clash –

-Anonymous

“Human Security” binds together all people and all nations, and it can be addressed
only through “sustainable human development” strategies, not through the
acquisition of ever-more-powerful weapons. This security consists of the security of
people in their homes, in their jobs, in their communities, in their environment. There

37
is need for preventive diplomacy on the part of the international community….Also,
any decline in global military 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 spending and to
make an explicit link between reduced military spending and increased social
spending…

The industrial nations should be persuaded to close their military bases, phase out
their military assistance and eliminate their subsidies to exporters of arms…

A major concern of many countries in the future must be to avoid violent social
dislocations-especially-ethnic conflicts. To achieve “social integration”, 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.

-(Source: Human Development Report, UNDP,’ 94).

“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war any more.”

This prophecy did not come true with the end of the Cold War. At any one time,
many military conflicts are going on in “trouble areas” globally.

These conflicts are increasingly threatening the lives of military as well as civilian
populace. At the beginning of the 20th century, around 90% of war casualties were
military. As of now, about 90%, disastrously, are civilian!

One of the greatest worries of the 20th century was the extent to which whole
societies were militarizing themselves. This fear will pervade the 21st century as
well…

38
In weak democracies, armed forces have been positioned strong enough to direct
the political process and subvert democracy.

Armed Conflicts within states increasing: Of the 82 armed conflicts between


1989 and 1992, only 3 were inter-state. Most conflicts are in developing countries.
But, practically, all regions have experienced conflicts-Bosnia-Herzegovina in
Europe; Iraq, Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East; Colombia and Guatemala in
Latin America; India, Myanmar and Tajikistan in Asia; and Angola, Somalia, Sudan
and Rwanda in Africa. More than half of conflicts in 1993 took the lives of 4 to 6
million people. These conflicts have 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 conflicts and the
numbers are simply not abating. Kashmir, a center of strife within the Indian sub-
continent has seen thousands of casualties in the past years. Unless national and
international communities take concrete action, deaths will continue unabated.
Despite all the brouhaha over the global agenda of human insecurity, world military
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 definitely dwindled,
but it has by no means disappeared. A major concern is nuclear proliferation. 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 on short notice. On the positive side, 3 other
states (Argentina, Brazil and South Africa) had halted nuclear weapons development
as of 1992. It was further proposed to extend the 1967 Non-proliferation Treaty after
1995. However, some countries complain of “Nuclear Apartheid”, and some
developing countries feel that nuclear technology can have “Non-nuclear” uses.
Some countries feel threatened by their neighbors and value the possession of
nuclear weapons. What is most important is removal of the causes 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 (primary education, adult literacy,
female literacy) and 8% to population control (basic family planning services and
family welfare)… In developing countries, people are 33 times more likely to
die from social neglect (malnutrition and preventable diseases) than from war.
Yet, there are 20 military personnel for 1 doctor…
Arms spending eat up precious resources than could otherwise be spent on human
development. Some of the world’s poorest countries – Angola, Ethiopia,
Somalia, Mozambique and Pakistan spend more on their armed forces than on
public education and health.
High Military Spending Among Poor Countries
Country GNP p. capita Military Expenditure
($US) p.c. ($ US )
1991 1990/91
Sudan 400 23.3
Ethiopia 120 14.9
Chad 210 10.7

39
Burkina Faso 290 10.5
Mozambique 80 9.5
Mali 270 6.8
Promoting human security globally will be a tedious process. The future of world
disarmament demands higher goodwill between the ‘North’ and the ‘South’- the
creation of new fora for PEACE discussions, regulation of trade in arms and a
novel role for the United Nations. The Third World urgently needs
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 Co-operation (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 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.
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;

40
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)

I remember what Oscar Arias, winner of the 1987 Nobel PEACE Prize had to say:

“…I would like to propose the establishment of a global demilitarization fund… Let
the nations of the world, both rich and poor, commit themselves to atleast a 3% a
year reduction in their military spending levels over the next five years…

The actual numbers are not important…

Only global cooperation can foster the security, which we have sought for so long,
but which has eluded us so frequently. Let us make a definitive effort to use the
PEACE dividend for the construction of just, prosperous and demilitarized societies.
And let us capitalize on the benefits of disarmament to 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 this action..
We reaffirm strong support for international accountability and bringing to justice
perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

- 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…

41
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
DISINTEGRATION OR ETHNIC CLEANSING, WE WANT TO SEE
PEACE
In recent years, some parts of the world have changed dramatically. In 1989,
revolutions spread through the countries of Eastern Europe, and the people drove
out the Communist leaders who had ruled them since 1945. In 1991, the USSR
suffered a similar fate, and that vast country broke up into 15 separate states.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, the policy known as “Apartheid ” was coming to an end.
Since 1948, color of skin formed the basis of segregation between the whites and
the non-whites. The ANC, or African National Congress fought for change for many
years, and in May 1994, Nelson Mandela became the country’s first Black President.

When civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, UN PEACEkeeping forces were
sent in to intervene, at a place where atrocities were being carried out on WOMEN
AND CHILDREN. At this moment, I feel there should be an “international
government”(apart from the UN) composed of all nations, with one principal
“shareholder” in each nation, a group of individuals committed to human rights,
PEACE, POVERTY, and the environment. Institutions can be set up for the Ghetto
populace in America, the homeless in Britain, street CHILDREN in the Third World,
those sleeping on the streets, etc, by this international government. The need for
such a government arises 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 serve only
SAARC countries etc.

Coming back to world political affairs, let us judge the present situation. Hijacking of
aircraft, plenty of ethnic cleansing going on, social disintegration, sabotage,
espionage, nationalistic sentiments rising and differences within the ranks of national
leaders. DOES IT NOT SEEM THAT THE WORLD IS HEADING FOR FROZEN
PEACE ??? The era of good feelings that followed the collapse of Communism has
ended. It has been on the wane for some time. Europe, particularly, is in danger of
plunging (after Kosovo, Poland, the USSR, East Germany, Hungary, Romania,
Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria- all experienced revolutions) into a cold PEACE. A cold
PEACE could 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 or nationalist wars is
rising. We cannot forget the Rwanda massacre in which innocent CHILDREN were
affected the most. AND FOR YEARS IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF CHRIST, A WAR
HAS BEEN RAGING. IF ONLY CHRIST THE LORD WERE ALIVE!!!

OUR MESSAGE OF PEACE: INSTEAD OF A TOY GUN, GIVE A SWEET CHRISTMAS


PRESENT TO A CHILD AT KOSOVO- PRISTINA. LORD, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY
KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO, AND HELP US WORK ON THE PLANET AS IT IS.

42
CHAPTER 5a
There is no alleviation
for the sufferings of mankind
except veracity of thought and action,
and the resolute facing
of the world as it is.

- Thomas H. Huxley

Questions on “Survival” in the


Third 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 trace
and locate the answer:
How does an average
man in the Third World “survive”(E.g. in extreme summers or in extreme winters)?

World Economic Crisis: Some Fundamental Issues:

Our world economy is passing through a phase of unprecedented crisis. At one end,
are the problems of population explosion, food shortages and total depletion of raw
materials, energy and non-renewable resources-a long term perspective on which
was laid down by Dennis L. Meadows and his team, who concluded that: “If the
present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production
and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on the planet will be
reached some time within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will
be a rather and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.”
And then there is the most immediate and pressing problem of debt burden of the
developing countries, the incidence of which is 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 of factors
responsible for and remedies for dealing with the current economic crisis. The need
of the hour is to trace the origin of the current crisis. With regard to the above,
several misconceptions and wrong perceptions – some in the vested interests have

43
arisen, and a number of fundamental issues are being 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, 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 the Joint
Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, that the government need not take
drastic measures in response to the trade deficits of 1976, 1977. Professor Cohen
argued: ‘… I do not view the present U.S. trade deficit with alarm, nor do I feel that
radical revision of current U.S. economic policies is warranted… The present trade
deficit signifies neither a serious deterioration of our competitiveness in international
markets nor a significant loss of a capacity of world economic leadership, although
the fact of a deficit remains… ‘
It is clear that the main question is, how should the South pursue its objectives,
particularly, the combating of POVERTY and fusion of internal PEACE and security
with development? The “Poor” South has long lived under 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 bodies such
as OPEC, ASEAN, SAARC, NAM and the Colombo Plan. A separate Third World
secretariat located at a Third World country (particularly, one ranked low on the
Human Development Index), holding of independent Third World summit meetings
and encouragement of preferential arrangement for intra-south flows of goods,
manpower resources, etc, are the needs of the hour. A center for science and
technology for developing countries, a “Bank” (particularly, Micro-Credit) for
developing countries, a “Research and Information System”, a “Solidarity fund” for
economic and social development, are now just for remaining on “Official machinery
papers”. 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 time developing
countries built up more efficiency in agriculture, agro-based industries and optimum
land utilization. W.W. Rostow in his suave analyses of the world economy has also
argued for a shift in “thinking” from “lame” industrialization to agriculture.

44
Finally, the world economic crisis should be viewed in its wider perspectives through
less of debates and more of concerted action following “dialogues” between the
North and the South.
The critical role for official development assistance: (Developing countries) (Source:
BIS Review):
Developing countries have to be managed well to achieve internal stability and
implement development policies. Aid is a very critical resource in that it helps
countries improve their policies by providing technology, training people and
strengthening institution building.
The question is, how much has actually been accomplished in terms of aid?
Much of the world has changed. We can now communicate across the globe
instantaneously. Countries are now more interdependent. Firms are producing
globally and bankers moving money quickly from one part of the world to another.
The capacity to develop has been improved by advances in science and technology.
Yet, POVERTY is far from being solved, and gaps between the world’s rich and the
world’s poor have widened. And, there are now serious problems not earlier
perceived, like the depletion of the ozone layer and Earth warming, or the
“Greenhouse effect”.
The aid community now knows that problems are more complex and more diverse,
and human and institutional factors are now more important to change, as never
before. Extraordinary progress has now been made, life expectancy at birth has
gone up, and now there are medicines and cures for virtually every ailment…
Aid is only one influence in a complicated process, which involves factors such as
open trade policies, trends in commodity prices, the weather and accumulated
debt…
Yet, aid is still not unimportant apart from the uses outlined above, it also
communicates ideas and encourages initiative. It helps build much needed
infrastructure and finances goods needed for production. Aid is important in disaster
management, and has a humanitarian role to play.
It is important as to how funds will be used and what will be achieved. It is heartening
to note that countries are moving forward through bold policy reforms and more
commitment.
In a number of low-income countries, especially in Asia, additional aid could translate
into accelerated growth, creation of jobs, rural infrastructure, and investment in
human resources. A former World Bank Vice-President for Asia described two
Asias: First, the high growth, industrializing economies, and second, an Asia
with massive problems of development and containing more than half of the
world’s poor, but which have been able to avoid payments crisis through
prudent management.
What are some of the key areas where aid can play an important role in the years
ahead?
Our ozone layer is depleting, we now (as never before) need to find solutions to
Earth warming, air and water pollution, loss of soil, deforestation, and desertification.
Some environmental issues can be mitigated by direct investment, while others
require a change in values and life styles or simply development.
Every year, large numbers of people enter developing country job markets, where
there is a need for power, water, communications, transport, and ports, and

45
improved financial institutions. Aid can help in these, as well as in facilitating foreign
private investment.
In only a few decades, a majority of people in the developing world will live in cities,
therefore, more aid agencies are focusing on urban issues these days.
POVERTY forces millions of CHILDREN under five to die every year. Aid can
complement political commitment and management of developing countries in
providing low cost inoculations and oral rehydration and education for
CHILDREN (in developing countries).
World population is increasing rapidly every year. If, country by country,
societies could speed up the “Demographic transition” i.e. reach the years of
lower population growth sooner, this would reduce death rates, make higher
quality and universal primary education and training more feasible and make
sustainable development more manageable. Aid has a critical role to play.
At least another five billion people are expected to be added to the total world
population over the 21st century; leading in turn to greater demand for food. For most
developing countries, overall economic growth will be led by high – technology
agriculture. There is now an increasing need to give priority to agriculture.
Aid has to assume a new role. No development program can be successfully
implemented without political commitment, good policies, and improved
management in developing countries. In addition to sound macroeconomic policies,
sector and sub-sector plans need to be thought through. There arises a need for
much better aid management. Donors need to respond to areas of need. Common
vision of needs and high-quality national planning and management have to be
combined. Global problems need to be solved locally, country by country.
In this complex world, there is no right level for official development assistance. Yet,
there is no doubt that faster growth could be made in the world if donors could
increase their aid levels significantly.
And aid (which provides important resources) has to assume a new role, the
role of a “Catalyst” in development…
– As new demands of human security arise, a new and more positive relationship
between North and South – a new era of “Development co-operation” becomes
the need of the hour. Developing countries argue that most of their economic
problems arise from an inequitable international order. But, now they have come
to recognize that “no amount of external assistance can ever substitute for the
fundamental reforms needed in their domestic economies.
India: The Indian social system is in a flux. We have become one of the most corrupt
societies anywhere in the world. There are still areas that are extremely poor, there
is grinding POVERTY in many areas. Another very major economic factor has been
our total inability to check the population explosion. This has been one of the
great disasters and tragedies of free India. Our population is growing at the rate of
over a million people a month, a crore and a half of people every year.
That is, we are adding one Australia every year to our population. How are we
going to abolish POVERTY? What meaning does all this talk of POVERTY
abolition have when millions of people are coming into the job market every
year, and you are unable to provide for them? We still have over 50,000
villages with no drinking water. Many CHILDREN still don’t go to school.

46
Why is our social revolution unfinished? Why is it that there are temples where
“Harijans” (Mahatma Gandhi “CHILDREN of God”) are not allowed to go? It is
a shame and a disgrace.
We also find a sharp and growing confrontation on the basis of religion. We have to
use religion in a creative manner. The message of religion is love, compassion,
harmony and helpfulness, not conflict.
We need a “Revolution”- the kind of the Indian Renaissance, the sort of revolution
that took place in Bengal in the middle of the 19th century – with Raja Rammohan
Roy, Keshab Chandra Sen and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, with Bhandarkar and
Ranade and other great reformers, with Tilak and Sri Aurobindo, the great seers and
visionaries, with Vivekananda and Shri Shri Ramakrishna. This is the sort of
renaissance that we require if we are going to build a truly great country.
Because India has a lot to offer to the world. Her sheer size, her cultural continuity,
her extraordinary vivacity, and her “Spiritualism” make it important for India to play
an important role.
May God Bless Our Country.
Oh India! - It is true that in 1995, the country’s granaries were overflowing with
unsold grain. At the same time, more than 300 million people were living below the
POVERTY line.
Our countrymen are too poor to purchase the food produced in their home country.
Kalahandi district in Orissa is best known for its starvation deaths. In 1996, the
district suffered from drought and people died of starvation. Yet the same year, rice
production in Kalahandi was higher than the national average. What often happens
is that rice is exported to the center, while some grain is diverted to the black market
(Some people get away with fake ration cards!)?
Stark, isn’t it?
India is trying to build more sophisticated weapons, but has it been able to provide a
decent education to its CHILDREN? What do you have to say about the fact that
poor, rural women have to walk miles and miles in parched heat to fetch drinking
water? Or, get to the nearest clinic? What about those who are forced to live, eat and
wash on the roadsides? About traditional practices such as Sati, Lausa, Dowry and
Female infanticide? About the highly unfavorable sex ratio? What about the fact that
owing to lack of sanitary latrines, unfortunate slum dwellers have to defecate on the
streets, river banks, parks; etc. under conditions detrimental to health and the
environment? Also, the fact that endemic dysentery and diarrhoea carry away
millions of CHILDREN every year? What about the high value placed on
entertainment, especially films? And sex, violence and obscenity? Rampant
consumerism? Corruption? Debt? What about the damage being caused to our
fragile ecosystems?
May God Bless India,
May God Bless Every Country.
Food and Famine: Starvation amidst plenty – the Bengal famine of 1943:
(Source: Human Development Report, date could not be recalled)
Nature often avenges herself on hapless humanity in one very dangerous manner –
local food shortages, which turn to famine in the hands of man. People go hungry not
because food is not available – but because they cannot afford it. This is what
happened in the Bengal famine of 1943. Between 2 and 3 million lives were lost,
even though there was no overall shortage of food.
47
The famine was partly caused by an economic boom. War-related activities suddenly
increased, exerting powerful inflationary pressures on the economy and causing food
prices to rise. In the urban areas, those with work could pay these prices. But in the
rural areas, agricultural laborers and other workers found that they could no longer
afford to eat, and many people headed for the cities, particularly Calcutta, hoping to
survive. Prices were then driven even higher by speculation and panic buying.
Timely government action could probably have averted the famine. But the colonial
government did nothing to stop hoarding by producers, traders and consumers. They
only “waited and saw”. Relief work was totally inadequate, and the distribution of
foodgrains in the rural districts was inefficient. Even in October 1943, with 1,00,000
sick and destitute people on Calcutta’s streets, the government still went on denying
the existence of a famine.
What resulted was one of the largest man-made catastrophes of our time.
And this has a direct impact on POVERTY.
What then, does “Food Security” Mean?
It means that all people at all times have both physical and economic access to basic
food, which requires not just enough food to go round. People should have ready
access to food – that they have an “Entitlement” to food, by growing it for
themselves, by buying it or by taking advantage of a public food distribution system.
Therefore, that food is available, is not a sufficient condition of security, and people
can starve even when enough food is available – as has actually happened during
many famines.
Food is available in the world. And there is enough food to offer everyone in the
world around 2,500 calories a day – 200 calories more than the basic minimum.
But not everyone gets enough to eat. The problem is the poor distribution of food
and a lack of purchasing power, among other factors. Some 800 million people
around the world go hungry. In sub-Saharan Africa, food availability has
considerably increased in recent years, and yet about 240 million are
undernourished and in South Asia, 30% of babies are born underweight, a sad
indication of the fact that people, particularly women (who often eat after the
entire household) have inadequate access to food. Access to food comes from
access to assets, work and an assured income; therefore, these are the
problems that the state has to tackle at the earliest.
The World as It is

‘… A Sequel to what lies ahead….’

“Let us be clear as to what is our ultimate aim. It is not just the negation of war, but
the creation of a world of security and freedom, of a world which is governed by
justice and the moral law. We desire to assert the pre-eminence of right over might
and the general good against selfish and sectional aims.”

- Clement Attlee, British PM, in 1946

… There are the prosperous nations such as those of Western Europe and North
America, and the poorer developing countries that cannot afford to provide adequate
food, water, health care, and education for their people…

48
- Vastly improved communications and the growth of international trade have made
the world “a smaller place” with nations increasingly dependent upon each other.

And yet, today, we are becoming increasingly envious of one another, and prepared
to take up arms. Conflict within countries is now more rampant than ever before…
There is much human suffering and people are on the brink of starvation in
many countries of the Third World… and then there are war casualties and
severe shortages of food and other essentials like fuel, housing, work,
clothing and education… disease is rife… and then, there are the world’s
“Refugees” (remember Sarajevo?).
CHILDREN are suffering from hunger, disease and illiteracy. Clean water has to be
provided, schools have to be repaired and CHILDREN have to be taken care of.
Relief has to be brought to CHILDREN caught up in civil strife, epidemics of disease
or natural disasters.
We have witnessed a gross violation of human rights across the globe… The fact
that the nearest antenatal care clinic for pregnant mothers in rural areas is often
miles away… is so so disheartening… And that development projects often displace
thousands of people…
POVERTY is the worst disease known to mankind. “POVERTY” does not mean
merely not having enough money to buy everything the developing countries want. It
means not having enough to provide people with essentials such as sufficient food,
shelter, health care, work and education. In the cities, people have to “fight for
survival” in any way they can. Survival was beyond the victims of the drought in the
Sahel region of Africa hit by decades of crop failure. Millions suffer from extreme
malnutrition.
One of the ways of measuring POVERTY is to look at “Life” in different countries (for
example, life expectancy). We can also count the number of babies who die in the
first year of life (in Afghanistan, one out of five babies does not survive until its first
birthday). As for food, an intake of about 2300 calories a day is regarded by nutrition
experts as the average daily nutritional requirement for most people (in Bangladesh,
the average calorie intake is less than two-thirds of what is needed for good health).
Another indicator of POVERTY is the availability of clean water. Germs carried in
impure water spread many fatal diseases (e.g. cholera and dysentery). According to
estimates, over a quarter of the world’s population cannot obtain safe water for their
everyday needs. In health care, also, there is a huge difference between developed
and developing countries.
In many poor countries, shortage of energy supplies holds back economic
progress. There is a need to explore new energy technologies, for example,
power using geothermal heat from deep inside the Earth’s crust.
“Development” goes beyond providing seeds and equipment. It also involves
developing a country’s farming skills and much-needed knowledge and
expertise (on training) which will finally guide a developing country to food-
sufficiency.
For some developing countries, it will be difficult for farming to bring prosperity.
Nepal, which is one of the world’s poorest countries, is dependent almost entirely on
farming. However, only about one-fifth of its land is suitable for farming. Most of
Nepal’s population lives in the hills, where the terrain is sloping, the soil is of poor
quality and the climate unpredictable and often violent.

49
Countries like Nepal are the most challenging to development planners. Very often,
floods and landslides can ruin work by carrying away irrigation channels, together
with the growing crops. Also, forests get depleted, loosening soil for agriculture. Yet,
“Hill farmers” have no other source of fuel for cooking and heating.
The size of the “Gap” between rich and poor countries is mammoth. This calls
for enormous investment.
“…. It is not true that there is insufficient food to go round...”, so said John Ferguson,
in “Not Them But Us”, … “The grain produced, if properly distributed, would give
every human being ample protein and more than 3000 calories a day. But a third of
the grain produced is fed to animals. There are terrifying anomalies. In 1971 during
acute drought the countries of the Sahel actually exported 15 million kilos of
vegetables, mainly to Europe. In 1974, after the floods in Bangladesh, people could
not afford the rice which was actually available.”
And, then, there is the darker side of development. A great deal of aid is in the form
of loans that the countries must pay back with interest. This burden of “Debt” adds to
the problems of the poorest countries.
“If the governments cannot agree to feed the world, they cannot agree about
anything”, said Boyd Orr.
The Sahel is a strip of land along the southern edge of the Sahara desert in Africa.
Drought and overgrazing of the sparse vegetation in the past led to expansion of the
desert, resulting in starvation and death for herdsmen, their families and their
animals. Ethiopia and Somalia were the worst sufferers. The crisis worsened with
civil war and a rapidly growing population… resulting in one of the greatest human
disasters in history. In 1985 and 1986, humanitarian aid poured in from all directions,
but over one million people perished of starvation. This vicious attack stunned
audiences all over the world. As for Uganda, even in normal times, Ugandans eat, on
an average, much less food than they need, which leaves them disease-prone, and
in cases of crop failure, to famine.
I feel sorry for the poor. We go on…
The “Green Revolution” aimed at improving the productivity of farmers in the
developing countries and enabling them feed themselves. Between 1950 and 1985
the total land area of the world made fertile by irrigation doubled. New strains of
cereal seeds were introduced; alongwith the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
World cereal production went up. Countries like China and India greatly benefited.
And yet, poor (small) farmers using hand tools, failed to afford the new seeds or the
fertilizers, and the small size of their farms made it difficult to employ agricultural
machinery. The revolution definitely led to better crops and less hunger. But it
produced adverse social and economic effects. In recent years, more emphasis is
being placed on agricultural development projects targeted at small farmers.
“Development aid” is a very complex issue. The money is not always well spent.
Some of it goes on government palaces and such luxuries as artificial sport(s) turfs
and conference halls. The money does not always reach the target groups, but
percolates down into the pockets of politicians and officials, or is used to pay the
defense forces. The “Gap” remains…
World War III? By the mid-50s, many renowned world figures – like the British
philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell and the American scientist Linus
Pauling – doubted whether the world would survive to the year 2000 without blowing
itself to pieces.

50
There has been no world war during the life of the United Nations. Since 1945, no
nation has dropped a nuclear bomb on another nation. There has been no nuclear
war. Space, which could have been a kind of storehouse for nuclear weapons, has
been kept free of arms. (How long will this continue???, what about Afghanistan?)
The message is love; we all live in the same world and must learn to share it-or
perish.
We have survived, and yet there are many more miles to go…
On India: -Teachings of Swami Vivekananda:
From “India – Cause of her degeneration”: -
Among Several Causes: - ‘I consider that the great national sin is the neglect of the
masses, and that is one of the causes of our downfall. No amount of politics would
be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well educated, well – fed, and
well-cared for?’
From “India – The way to her regeneration”: -
‘India is to be raised, the poor are to be fed, education is to be spread, and the evil of
priestcraft is to be removed. … More bread, more opportunity for everybody! ….
– Your duty at present is to go from one part of the country to another, from village
to village, and make the people understand that mere sitting about idly won’t do
any more. Make them understand their real condition and say, “O Ye brothers, all
arise! Awake! How much longer would you remain asleep!” Go and advise them
how to improve their own condition, and make them comprehend the sublime
truths of the scriptures, by presenting them in a lucid and popular way… Also,
instruct them, in simple words, about the necessities of life, and in trade,
commerce, agriculture, etc. If you cannot do this, then fie upon your education
and culture, and fie upon your studying the Vedas and Vedanta!
– A hundred thousand men and women, fired with the zeal of holiness, fortified with
eternal faith in the Lord, and nerved to Lion’s courage by their sympathy for the
poor and the fallen and the down-trodden, will go over the length and breadth of
the land, preaching the gospel of salvation, the gospel of help, the gospel of
social raising – up – the gospel of equality.
– The hope lies in you- in the meek, the lowly but the faithful. Have faith in the
Lord,… feel for the miserable and look up for help- it “shall come”-
– India will awake, when hundreds of large – hearted men and women giving up all
desires of enjoying the luxuries of life, will lay and exert themselves to their
utmost for the well-being of the millions of their countrymen who are gradually
sinking lower and lower in the vortex of destitution and ignorance. Good motives,
sincerity and infinite love can conquer the world.
– You merge yourself in the void and disappear, and let new India arise in your
place. Let her arise – out of the peasants’ cottage, grasping the plough, out of the
huts of the fisherman, the cobbler and the sweeper. Let her spring from the
grocer’s shop, from beside the oven of the fritter-seller. Let her emanate from the
factory, from marts and from markets. Let her emerge from the groves and
forests, from hills and mountains.

51
– Say, elevation of the masses without injuring their religion.
– Remember that the nation lives in the cottage. But, alas! Nobody ever did
anything for them. Our modern reformers are very busy about widow-remarriage.
Of course, I am a sympathizer in every reform, but the fate of a nation does not
depend upon the number of husbands their widows get, but upon the “condition
of the masses”. Can you raise them? Have faith in yourselves, great convictions
are the mothers of great deeds. Onward for ever! Sympathy for the poor, the
downtrodden, even unto death-this is our motto…’
– Many projects that the industrial countries support in the Third World have global
effects. Controlling the flow of drugs and halting the spread of communicable
diseases are projects that serve the interests of industrial countries – and
humanity.
Poor countries assist with the security of the rich ones in several ways:
 Environmental controls – Most of the world’s tropical forests are in the
developing countries, and it is in everyone’s interest to preserve them so as to
help slow global warming and maintain biodiversity. The world community
should share the cost of environmental preservation;
 Controlling communicable diseases – A global joint initiative should be
launched to control such diseases as Malaria, TB, Cholera and HIV/AIDS,
which is of interest to countries worldwide. It is much more meaningful to initiate
global vaccination campaigns against a contagious disease than to exclude
individual carriers at national frontiers. It is easier to clean up the water supply
in cholera – prone countries than to monitor all the agricultural produce they
export. The world community will stand to gain from slowing the spread of
HIV/AIDS. Investment upstream can curtail the spread of the disease;
 Control of drugs: Experience shows that curbing demand for narcotics is more
crucial than curbing supply. A truly global effort is needed;
Famine, pollution, ethnic violence and AIDS – their consequences can spread rapidly
worldwide. Other problems that require international action and have to be “nipped in
the bud” are international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, natural disasters and
excessive international migration.

Motivation for aid: The process of development along with official foreign
assistance-has had more successes than its critics usually concede. Development
cooperation has enabled vital technologies-like vaccines for CHILDREN to hybrid
seeds-spread rapidly throughout the developing world. It is true that not all
development models have been right, or that not all technology has been
appropriate. But, we must remember, that without this transfer of financial resources,
technology, expertise and equipment, development in the poorer countries would
have been much slower.
To genuinely benefit the poor, aid will have to become much more participatory and
people-centered. Open public discussions on aid will help aid become more
effective-and to help remove disparities in society... Talking about regions where the
needs are the greatest…
Costing essential Human Development Targets, 1995-2005: Source: Human
Development Report, UNDP, 1994: -

52
Approximate annual
Sector Specific Targets
additional costs
 Education  Basic education for all and adult $5 to $6 billion
illiteracy reduced by 50% with female
illiteracy no higher than male
 Health  Primary health care for all, including $5 to $7 billion
complete immunization of all
CHILDREN
 Reduction of under-five mortality by
one-half or to 70 per 1,000 live births
whichever is less!
 Elimination of severe malnutrition and
a 50% reduction in moderate
malnutrition
 Population  Basic family planning package $10 to $12 billion
available to all willing couples
 Low-cost  Universal access to safe drinking $10 to $15 billion
water water
supply and
sanitation
Total for priority human agenda $30 to $40 billion

Global Governance for the 21st century: “Mankind’s problems can no longer be
solved by national governments. What is needed is a world government.
This can best be achieved by strengthening the United Nations system. In some
cases, this would mean changing the role of UN agencies from advice – giving to
implementation. Thus, the FAO would become the World Ministry of Agriculture,
UNIDO would become the World Ministry of Industry, and the ILO the World Ministry
of Social Affairs.
In other cases, completely new institutions would be needed. These could include,
for example, a permanent world police…
Other institutions could include an ocean authority… and an analogous outer space
authority, to deal with matters such as outer space, aviation and information
satellites.
But some of the most important institutions would be financial – a World Treasury
and a World Central Bank. The World Treasury would serve as a World Ministry of
Finance… In addition, there should be a World Central Bank based on a reformed
IMF to deal, among other things, with monetary, banking and stock exchange
policies…
There should also be a redistribution at the international level through development
co-operation…
Some of these proposals are, no doubt, far-fetched and beyond the horizon of
today’s political possibilities. But the idealists of today often turn out to be the realists
of tomorrow.”
-Jan Tinbergen, winner of the 1969 Nobel prize for Economics.

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CHAPTER 5b
THE WORLD AS IT IS
When the well of fight dries up:
“I have seen many droughts, perhaps this is the worst of the century. Further on in
the hapless desert I came by another set of dwellings. A man sat there, lonesome,
with not even flies to swat. His cattle were all dead or gone. The last of his two cows
lay dead nearby under the claws of a brood of vultures, their wings fanning an air
that reeked of something that must be called death.
It would be a joke, a rather cruel one, to ask these people which side of the
POVERTY line they lie on. And it would be ruthlessly unkind to inform them of the
morning’s headlines of all the crisis management cries the newspapers are full of, of
all the grains and fodder that are rolling out of the government’s godowns for the
dearest of the dear: those below the POVERTY line.
Actually, what do they know about POVERTY lines and what those below it are
supposed to get? The government does and its many agents do-contractors, fair
price shop owners, bursars of POVERTY alleviation funds. Aren’t they the ones who
really define that line called POVERTY???”
– Excerpts from “The Worst Drought of the Century”, The Telegraph, India,
26/4/2000.
I wish to bring to your attention the fact that there has been a “National water crisis”
(India) in the recent past. Chronically water-deficit areas like Orissa, Andhra Pradesh
and Rajasthan as well as some other states in India have experienced disaster.
Relief funds, food grains, fodder and rushing trains carrying water to the affected
areas are not sufficient enough. They are short-term remedies. What India needs
today is sound water (resource) management. The presence of officials is not
sufficient a condition (as a remedy). Is a nation (India) that prides itself on
constituting 30 % of software professionals worldwide and that has emerged as the
highest milk producer in the world too poor to implement sound water management
schemes? If several NGOs and people’s groups can devise locally viable water
conservation schemes, can’t the government implement schemes that would do
away with drought forever?
Almost 30 years back, we came up with the idea of a “National Water Grid”- a
scheme to interlink all rivers of the country to solve for all time the problems of
drought, desertification, floods etc. This scheme was shelved. We can offcourse
build storage tanks in villages for recharging of a dead river.
GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY.
GOD BLESS ALL NATIONS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS.
-(Source: A National Daily)
What follow are extracts from “ Every Girl’s Handbook” by Roger Coote,
1994:
RICH WORLD, POOR WORLD: The world is divided between developed
countries, which make most of their money from industry and finance, and poorer
developing countries that rely mainly on farming. Most developing nations are in
Africa, Asia and South and Central America.
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FOOD AND FAMINE: The world produces more than enough food to feed its entire
population, and yet there are many many people who do not have enough to eat.
The reason for this is that the world’s food is not evenly shared out.
The largest food producers: The countries that produce the most food are the USA,
China, the CIS and India. Both China and India are developing nations, and although
they produce vast amounts of food, they also have very large populations to feed-
many of whom are too poor to buy as much food as they need.
The richest countries grow more food than their people need, while poorer countries
often can’t grow enough. About 70% of the world’s grain is eaten by people in the
rich, developed countries, which have only 20%of the population.
To earn money, poor countries often grow “cash crops”- crops such as coffee,
bananas, tobacco and cotton that can be sold to richer nations. This leaves less land
for poor farmers, and means that even less food can be grown.
The worst situation of all occurs when a poor country suffers wars or drought- a
period when not enough rain falls-lasting several years. Crops cannot be grown
because of the fighting, or the plants die in the fields for lack of water. The result is
that the people have even less to eat than usual, and often many thousands of them
starve to death.
INDUSTRY: Since the Industrial Revolution, which began in eighteenth-century
Britain, most industries have come to rely on machines to make their products. At
first, machines were driven by waterpower and coal-fired steam engines, and later by
electricity and diesel engines. Machines can make things faster and more cheaply
than people, and only a few expensive items are still made by hand.
In many wealthy, developed nations, heavy industries such as mining, steel making
and shipbuilding are declining. They are being replaced by service industries,
including banking, insurance, tourism and leisure, and by light industries such as
electronics.
Another trend is for more and more industrial processes to be controlled by
computers and carried out by robots.
RESOURCES AND ENERGY: Resources are things such as fuels, the raw materials
from which products are made, and plants and animals that supply such things as
food, timber and natural fibers.
The land itself is also a resource. In some places it is being grazed by too many
animals and is becoming dry desert where nothing grows.
Many resources are now being used up far faster than nature can replace them. This
is most true of fossil fuels-oil, gas and coal-from which most of our energy is made.
At present, the developed countries use far more energy than the poorer developing
nations. But as the poorer countries become more industrialized, they will consume
more and more energy.
Some species of fish are disappearing because of overfishing-too many are being
caught before they are able to breed. Stocks of cod, herring, haddock and other
common fish are now at an all time low.

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We can make our resources last longer if we reuse and recycle them, and use
renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. These actions would also
cut down on pollution and reduce the damage caused by mining.
RELIGIONS: Throughout the world, there are many different religions, all trying to
give their followers an explanation for the aspects of life that are beyond our control.
There are four major religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Other
religions include Judaism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism and Jainism.
One of the oldest religions is “Animism”, in which people believe there is a GOD or
Spirit in every object, from animals and plants to rocks and rivers.
POPULATION: The world’s population is about 5575000000 (approx. 557 crores)
people and this number is growing by 96000000 (approx. 9.6 crores) each year. The
United Nations has estimated that by the year 2050, it will have reached
10000000000 (approx. 1000 crores). Most of the growth in population is occurring in
the poorer countries of the world, where people are now living longer because of
better health care, and more babies are being born, too.
The Papacy is opposed to abortion and family planning, but family planning is a
must. Because event - management for this large number of people would be difficult
under the present circumstances of world politics (ethnic and nationalistic sentiments
rising, anti-race sentiments). Whether the one CHILD norm should be enforced or
implemented raises certain moral (nee-ethical) questions. NO CHANGE SHOULD
BE ENFORCED BUT IMPLEMENTED. The one-CHILD norm could be implemented
in developing countries where both the health of the mother and the health of the
CHILD are at stake. The economies of scale operate in the case of Third World
Hunger, Malnutrition and Reproductive Status of Women, hence the need for birth
control. As for abortion, it is a matter of choice. Both the lives of the mother and the
foetus are at stake. In the case of unwanted pregnancy, abortion may be fruitfully
carried out. To prevent unwanted pregnancy, a knowledge of sex and morality (to
prevent delinquent behavior) is required. Talking about sex education, let us discuss
whether there has been a sexual revolution in India.

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CHAPTER 6a
“ We will not be forced back into the ‘Biology is Destiny’ concept that seeks to define,
confine and reduce women and girls to their physical sexual characteristics. We will
not let this happen – not in our homes, our workplaces, our communities, our
countries…..”
– From Message from NGO women to UN Member States, The Secretariat and
The Commission on the Status of Women, April 3, 1995
“ Unisexual Sport” – one of the best ways to bring the two sexes together-
There are greater issues than the exposure of the human anatomy in Cinema-
Sex creates greater inequality between men and women than anything else does
Worldwide, 13 Million CHILDREN - more than the CHILD population of the UK –
have been orphaned because of AIDS –
Six people under the age of 25, are infected with HIV every minute –
This is about the “Lesbian Avengers”, a creative action group that uses grass-roots
activism to fight for Lesbian survival and visibility. They struck at an anniversary
conference of an organization for CHILDREN in the UK… The organization had
cancelled the appearance of a popular TV comedian, Sandi Toksvig, after she had
come out publicly as a Lesbian a month before. They shouted: “ She (Sandi) isn’t
here because she said she is a queer.”
Later, Toksvig said,” Perhaps there is a theory that in expressing my sexuality, I
have lost my compassion and concern for others in the world.”
And Toksvig (actually) happened to be the co-parent of three CHILDREN and a
regular helper to the organization for many years.
“People in the U.S.
used to think
that if girls were good at sports
their sexuality would be affected.
Being feminine
meant being a cheerleader,
not an athlete.
The image of women
is changing now.
You don’t have to be pretty
For people to come and see you play.”
- Martina Navratilova, former Tennis Champion.
Shockingly, in the island nation of Sri Lanka (in fact, all over the world) the wealthy
can “buy” sex with young men and boys. A major racket in CHILD sex abuse was
unearthed sometime back.

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CHAPTER 6b
SEXUAL REVOLUTION IN INDIA – A MYTH OR A REALITY
“It is evident that every emission of semen in such a way that generation cannot
follow, is contrary to the good of men. And if this is done deliberately, it must be a
sin”- said Thomas Aquinas. Over the years, sex and sexuality have been very
sensitive issues, but in the past, not many great men have done revolutionary
thinking in this context.
Aristotle’s view stressed that “it is man’s nature to rule, while it is woman’s nature to
be ruled.” Dr. Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis, was certainly no great
advocate of the feminist cause. He shocked the Victorian world with his views on
“infantile sexuality”, but maintained an orthodox stand in sexual differences.
There is offcourse nothing new in these arguments. But I shudder to think that sex
should be repressed in India, the land which produced the “Kamasutra”, fifteen
hundred years ago, a manual on the act of sex which was so explicit (erotic temple
sculptures?) and daring that its sale was banned in America. The question is, if
Indian society was so uninhibited once, as during the time of Vatsyayana (the author
of the “Kamasutra”), why did it become so prudish? Is it a revolution or a mere
superficial change? Is it a sign of a new beginning? Now, a “revolution” occurs when
a complete change has taken place (this goes for everything). To “revolutionize” is to
alter (everything) completely. This is also known as “revival” or “renaissance”.
“Reality” is the quality of being real, not imaginary. A situation can be termed as
“real” when what seems, is actually what is…
A “myth” contrasts with truth and reality.
Let us view the present sexual trends in India in the light of these terms. A spark has
been ignited. We come to see a change in terms of the parameters of family,
marriage and social class. The media is providing all the means for stimulation of the
sexual drive. It is no longer reluctant to show sex more explicit than before and
vulgar and erotic Hindi movies seethe with a sexual current. Also, now we have
condom ads and sex education documentaries as well as adult movies. Daily
newspapers promise forbidden joy.
Sex has now changed from marital to premarital and extramarital forms. Dating is
becoming common. There has been an increase in the number of abortions.
Increase is also seen in the demand for contraceptives and sexually stimulating
pornographic magazines and movies. The gay culture has already come to India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that India will have the largest
number of AIDS patients in the world. Previously reluctant parents are now sending
their daughters to late nights and overnights. A revolution, if any, has been seen
more among the younger generation, with the middle classes getting affected the
most.
We know that India is fast emerging as one of the most industrialized nations in the
world. (What about agriculture?) The Super Computer represents the beginning of
an Indian techno-revolution. Recycling of waste in the Indian cities represents the
beginning of an ecological revolution. (Has there been an ecological revolution really,
in Delhi, the stars cannot be seen at night?) Sterilized needles herald a medical
revolution. (Has a medical revolution reached the remote villages?) Does then the
growing AIDS awareness mark the beginning of a sexual revolution?

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There is the other side of the story. The reality is that we have a distorted version of
the changes that have occurred.
Today, the average Indian is experimenting more with things related to sex. Yet, the
degree of advancement in these matters in our country is still less than (that) in the
West. Though the media is providing all the means of stimulation, it is not
channelizing the sexual drive in a proper manner.
There is a vast difference in attitudes towards sex within the country. Sex in day-to-
day life is not accepted openly. Women are still not comfortable about their sexuality.
Still in some places, women are kept secluded during the period of menstruation.
Added to this, now, there is access to pornography on the Internet. Young,
impressionable minds are getting access to the Internet. Yes, daddy’s present – a
computer??? And is there a need for “Cybernetic sex”??? A separate issue
altogether!
In India, feminine sexuality still stands rejected and it is male sexuality, which is
always acceptable. For some women, sex is a wifely duty. The Indian man enjoys
conjugal rights over his wife and marriage can be annulled on the basis that she
refused him sex.
Osho Rajneesh said, “In India, atleast 98% of women have never had an orgasm.”
The suppression of sex seems terrible in North India where people make vulgar
comments on young couples.
Apart from all this, sex education is still missing in most Indian schools. There is lack
of proper information, which has led people to many misconceptions. The Indian
man still complains of premature ejaculation and is anxious about masturbation.
Interaction between the sexes is confined to the highly educated. There is still a lot of
social stigma attached to open expression of affection in public.
When asked about vulgarity on MTV, media baron Rupert Murdoch said that he had
been thinking of banning MTV till he watched our Hindi movies. Our own movies are
showing increasing amounts of sex and violence. AIDS has come to India and this is
a very real threat and unprotected sex is one of the major causes. We still do not
have condom-vending machines in rural areas as targeted.
Prostitution (largely forced) is a big evil. But have we been able to provide alternative
means of livelihood to these sex workers? Have we provided for the education of
their CHILDREN? Can we attempt to evacuate them and build a separate township
for them so that they can lead decent lives ???
One major disadvantage about sex coming out of the closet in wrongly channelized
ways is that it is now turning up in unexpected and sometimes unwanted places. The
best example of this is the booming soft porn magazine industry. Until some years
ago, “Debonair” was the only soft porn magazine. Now, there are over 5 such
magazines; each one with a circulation of over 40,000 per issue. More and more
neighborhood video libraries are now offering hard core pornographic movies. The
problem is that there is no control over the age limit of customers for such movies
and magazines. A young boy or girl going through them might end up with twisted
ideas about sex, which may last for the rest of his or her life.
Another serious drawback is the rapidly changing attitudes and lifestyles of the
young people which parents of the middle class do not know how to handle. In some
cases, the youngsters themselves do not know how to handle these matters, like an
incident in which a 17 year old girl was murdered by an 18 year old boy.

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Attitudes like these have to be guarded against. The solution is not to go back to a
time when the very word SEX was taboo. It is to make people have not only more
openness in matters related to sex but a more correct and responsible attitude
towards it. Sex education should be made compulsory in schools so those
CHILDREN can build up a proper attitude from the beginning. And parents have to
be taught that beyond a certain age it is better to explain those tough issues.
FOR ANIMALS, SEX IS A MEANS OF REPRODUCTION. FOR HUMAN BEINGS,
HOWEVER, SEX INVOLVES MUCH MORE THAN REPRODUCTION. IT HAS NATURAL
AND IMPORTANT BIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL EFFECTS
ON THE LIVES OF HUMAN BEINGS.
EVEN THOUGH THE SO-CALLED SEXUAL REVOLUTION HAS COME FULL
CIRCLE IN THE WEST, SEX IS FAR FROM BEING SAFE AND HEALTHY. The
winner of a former American beauty pageant for CHILDREN, a little girl of six, was
sexually harassed. Is this what we want in India when we talk about the need of a
sexual revolution???
What about the rural and urban slum areas where women have no control over
issues related to sex and reproduction????
The teacher’s duty is not only to teach his subjects but also impart correct values,
correct morals and ethics to our CHILDREN. Sex and moral education should begin
in the classroom, whether a modern, urban classroom or a slum class session or a
rural area classes session. Besides, it is essential to fight for women’s reproductive
rights.
THE IDEA OF A SEXUAL REVOLUTION IS EVIDENT IN THE WORDS OF JO
MATTISON: “EVERY PERSON SHOULD RID HIMSELF OR HERSELF OF SELF-
HATE AND SEE THE ABSURDITY OF DENYING HIS OR HER SEXUALITY.”
THIS IDEA IS BY ITSELF ENTIRELY WESTERN. TODAY, NOT EVEN THE WEST
IS HAPPY WITH SUCH A REVOLUTION. UNTIL THE AVERAGE INDIAN FEELS
PROUD OF HIS OR HER OWN SEXUALITY, THE IDEA OF A SEXUAL
REVOLUTION IN INDIA WILL REMAIN A MYTH AND ONLY A MYTH.
From here, let us analyze the impact on society of a change in color of the
revolution…

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CHAPTER 7a
(For writing this chapter, I have consulted quite a bit of literature on
Agriculture and Rural Development)
In countries where farming is the mainstay of the economy, agriculture should be
made a full-fledged industry. More and more foreign investment should be poured in.
To combat POVERTY, more money should be poured into small industries and
agriculture. At the same time, we should make efforts to spread literacy and give
incentives (and disincentives) to control population.
No nation has attained strength and power until it overcame its problems on the land
and established a sound agriculture to support other kinds of economic growth.

- Anonymous

– Farmers in the USA and other developed countries can afford expensive
equipment to pump water from below the ground to irrigate their crops. This
option is very often not available in the developing world. There, farmers may or
may not be able to afford the equipment, and in many places there is no source
of water.
– Methods and organization of production and business in Africa, Asia and Latin
America greatly need modernizing… The greater strength of the countries of the
“North” comes from the fact that they have already carried out this work of
modernization. Most of them have passed through an industrial revolution – in
other words, their hand-production has given way to machine-production. So,
what has their coming to the “South” done for its modernizing? Trade has
expanded… but? What about the backlash of this “Colonial development”??
POVERTY (largely, rural)???? …Traditions have been dying! The most
successful farmers have often got into debt because the prices they are paid are
not covering their costs of production. There are no proper facilities for borrowing
money from banks… and no access to cheap credit… and a long term
consequence… because of export, very little food can be grown for local
use…leading to serious… local food shortages…
– Adapted from “Look into a barren field of farm policy”
Author – a former Agriculture Minister of India (The Telegraph, India, 12 July
2000):
Instead of daydreaming, the Indian Government should take a good hard look at the
country’s farming sector, which determines the livelihood for two-thirds of the
country’s population…
The prices of products farmers have to buy have been rising faster than the prices of
the produce they grow… when the agricultural growth rate falls below the population
growth rate, the result is bound to be an increase in rural POVERTY… The policy
framework must encourage high investment in rural assets, and channel public
expenditure towards supportive infrastructure…
The existing restrictions to movement of agricultural produce between states should
be eliminated, so that farmers can benefit from a single national market…
Survival in the global agricultural market depends on comparative access to
subsidies and cheaper inputs…

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India’s agricultural potential is great. Its farm production could be increased manifold,
if the following basic steps are observed…
First, agriculturists should be made literate. Only one in four farmers can measure
the size of his field, or calculate how much fertilizer or pesticide needs to be applied
to his fields.
Second, India’s villages need to be linked by all weather roads.
Third, a more efficient marketing system is needed for farm products. The
efficiency of such a system should be judged by how much of the consumer price is
actually passed on to the producer.
In India, most of the money consumers pay for agricultural product goes to
middlemen rather than farmers. A network of rural warehouses needs to be
established.
Farmers should be allowed to deposit their produce in such places and get bank
advances worth up to 80 per cent of the price of the products deposited…
In course of time, such warehouses will serve as direct links between producers and
consumers, even with wholesale traders. This would eliminate the horde of
middlemen.
Finally, the mechanization of Indian agriculture needs to be accelerated. Indian
agriculture is most mechanized in Punjab, the state where unemployment and the
incidence of POVERTY is the lowest … Japan and South Korea have shown that
small land holdings are no impediment to mechanization.
And yes, corruption in the system has to be weeded out…
- All Soviet - style economies collapsed by 1990. But India is yet to heed the
warning. Globalization leads to neo - colonialism, for instance, cheaper imports of
consumer goods causes great risk to small industrial units… Disparities of income
and wealth between regions and between individuals have widened, and we now
have a mass of destitutes without food, employment, shelter, or hope…. These are
“Outcasts of the Global Village” and most of them are confined to the Third world…
Actually, what do the information revolution, our new fashion houses, our beauty
parlors, our Chinese or Thai or Italian restaurants and the Miss World or Miss
Universe pageants mean to the "victims” of globalization?
- Soil and water are of crucial importance to mankind. However, available soil and
water resources in the world are being continually depleted and degraded. Reckless
felling of trees, improper land use and plugging of natural drains are leading to
continued loss in land productivity, severe erosion, in turn, the loss of valuable top
soil and its nutrients, drought, floods, sedimentation of reservoirs, wastage of
precious water, ecological crisis and impoverishment in rural areas. Technical and
socio-economic knowledge - based approach coupled with people’s participation can
arrest this degradation, conserve soil and water in a process called “Watershed
Management”, promoting livelihood and ecological sustainability.
-In the context of increase in agricultural production, one can think either of an
expansion of irrigation or increase in fertilizer use or increase in area under “High-
yielding variety” (HYV) cultivation. One can also think of mixing these three
technologies in different proportions. It is worth noting that capital which is needed
for irrigation is of a traditional variety where coal, iron and cement are the major
inputs. Fertilizers are petro-chemicals. Although HYV can be successfully used with

62
irrigation and fertilizer, it is susceptible to pests, and “Pesticides” have to be
employed… Talking about “Choices in Agriculture”!
– A vast majority of the world’s farmers are economically backward and poor.
Therefore, many farmer families raise crops with the sole intention of household
consumption, or for “Subsistence” only. They generally do not use machinery and
hired labor and do not think of selling their produce in the market. These poor
farmers remain deprived of other basic essentials such as shelter, clothing,
health care and education.
On the other hand, many crops, especially tea, coffee, rubber, indigo and jute are
grown with the prime motive of selling the produce in the market. Machines are put
to use for various works, laborers are hired, and the crops are grown for
“Commercial” purposes.
In many parts of the world, cattle rearing are practiced extensively. The farms are
very big in size. Animals are reared for different purposes following scientific
management techniques.
“Co - operative” farming becomes necessary in those countries where holdings are
very small and uneconomic, or bad economic conditions do not permit individual
farming to be profitable. Amul Dairy is one of the most successful co-operative farms
in India.
-Joske Bunders, Bertus Haverkort and Wim Hiemstra define “Biotechnology” as” The
application of indigenous and/or scientific knowledge to the management of (parts of)
micro - organisms, or of cells and tissues of higher organisms, so that these supply
goods and services of use to human beings”. The real challenge lies in developing
appropriate biotechnology for the rural poor.
What we need today is an “Evergreen Revolution”, where biological productivity can
be improved without damaging the environment. Biotechnology becomes essential to
sustain agriculture in the long run.
-“RURAL DEVELOPMENT can (and should) involve the creation of an ‘Enabling’
environment in which rural people can identify their needs and priorities and with
professional support, organize themselves to improve the quality of their lives”
– His Highness the Aga Khan
Rural development requires the support of specialized skills, focused management
with perspective, and adaptable technology to improve the quality of rural life.
One should have concern for the disadvantaged while organizing rural people
towards viability and (self) sustainability through optimal use of local resources. The
rural poor (themselves) should be allowed to determine their priorities for
development, take joint action in implementation, and gain access to resources and
services available from Government, VO’s etc. Consider this, a change in attitude
from merely (for household consumption only)”subsistence agriculture” to “irrigated
farming” (using the latest technology) can provide “other” basics such as shelter,
clothing, health care, safe drinking water, education and employment, leading to
higher standards of living and POVERTY reduction.
Important Quality Parameters include:
i) People’s participation;
ii) Technical excellence;

63
iii) Cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency;
iv) Equity;
v) Sustainability.
Rural programs should be organized and implemented through appropriate
village institutions, which would decide, execute and manage the development
programs. Key target areas should be (poor) tribal and / or famine / drought
prone areas. These experiments would greatly benefit rural South Asia, rural
Africa and rural Latin America, the poorest ‘societies’ of the world.
Training can be a crucial support system for institution – building and skill –
development of staff as well as village functionaries. More training programs should
be run for “Extension volunteers” and office – bearers of village institutions.
Workshops on “Participatory training methodologies” can and should be organized
especially in the poorest rural areas.
Irrigation systems can be “turned over” from Government administration to
farmers’ organizations, as was done successfully in the Philippines in the
past.
Policies should always be “People-centered”. Voluntary organizations can
play a crucial role in demonstrating how to build social and physical
infrastructure. A “Participatory” development approach is the need of the day.
i) “Turnover” of irrigation schemes effects more efficient irrigation management
and speedier implementation of projects. Construction of check dams needs
more dialogue and participation from villagers. Sound Water resource
development is very, very important;
ii) When the topography of land is such that the impact of soil and water
conservation structures cannot be ascertained, and farmers are left with little
incentive to work due to scarcity of top soil and marginal productivity, water
harvesting structures can be constructed, under an Integrated micro-watershed
development plan; which can greatly help farmers increase their income from
improved agriculture;
iii) In a process called “Wasteland Development”, “Greening” can be undertaken by
planting trees, grass, saplings; etc to develop unutilized or underutilized lands;
iv) In a process of “Agriculture development”, a few demonstrations (on small plots
of land) can be carried out jointly by farmers and extension volunteers and field
exercises can supplement such efforts. This process can scale up agricultural
input (moreover, of superior quality), specifically, agricultural development
programs reflect specialized needs and farmers’ ability to adopt and adapt to
new technologies. For instance, in the case of water resource development
programs, there is great emphasis on initiating farmers of lift irrigation projects to
the skills and knowledge of cultivating irrigated crops. Emphasis should be
placed on high-yielding varieties (HYVs) and improved cropping patterns. On-
farm research should be carried out and farmers’ visits to various agricultural
universities for specialized inputs in rain-fed farming, seed production, relay
cropping practices, grain storage technology, the economics of cultivation, etc.
be organized;

64
v) Bio-gas slurry, a high quality organic manure, not only increases yield, but also
makes for more porous soil, attracts no flies and mosquitoes and is free from
foul smell;
vi) The success of any Animal husbandry program depends on a) the active
participation of the semi-nomad communities, b) a pasture land development
scheme acceptable to all communities, c) a reliable veterinary service network,
and, d) a viable milk marketing system. We must bear in mind that there are
strong social, cultural and economic relationships between the pastoral
community and “Common Property Resources” like wasteland; pastureland; etc.
With the right animal care and feeds, animals produce significantly higher yields.
To further improve livestock yield, artificial insemination and immunization of
animals through vaccination camps should be carried out. Fodder banks should
be established;
vii) There is a need to focus on “Credit for the disadvantaged”. Villagers have limited
access to institutional finance, and in most cases, have to face complicated
procedures. Private finance is very costly, exploitative and unavailable for the
chronically cash-starved farmers. An “Ideal” savings, credit and supply scheme
is based on certain “Principles” :-
(a) Physical infrastructure is not sufficient for economic development; (b)
Schemes to focus on economically weaker sections, like small, marginal and
dry-land farmers; (c) All schemes should aim to enhance savings and bring
about self – reliance; (d) Appraisal and disbursement of schemes should rest
with village level functionaries; (e) Schemes should be extended to women and
the landless, the more vulnerable groups in rural areas, and self-help groups can
be formed; (f) Crop finance should be extended to village institutions.
“Agricultural input supply centers” can be setup to provide inputs at
reasonable prices to farmers;
viii) Farmers would benefit from “Collective” marketing to maximize returns on their
produce. The main advantage of collective marketing is to provide farmers with a
better price for their produce;
ix) In India, Village institutions mainly exist in the form of local self-governments
called “Panchayats” and cooperative societies undertaking varied functions.
While a few of these bodies have been operating successfully, the majority has
not performed satisfactorily. A lack of dynamic leadership, unhealthy politics and
corrupt practices are to blame.
The main indicators of a good village institution are: (a) Growth in economic
activities; (b) Growth in savings; (c) Regular meetings of members; (d)
Systematic book-keeping; (e) Stable leadership; (f) Financial discipline of
members; (g) Effective Linkages with external agencies.
Some village institutions have actually expanded and need to be recognized as
more formal entities;
x) The issue of gender in development should be addressed at the stage of
project planning itself. Two important questions come to mind: (a) What is the
woman’s role in development?, (b) What is the impact of development projects
on women?
There is a need to change the rural woman’s role in village level from that of a
passive recipient to one of an active participant. Savings and credit activities,
65
homestead farming, animal husbandry, agriculture, horticulture, soil and water
conservation and biogas plants are some major activities that can be undertaken
by rural women. More and more women should be encouraged to participate in
“Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)” exercises.
Rural women lead a very tough life. PRAs involving both sexes confirm this.
“….Little did they (the men) think of their women, their punishing work load and a
life of drudgery.
The women … deserved a better deal…
As soon as a woman gets up, she cleans the house… the women collect water
after they clean the house… In the absence of a flourmill in the village, women
have to grind their grains themselves…. Then cook the morning meal… take
care of the animals and collect fuelwood from the forest…
Carrying food to the field, working in the field at weeding, grazing cattle, cutting
fodder, pounding and de-husking of grains, serving food etc.
…Even in the summer heat women walk barefoot … They get a lot of smoke in
their eyes and body while cooking… They don’t even get water to drink,
especially in summer- it is very difficult…”
It takes time, and repeated conscientization to change attitudes… Such is the
stereotyping of women’s status…;
(xi) A “Participatory Approach” to development would consist of a package
having three essential instruments :-
a) Village Institutions (VIs): The role of a village institution is identified
chiefly through its requirement in a program. They take up appropriate
forms and responsibilities;
b) Extension Volunteers (EVs): Are public-spirited keen learners willing to
spend their time and effort to share their knowledge and skills with other
villagers. EVs save on staff cost, promote access to technology and
services, are able to identify with the language and culture of the people,
are aware of local strengths and limitations, and are in a position to
convince villagers of the value of a proposed project;
c) Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA): Consists of getting reliable and
relevant information about villages in a participatory way. Information can
be obtained on local resources, problems, and priorities of development.
The PRA technique establishes informal and friendly contact with ordinary
people. PRAs have special focus on agriculture, animal husbandry,
watershed, biogas, credit, etc. Benefits include identification of weaker
sections, selection of tree species, identification of training needs for
agriculture development program, etc;
(xii) NGOs can be strong partners in development and should therefore be given
more support in procedures related to seeking technical and administrative
sanction and availing themselves of finance.

Cattle Development: using high quality frozen semen from disease-free bulls can
produce calves of superior genetic potential. Pregnancy diagnosis measures should
be taken. Technical field staff should closely interact with the rural cattle-breeders.

66
There is a need to apply research in the areas of animal breeding and animal
reproduction. Cattle development can significantly reduce rural POVERTY and
under-employment by providing income-generating assets and gainful self-
employment opportunities at the doorstep.
Animal Health: The need of the hour is to develop standard quality for health,
vaccines, diagnostics and pharmaceutical products to optimize the potential of
livestock and poultry. Monitoring and surveillance of disease status and direct
application of recent advances in biotechnological innovations should be the major
goal of research on animal health. Education of farmers may be a significant factor in
controlling mastitis and other diseases.
Agroforestry and Afforestation: Let us go greening our industrial premises. Let us
try to test how well our tree species perform on wastelands under protective
irrigation. Or, how well they perform on saline soils and in an arid environment. Or,
how much tolerant are dry zone tree species to drought? Let us set up “Seed
Orchards”. Let us encourage farmers to cultivate medicinal plants. To make barren
wastelands more productive, let us develop suitable models of Afforestation, soil
conservation and horticulture. This method could rehabilitate many landless families.
“Kitchen Gardens” can ensure higher participation of women and CHILDREN.
Treated effluent from factories can be used for irrigating plantations and the sludge
as manure to replace farmyard manure which has high organic content and plant
nutrients. Afforestation programs can generate employment apart from their other
benefits, like conservation of birds and wildlife, and control of air pollution.
Bioenergy: Socio–economic development and energy consumption are directly
correlated. With an increase in development, both the quantum of energy
consumption and the composition of energy sources change, in the former case; an
increase may be registered. In the light of increasing prices and shortage of
conventional non-renewable fossil fuels, renewable energy sources assume a very
important role. Amongst these, Bioenergy has a special role, as bio-fuels, apart from
being renewable, can be locally produced. Waste-recycling systems should be
established around houses in rural areas, including bio-gas, low cost latrines,
soakpits, bathing and washing platform, kitchen garden, vermicompost and
mushroom cultivation unit.
Social Science: Self-help groups can be formed, which can help women resolve
their social problems and gender issues. These (self-help) groups should be linked
to banks. School-based programs can be undertaken to involve CHILDREN in their
own development as well as that of the community.
Community Health: The environmental and social aspects of health are important
aspects of community health. Hence, activities should be planned and closely linked
with programs focusing on environmental protection, promotion and on improvement
of the livelihood of rural poor families. Activities to promote health and prevent
morbidity and mortality should be undertaken, with special emphasis being placed on
the involvement of women. Local women can be encouraged to be “Village Health
Guides” (VHGs) and given training in MCH care, health, nutrition and sanitation.
Community health programs (like regular MCH clinics in the rural areas, periodic
health camps, schools based programs for nutrition, sanitation, primary treatment,
raising of kitchen gardens and plantation of herbal gardens, construction of low-cost
sanitary latrines, health activities and training, improving quality of drinking water,
maintenance of potability through regular chlorinating) should be undertaken, and
applied health research should be carried out. Participatory techniques of data
collection like village mapping and health mapping and wealth ranking are very

67
informative methods of collecting information. It has been found that most villages in
India still suffer from poor facilities and limited access to health services. Regular
growth and weight monitoring in village kindergartens should be carried out.
Teachers should be trained to detect the nutritional status of CHILDREN and apply
corrective measures.
Sericulture: Provides year – round employment as well as a sustainable income to
the farmer. It also provides raw material for industrial development in rural areas. An
appropriate package of sericulture technology (through establishing a grainage for
production and supply of disease – free layings, introducing suitable mulberry
varieties and cultivation practices) should be developed, and applied silkworm
rearing and moriculture studies carried out. It would (from the point of view of
POVERTY – reduction) be advisable to extend sericulture activity to small and
marginal farmers.
“Farm School Programs” should be broadcast on air for the benefit of small and
marginal farmers.
Cross – Breeding for a Secure Future: Low-producing cattle can be upgraded to
provide livelihood for millions of rural people. A crossbred cow generates a stable
income from milk alone. However, that needs good health care, vaccinations and a
large amount of concentrated feed. Milk-processing co-operatives help farmers get
an assured price for milk. To develop cattle, liquid nitrogen has to be regularly
supplied to maintain frozen semen in good condition; timely inseminations and
vaccinations have to be undertaken, and training in skills, feeding and management
and well-organized extension have to be promoted. Farmers should be encouraged
to adopt stall-feeding towards regeneration of degraded pastures and improvement
of the Eco-system.
Need to Collect Germplasm of indigenous Tree Species: Our natural forests are
degenerating very fast and it will be a difficult task to increase the area under
greencover, until we revised upwards the present afforestation target in the near
future. The potential of newly introduced exotic tree species is confined to areas with
fertile soils and assured moisture supply. For the vast degraded wastelands, it is
necessary to identify indigenous tree species, which are hardy and produce a variety
of commodities, in addition to wood, so that the major income can come from other
produce. This seems to be an important strategy, as majorities of the villagers do not
have the capacity to buy fuelwood. Collection of superior quality Germplasm is the
primary step in producing good quality seed for propagation. The superior
Germplasm thus selected can be used to establish seed orchards on a large scale to
ensure supply of superior quality seed material in the future.
Development of Wastelands: Role of Micro-level Planning: Micro-level planning
for development of wastelands will be helpful in establishing tree plantation. With
minute planning, it is possible to reduce investment and improve productivity and
marketability. Such successful ventures can serve as good demonstrations to
motivate a large number of local people to take active part in developing our
wastelands.
Environmental Pollution in Rural Areas: is caused by several factors such as
mismanagement of natural resources, poor hygiene and sanitation, use of agro-
chemical and fossil fuels and impact of industries. The best way to motivate rural
people to protect the environment is to link environmental protection with income-
generating activities. Villagers should be educated about their right to have a clean

68
environment so that they can initiate suitable action wherever necessary to control
pollution.
Biodiversity and Ground Realities: It is necessary to preserve our plants and
animals because our present knowledge extends to a few species only and the
benefits of the remaining millions of plant and animal species are not known to us.
Nevertheless, they play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance.
The Cost of Agricultural Protection: The industrial countries have achieved
agricultural self-sufficiency partly by subsidizing their own farmers – and partly by
raising tariff and non-tariff barriers against foreign producers. This has, however, led
to substantial overproduction of grain and butter.
This approach, which is very costly, may benefit farmers, but ordinary people in the
industrial countries find it costly because they have to finance the subsidies by
paying higher taxes. Not only this, they are kept away from cheaper foreign produce
by barriers to import.
Farmers in the developing countries suffer as local prices plummet when industrial
countries dump surpluses of products like sugar, cereal and beef. In 1991, the
European Community dumped 54 million tonnes of frozen and chilled beef in Africa –
further impoverishing four million Sahelians who depend on cattle farming. Farmers
in these (developing) countries also lose out because industrial countries to keep
their produce out use tariff and non-tariff barriers.
“Liberalizing” the trade in agricultural commodities would definitely benefit both
industrial and developing countries…
Sowing an Agricultural Agenda – Dr. M.S. Swaminathan: India’s leading agro-
scientist: “… Famines were frequent in the 19th Century and the 1892 – 93 famine
claimed about 10 million lives. The famine-avoidance strategy of independent India,
with its concurrent emphasis on food production, need-based imports, an effective
public distribution system and rural employment programmes, has helped to prevent
the occurrence of famines (like the Bengal famine of 1942-43). However, widespread
undernutrition and chronic hunger persist because of inadequate purchasing power
at the family level. We have now reached a stage where “food for all” can be
achieved only through a “Jobs for all” programme.
Agricultural progress holds the key to India’s socio-political stability, since every
citizen is affected by it in one way or another. In 1992, when everything else went
wrong in the country, starting with the financial scam and ending with the Ayodhya
tragedy, the only factor that saved us from total chaos was the work of our farm
women and men. In spite of economic difficulties, they produced as much as
possible of grains, oilseeds, milk, sugar and fibre.
That is why I feel troubled about the uncertain future facing this primary industry,
which influences both the food security and the livelihood of over 70 per cent of our
people.
What are the trouble spots? Three E’s-Ecology, Economics and Equity can represent
them. Ecologically, we have no legal instruments to promote scientific land-use and
to prevent the diversion of prime farmland for non-farm uses…
In terms of Economics, the impoverishment of the countryside and marginalization of
small farmers and landless labour families continues unabated…
Equity is a distant dream, whether in gender or economic terms. No wonder India
has the largest number of the world’s poor. The poor especially depend on common

69
property resources for their survival. They suffer the most from land abuse, ground
water depletion and forest denudation. Women suffer even more, since they have to
ensure the household’s nutrition security, including safe drinking water.
It is against this backdrop that we have to consider the next steps in our agricultural
evolution…
The challenge now is to keep up the per capita production level and ensure better
distribution. This will call for an integrated approach to economic entitlements and
ecological obligations…
The real issues before the country are:
 How the 100 million farm families can be helped to improve agricultural
productivity on an ecologically sustainable basis;
 How the livelihood security of the landless labour and marginal farmer families
can be enhanced through greater opportunities for skilled employment, both in
the farm and non-farm sectors;
 How the youth, who constitute over half our population, can be attracted to
farming and retained in farm-related enterprises;
 How nutrition security, i.e., economic and physical access to balanced diets and
safe drinking water, can be assured at the household level; and
 How India can become a major agricultural power in the world in terms of
agricultural trade.
First, we must develop public policies and promote people’s action to protect the
ecological foundations essential for sustained advances in crop, animal and fish
productivity… also urgent are scientific planning of land and water-use as well as
conservation of biological diversity…
A second major area is nutrition security at the household level. This is fundamental
for the full expression of CHILDREN’S innate genetic potential for physical and
mental development. Nutrition security is again dependent heavily on multiple
sources of income, both farm and non-farm, at the household level.
Particular attention to women’s employment and income is essential. The
organization of a “Small farmers’ Agri-business Consortium” (SFAC) … will help to
take the benefits of modern agri-business to the families of small and marginal
farmers and landless labour, provided the SFAC remains pro-nature, pro-poor and
pro-women. It can generate the necessary degree of convergence and synergy
among Government agencies and private industry. Such a Consortium can help to
diversify employment opportunities in villages and promote a dynamic biological
software industry involving the rural level production of hybrid seeds, bio-fertilizers,
bio-pesticides, veterinary pharmaceuticals and bio-mass based products.
Third, we need a Technology policy, which will help to improve the economic well
being of resource-poor families. For example, high yielding and disease resistant
seeds of crops serve as a safety net for resource-poor farmers and nothing should
be done which will deny them access to the fruits of modern breeding technology
involving genetic engineering. The Biovillage programme started in Pondicherry
(India) by the Centre for Research on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural
Development provides a model for this goal.

70
Fourth, we should have a marketing strategy, which will promote the flow of a fair
share of the consumers’ money to the producers. The experience of the dairy sector
should be adapted in the case of the other perishable commodities.
Fifth, there is need to promote a small farm extension and management
technology… There should also be research on methods of empowering resource-
poor families in Eco-management.
Sixth, investment in rural Techno-infrastructure development must be stepped up.
Gandhiji’s statement… that the bane of rural India is the drain of brains and financial
resources from the village to the city, still holds good…
Finally, there is need for a clear-cut policy on intellectual property rights in the field of
plant and animal breeding and biotechnology. In the midst of much debate on the
patenting of genes and living organisms, we should develop policies which will
harmonize the quest for private profit with the need for applying technology for public
good.”
Farmers do not get heard: V. Kurien: “… Amul Dairy started with handling 200
litres of milk a day; today, we are handling a million litres a day. This happened
because the co-operative invested in increased production; and that, in turn was
brought about through investments in programmes to develop artificial insemination
and in-breeding programmes…
In dairying, we should follow what the other countries have done. In New Zealand,
there is no private sector. Every dairy is owned by the farmer. Seventy per cent of
the dairying in the U.S. is with co-operatives. Sri Lanka calls it ‘People-isation’.
All that the milk and milk-products order says is that dairies will be inspected to
ensure appropriate sanitation levels. But it you want a capitalist to enter this sector,
then I would say the farmer will get exploited, unless there is some balance. It is not
that all business is done by co-operatives… In every village, there is some milk
merchant who collects milk to make Mawa(a festive milk product) or Ghee(clarified
butter) especially during festival time.
But co-operatives should not be forced to do losing businesses…
While I think removal of bureaucratic control on industry is desirable, I would have
first liberated agriculture. If you leave agriculture in shackles and liberate industry,
industry will further prey upon agriculture. Cities thrive at the expense of the villages;
industry exploits agriculture. Therefore, I object to the sequencing of reforms.
I have a feeling that the Government thinks that liberalising industry is popular. They
have forgotten that there is a more important sector of the economy, on which more
of our people are dependent. But then the Government hears only the voices of
industry. Farmers do not get heard.
With industry being liberalized before agriculture, more money will flow into the cities.
There will be fancy universities in cities and no blackboards in village schools. The
imbalance will be aggravated and then the farmers may revolt. That danger is real.
Since I am in touch with farmers, I know that there is unrest and a feeling that the
Government and bureaucracy are more sympathetic to industry, and do not care
about agriculture.”
– POVERTY and hunger should be recognized as strong human rights violations,
right?

71
– Three regional economic blocs dominate the Emerging Economic Order in a
Changing World, North America, the European Economic Community and the
Asia-Pacific Rim (As of 1994-95). The whole trend is towards an economic
integration. Technological advancements have taken a quantum jump. In such a
scenario, the developing world including India will have to modernize their
economies to reap the benefits of the new economic order.
Investment in people and knowledge are recognized as a factor deserving of the
highest priority. Developing countries like India will, therefore, have to reorder their
domestic priorities to make the import and absorption of advanced technology
possible.
With each passing year, rich and poor nations alike share an increasingly common
destiny. The world community must begin to realize that a more equitable
international economic order is not only possible, it is essential. Such a new order,
should be based on the fundamental principle that each nation’s and each
individual’s development is the development of every other nation and every other
individual.
Liberalization and its Impact on the Indian Economy: The major changes in
India’s economic reforms fall broadly under five categories – industrial, trade,
financial, fiscal and monetary. However, these measures of stabilization are not by
themselves enough… An important aspect to be considered is the large number of
people in the country living on the POVERTY line. To make any reform process
socially acceptable, a POVERTY alleviation program must be built in. In the context
of resource constraints, serious thinking has to be done as to the extent and pace of
economic reforms…
The Government’s ownership of the financial and banking institutions has enabled it
to achieve the multiple objectives of mobilization of resources, enhancement of
availability of long-term loans to all levels of industry and agriculture and increased
access to credit to small industrialists, farmers and weaker sections of society...
However, a large proportion of India’s population continues to be subject to
malnutrition and ill health. For further reduction in fertilizer subsidy, nothing has been
worked out…
The Government should provide higher outlays on elementary education, rural
drinking water supply, assistance to small and marginal farmers, programs for
women and CHILDREN, programs for welfare of scheduled castes and scheduled
tribes and the weaker sections of the society, and increased expenditure on
infrastructure and employment generation projects in rural areas. Further steps have
to be taken to re-allocate social expenditure, particularly in health and education for
the poor. Nutrition and employment programs should be strengthened and
broadened. To provide a cushion to the poor against high price increase, the
Government uses the Public distribution system (PDS); however, its effectiveness
needs to be improved. The whole approach towards impact on the vulnerable
sections of the society should be reviewed in the light of reduced public expenditure
on social programs. For example, cuts in the health program could lead to increase
in India's already high incidence of tropical diseases. In addition, a poor education
program has its impact not only on the rural wages of the poor but also in the drive
for adoption of better technology, by making the labor force more illiterate. More
specific action should be taken for the betterment of agriculture...
Efficient transport and communication links are needed. More investment should be
made in human development and domestic research and development…

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India initiated the process of economic reforms with several handicaps. A high
POVERTY ratio with nearly 32 to 40 percent of the population living below the
POVERTY line. Very low foreign exchanges reserve and level of confidence about
India’s credit worthiness. An unfavorable world scenario with its projected low-
income growth and increasing regionalism.
However, there were some plus points: The liberalization package was preceded by
the minimum essential political setup: India’s democratic form of society. There were
others like a large supply of skilled manpower and cheap labor, and a reasonable
basic infrastructure.
It will take time before any liberalization can have its fruitful impact upon the
economy. In liberalizing the economy, the Government must not forget to protect the
poor and the needs of human development.
-(Contributed by S. Sen, Kothari, Nayak and Mansukhani, 1994).
-Talking of Imbalances: Today’s Third World states are not undeveloped but under-
developed states … “Development” would mean improvement in the well being of
the masses and their quality of life. The minimal level of well being must include the
satisfaction of the basic needs. Conversely, “Under-development” involves the denial
of basic needs to the people while enhancing the material returns to the dominant
groups. It deprives the majority of their survival and sustenance…
POVERTY continues to be a major problem in India. Even in the Green Revolution
Punjab, 24 per cent of small farmers and 31 per cent of marginal farmers live below
the POVERTY line. This means slow death. Because malnutrition is less dramatic
than outright famine, it does not provoke the kind of public outrage and Government
actions that mass starvation do. Given past trends, by the end of the 20th century,
India was expected to have 472 million poor, or more than the total number at the
time of independence.
Countrywide diet surveys by the National Nutritional Monitoring Bureau (NNMB)
show that diet in nearly half the households surveyed in different parts of the country
was deficient even on the basis of lowered yardstick of adequacy adopted by the
NNMB since 1976… Because of undernutrition and infections, millions of
CHILDREN will grow into adulthood with impaired stamina and poor mental abilities,
and many others will grow into adulthood suffering from milder forms of malnutrition,
resulting in mental and physical impairment. Very few babies will grow into healthy,
productive and intellectually able persons. According to Mr. James Grant, former
director, UNICEF, about 3,000 CHILDREN died daily in India in 1985…
The problem of malnutrition in our country, including the problem of malnutrition in
our CHILDREN, is a problem of inequitable distribution rather than of insufficient
food resources.
While million tons of food lie wasted on the one hand, on the other, half of India’s
population does not have the purchasing power to buy food. The Government is
always trying to increase export outlets for agricultural and allied products in spite of
serious hunger and malnutrition… The accent on exports has caused diversion of
land used for growing food (millets, pulses etc.) for poor people, to the production of
items for export like Soya.
Even the food-for-work programs have practically been given up inspite of the huge
food stock with the Government and famine conditions in some parts of the country
like Kalahandi district of Orissa where CHILDREN are abandoned or sold for paltry
sums for want of food and mothers and wives are deserted due to extreme economic
distress.

73
At the other extreme, according to the World Bank, 10 per cent of Indians control
over 33.6 per cent of the national wealth…
The disparities in income distribution go hand in hand with uneven regional
development. Punjab with the Green Revolution stands out in contrast to the
severely depressed Gangetic State of Bihar. In the villages, the death rate is twice as
high as in the cities.
It is the rural rich who grab most of the benefits like credit and irrigation facilities and
subsidies. The poor households have to depend on traditional moneylenders for both
their “Production and Consumption” loans. This has led to massive indebtedness
and reduced millions of poor in the rural areas to a state of slavery in the form of
bonded labor. This century-old practice forces generations of a family into unpaid
work from “WOMB to TOMB” to pay off a debt. According to the London based Anti-
slavery Society’s conservative estimates, the number of India’s bonded laborers in
1972 was 3 million – 3 million slaves in the world’s largest “Democracy”…
There is still much economic suffering, abject POVERTY, destitution, exploding
unemployment and growing economic disparities…
The distribution of the national income has been too uneven to prevent a grave
distortion in the production and consumption patterns…
Post – colonial India has registered considerable industrial growth. It is a leading
industrial power in the Third World. It confirmed its status as a potential member of
the nuclear club with its 1974 Pokhran Nuclear test. It has a large (third largest) pool
of active scientific manpower…
A tiny minority, leaving the overwhelming majority sidelined, however, has
hogged most of the benefits of the economic growth. India is still bogged down
with accentuating polarization between an affluent minority and the masses below
the officially defined POVERTY line…
For whom is the development process functioning? Growth is not distributionally
neutral. The income distribution, flow of capital, and concentration of economic
power continues to be in favor of the income brackets in the rural and urban areas.
There is no hope of improvement for the world’s economies without change in the
distribution of assets and incomes in favor of the poor…
May the Good Lord bless India.
May the Good Lord bless the poor worldwide.
- (Contributed by S.Sen, Kothari, Chopra, Hanagudu, Nayak and Mansukhani,
’94)
The Uses of Space Technology for National Development: The Indian Space
Program, from its very inception, has been geared towards National development. It
has harnessed Space technology for the benefit of our society right down to the
grass roots level.
… Space platforms are now being extensively used for reaching global
communication even into remote rural areas… for monitoring and management of
natural resources thus significantly contributing to the development of human
society. With the rapid progress achieved, the remote sensing applications in India
now cover diverse fields such as agricultural crop acreage and yield estimation,
detection of crop diseases, ground water utilization, drought warning and
assessment (is it really happening?), flood control and damage assessment, land

74
use/land cover mapping, wasteland management, urban development, forest survey,
soil utilization, ocean resources management, water resource management, mineral
exploration and disaster warning (is the system effective?) etc., thus covering almost
all facets of national development…
Satellite remote sensing has now established itself as the most powerful tool for
carrying out an integrated sustainable development at the micro-level, which is the
only way to improve the agricultural productivity in the country… ...combining the
space-based information with meteorological information and socio-economic
factors, integrated land and water resource maps at the micro level are being
prepared highlighting priority areas for agriculture development, fuel and fodder
development, soil conservation and afforestation, etc., for arriving at a package of
practices and strategies to address the local problems leading to sustainable
development at village level. This is an important application.
Space technology should now be extended to eradication of illiteracy in the
rural areas. In this context, powerful audio-visual media (through satellites) should
be put into operation in the rural areas to disseminate culture and region-specific
knowledge on health, hygiene, environment, family planning and better agricultural
practices in each of the regional languages. Facilities should be provided continuing
education for special groups and for updating of technical skills…
As India enters the 21st century, with the optimal planning and utilization of the space
technology, it is hoped that the national problems of hunger and illiteracy will become
a thing of the past and this country will emerge as a strong and healthy nation to play
its rightful role in the community of nations.
Science in the service of small farmers: Science and technology have immense
potential for improving the quality of life in rural India by providing services such as
weather forecasting, medical care and generating employment opportunities.
Science and technology can be of great potential use for the upliftment of the
farming community in a predominantly agrarian economy like INDIA. As Agro-
weather-forecasting is very essential for the farming community, a ”National Centre
for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and Development of Agro-advisories”, a
multi-disciplinary project has been efficiently meeting this objective. For developing
irrigation technology for the marginal farmers, a program has been launched which is
a successfully designing device using the latest technology. There is a move to
commission land and water management programs on an all – India basis. Science
has also helped in developing techniques and products for improvements in medical
services. In order to popularize Science and technology at grass roots level and to
generate sustainable employment, the skills of engineers are being used. Science
and technology is also playing an important role in uplifting women and weaker
sections of the society. In order to upgrade the skills of women, training is being
imparted in various fields, like poultry, water management, conservation of soil and
moisture (by planting specific types of plants), weaving; etc. To provide low cost
houses to the poor sections of the society, “Cost reduction techniques” (using locally
available material) are being utilized.
Various development programs have been carried out successfully to benefit small
farmers and tribal populations in rural India. Satellite technology is also now being
used for the benefit of the farming community. Are these programs actually reaching
the poor?

75
– THE POOR ARE ALWAYS STARVING; THE RICH NEVER DO SUFFER.
THERE HAS TO BE A WAY OUT OF HUNGER. LET THE WORLD
COMMUNITY PLEDGE ITSELF TO HUNGER ERADICATION.
– Eco-technology and Rural Employment: Dr. M. S. Swaminathan: A disturbing
feature of contemporary development pathways is what UNDP in its 1993 Human
Development Report termed “Jobless Growth”. Since 1975, employment growth
has consistently lagged behind GDP growth. This gap is widening during the
1990s. Consequently, expanding work opportunities, particularly for the rural and
urban poor, is now high on the political and technological agenda of both
industrialized and developing countries.
(Let us have) an ecologically and socially sustainable job-led economic growth
strategy… a paradigm shift from a growth model based entirely on economic criteria
to one based on concurrent attention to the principles of ecology, equity and
employment, in addition to Economics. "Eco-technology" helps to combine traditional
wisdom and techniques with modern science and technology, in such a manner that
rural livelihoods are strengthened both ecologically and economically. Eco -
technology is both knowledge and labor-intensive and provides opportunities for
integrating intellect with labor in a synergistic manner.
China’s experience in creating millions of non-farm jobs through its “Rural Township
Enterprises Program” and Brazil’s “Biofuel Program” are indeed rich… vast and
varied experiences in the area of diversification of work opportunities in villages.
Nearly 100 million new jobs will have to be created in the farm and off-farm sectors
in India (through livestock raising or nursery plantations, for instance) in order to
achieve the goal of work for all. This will call for both a new deal for the self-
employed and for greater research and development efforts in the field of Eco-
technology – adapted from an analysis by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, former
independent Chairman of the FAO Council (1981-85), former Director – general of
the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (1972-78), and a fellow of many leading
science academies of the world; has authored many books like “Science And The
Conquest of Hunger” (1982) and “Global Aspects of Food Production” (1986).
To promote Employment/self – employment in rural areas, the industrial policy
should be framed in such a way that agricultural and local products would be
reserved for local entrepreneurs. The Government should adopt a rationale for
reserving products for small/ cottage/ village industries.
In India, there are a few “Agro-Industrial” Growth Centers in rural areas, example,
Anand and Khera districts in Gujarat for dairy, the South – Western region of
Maharashtra for sugar, jaggery, and dairy and the like. These structures have been
developed through the co-operatives.
The Village as the Unit of Integrated Development: In the cities, a large number
of people live in slums in subhuman conditions. Environmental degradation results.
The remedy is to shift the paradigm of development from the city to the village. There
is a need to adopt the notion of village-level planning through optimum utilization of
available natural resources with people’s participation.
By harvesting rainwater, Social forestry can be created on barren lands. People’s
participation could make every village a “Republic” with a strong foundation of social
democracy. Experiments on agro-forestry and raising of capital through credit
cooperatives and investment in dairy, poultry industry could win the confidence of the
people.

76
Every other thing will proceed smoothly once we have won the confidence of
the masses…
-From Subsistence Agriculture to Irrigated Farming – Experience of
Community Managed Lift Irrigation in Bihar and Orissa Plateau: Tilak D. Gupta
– September 1999 (Pradan): In most Indian villages, farming is the main occupation
of the rural masses. In many areas, land is cultivated in the age-old way, and yield
from agriculture is low as well as uncertain. There is very little investment in inputs.
Output from “Subsistence Agriculture” is meagre and crops altogether fail in drought
areas. Sloping terrains, absence of vegetative cover and proper soil conservation
techniques cause massive run-off of water from uplands. Many water resources like
perennial streams, rivers and rivulets remain grossly under-utilized. Many irrigation
schemes operate far below their rated capacities.
Small and marginal farmers suffer the most when cultivation is almost entirely
dependent on nature. The starving local people, either migrate to alien lands in
search of work or encroach upon dwindling forests to collect and sell fuel wood…
Bringing “Irrigated Farming” (like lift irrigation schemes drawing water from small
rivers, streams or other minor water-bodies) using modern methods, would be a
quantum leap for these poor people… Appropriate management of available water
resources can go a long way in increasing the agricultural output and mitigating rural
POVERTY…
Community – owned micro lift irrigation schemes are suited to specific regions and
within the reach of the rural poor… Such small-scale schemes are low cost, use local
materials wherever possible, available water resources that are often neglected in
conventional irrigation planning and can adapt flexibly to changing local conditions…
Above all, local people can actively participate in the planning, implementation and
management of schemes. The model can be tailored to the needs of small farmers
and especially in regions starved of electricity… Cooperatives can be formed and
linked to local regional rural banks. Organizations should assist with agricultural
training, crop production assistance and market linkages. A “Revolving fund” for
agricultural credit should be created. “Water Users Associations” can be established
in the rural areas. After all, to have water or not in the fields, is a life and death
question for the farming community.
Patient efforts are needed to educate farmers to handle large sums of money and
keep accounts, and train them to operate the schemes. Apart from that, exposure
trips to modern agricultural farms should be organized. Suitable transport for carrying
agricultural produce to distant markets for getting a better price for agricultural
commodities should be procured…
There’s nothing better than women self-help groups managing to control the
irrigation schemes within a conservative social environment…
Policy initiative needs to be taken at the highest level of the concerned state
administrations for formulating a concrete plan and allocating adequate resources…
Graduation from primitive agriculture to modern irrigated farming calls for basic
change in attitude. New forms of training like games, role-plays and group exercises
can simulate real-life situations to enable attitudinal changes, particularly among
small peasants, who are often fatalistic and complacent.
(Lift) irrigation should be made as simple, efficient and economical as possible.
The Economic Gains: The greatest impact of irrigated agriculture is ensuring a
degree of food security to small farmers running the schemes; freedom from hunger
77
for these small farmers; quality of food intake significantly improves. Irrigated
agriculture makes possible more variation in “Crop Rotation”. These families enjoy
more nutritive and balanced diets. Now they have extra income to purchase
consumer goods, build houses or renovate them, start savings banks accounts in
banks. Irrigated agriculture enhances value of command areas, land assets
appreciate (increase in value). Families can trade in food-grains and vegetables as a
sideline occupation. Farmers can pay back loans from increased savings as incomes
rise. Farmers now have access to cheaper institutional credit through the
establishment of linkages with banks and the Government. A fund can be
established for loans towards inputs. Gainful employment opens up, through, for
example, double cropping in the command areas.
The Social Benefits: Migration to distant places during lean season in search of
work is common in starved, semi-starved (rural) regions. Irrigated farming leads to
decline in migration, as the farmers need to work in the field almost throughout the
year. CHILDREN are better taken care of following process reversal. There is less
incidence of CHILD labor due to food security and surplus income. Investment on
CHILDREN’S education rises. Both parents can now look after the CHILD’S
educational needs. There is now better school enrolment and better awareness of
quality of education. Families enjoy better standard of living, better nutrition levels,
better health, the surplus earned from irrigated agriculture can be used for medical
treatment. Other needs beyond irrigated agriculture can be addressed. Farmers now
raise their voices against social vice. A new spirit of entrepreneurship and economic
opportunities arise. Irrigated agriculture definitely makes for better nourishment,
clothing and shelter, better health care and CHILDREN’S education. Irrigated
agriculture boosts thirst for knowledge.
Yet, there are still miles to go to attain a really decent standard of living. Proposals
should be taken from farmers for sound water resources management. Irrigated
agriculture is not just about provision of water. An integral view of irrigated
agriculture is that farmers use water towards multi-crop modern agriculture.
– On December 13, 2000, scientists cracked Plant Gene Code, an
achievement that could herald a new “Green Revolution” of Supercrops –
-Feb 8, 2001, The Statesman:
Greenhouses were so far meant for rearing plants under controlled climate
conditions. Thanks to a group of Agro-scientists led by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, low-
cost Greenhouses would now serve as temporary shelters for quake victims.
The scientists have divided reconstruction plans into three categories – shelter,
water and work. Dr. Swaminathan said the idea was to provide an economically
sustainable livelihood – cum – shelter for affected farmers through low-cost
Greenhouses. Quake-affected areas could be turned into a big “Horticulture Estate”
if the program succeeds. First, a mapping of the area and estimation of availability of
water would need to be done. A greenhouse, built of Bamboo poles, Plastic sheets
and Jute, would cost Rs. 1000/- and no repair would be needed for two years.
Farmers could adopt techniques other than they usually use for cultivation.
The Greenhouses would later be used to rear medicinal plants, vegetables, hybrid
cottonseeds and flowers. In arid areas with very little rainfall, the Greenhouses would
carry out experiments with methods of water-conservation and harvesting.
Once farmers learnt the importance of living in controlled climate conditions, they
could adopt the improvised cropping pattern that would be economically beneficial to

78
them. “Don’t forget that Operation Flood began there and milk cooperatives
flourished in Gujarat (India) after farmers realized that they were getting maximum
return on their investments. The same response can be expected with this
experiment,” Dr. Swaminathan said.
– New Genes can be added artificially to cells to prevent a disease, for instance,
artificial chromosomes can be applied to agriculture in several ways.
‘Development Eludes Millions’: There is an ever-increasing concern over the
failure of development to reach millions of our countrymen, even though India is
scaling new heights in every field.
According to the latest Human Development Index (HDI) released by the UNDP,
India is placed at 134 out of the 174 countries surveyed and the rate of human
development is just 0.5 per cent.
Though the literacy rate is 65 per cent, 53 per cent CHILDREN are undernourished
while 70 per cent of the population has no sanitation facilities. Over 63 percent
population is below the POVERTY line, according to the international standards.
Women are still discriminated against and they are not given equal opportunities in
education. Famines have been conquered to a certain extent, but much more
remains to be done.
The New Green Revolution: Agricultural Bio-technology can be harnessed for
the good of mankind: Ingo Potrykus: “Golden Rice’ is … an excellent example of
how Genetic Engineering can directly help people, especially the poor and the
disadvantaged in developing countries. Here, genetically modified food offers more
opportunities for the improvement of livelihood than for those living in well-fed
developed nations. UNICEF says that at least 124 million CHILDREN report Vitamin
A deficiency each year. One million of these die while another 3,50,000 go blind. It is
a serious health problem. But now there is hope. Golden rice is genetically modified
rice and it contains many genes derived from rice, daffodils as well as a certain class
of bacteria. The Betacarotene (a nutrient which is the building block for vitamin A)
gene is derived from the daffodil flower, which has been introduced into the
endosperm (starchy interior of the grain) giving it the golden hue. It is a modest start
to a New Green Revolution. It is the culmination of years of research and in many
ways its history is synonymous with history of the development of plant genetic
engineering…
Food security was my abiding interest. There is ample reason for it, having grown
up in war-ravaged Germany, I know what it feels to go to bed hungry…
Of the three Billion rice-eaters worldwide at least 10 percent suffer from vitamin A
deficiency. ‘Golden Rice’ (rice grains which when dehusked and polished give out a
golden hue, proof of Betacarotene) was developed for the vitamin A – deficient and
iron-deficient poor and disadvantaged in developing countries. To fulfil this goal it
has to reach the subsistence farmers free of charge and restrictions. It has to be
distributed free to the poor countries… one way of contributing to food security…”
– Ingo Potrykus invented the Golden Rice in partnership with Peter Meyer. He is
Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Plant Sciences, Geneva, Switzerland –
– Let us develop nurseries, which will help large-scale plantation in the area
concerned besides generating employment and income for the community. Let us
maintain livestock, a practice that has high potential for income Generation.

79
– India does not have proper food storage capacity. On the one hand, food was
wasted (in the recent past) because of inadequate storage facilities, on the other,
people were starving. Why do such situations arise in the first place?
– Slums are not only an economic problem but also a problem of lopsided socio-
economic development, under both a social system in a traditional set-up and a
Capitalist system in a modern set up.
Various programs of wage employment, rural development and equity have not
helped improve the lot of the rural poor. To check the migration of the rural poor,
water, electricity, roads, sewerage and other essential services should be provided.
The permanent solution of agricultural growth through watershed development
schemes and agro-industrial growth can improve the lot of the rural poor.
Source: S.M. Dahiwala - ''Rural POVERTY and Slums”
– Agricultural Growth Strategy for the Removal of Rural POVERTY:
a) Irrigation facilities should be provided;
b) Industries should be provided to the drought-prone and the under-developed
(rural) areas;
c) Land Reform Measures (including redistribution of lands) should be
undertaken;
d) A Green Revolution is needed;
e) Rural Infrastructure i.e. transportation, electricity and the like should be
upgraded;
f) Provision of assets to the poor should be made, and effective implementation
of the public distribution system carried out;
g) Spread of the cooperative movement is very necessary.
China's experience (under Mao's leadership) in setting up ''Communes'' in rural
areas (to meet rural needs and utilize their potential) should be borne in mind.
POVERTY has many diabolical DIMENSIONS: Illiteracy, poor health, rising infant
and maternal mortality rates, poor enrolment in schools, high dropouts, large-sized
families, CHILD labor, exploitation of women labor and tribals, unemployment and
under-employment and the mass exodus from the villages to the cities and the
proliferation of slums in the cities.
According to UNDP, the top 20% in the world possess 85% of the global wealth.
'POVERTY' is not just about people's access to food or purchasing power to buy the
minimum food to stay alive. The 'POVERTY index' consists of food (basic calorie
intake), shelter, clothing, safe water, sanitation, electricity, education and health
care.
The international HRD expert, Mahbub-ul-haq had pointed out that the best thing
would be to increase the productivity of the poor. He spoke of meeting imperatives
like health, education, land reforms, expansion and re-distribution of public services,
short-term subsidy programs. The poor's assets include a pair of hands and a
willingness to work.
Surprisingly, hardly anyone talks of literacy in these days of hype on IT. On the one
hand, we have five-star hotels, on the other, schools in rural areas lie vacant? It is as

80
though some ruling sections suffer from insecurity over universalization of education
and empowering the poor.
J.B.S. Haldane in his book ''Daedalus or Science and the Future'' (1923)
asserted that our ethical outlook has to keep pace with the development of science
and technology, otherwise social chaos and disaster (as increasing rich-poor divide,
damage to basic life - support systems, jobless economic growth, ethnic conflicts)
will result....
We must take the benefits of modern technology to the rural marginalized, by
introducing them to concepts such as ''Plant Genetic Resources'', ''Farmer's rights
following the development of science and technology'', ''Biotechnology and Bio-
villages'', and Information Technology in simple, understandable language.
Inadequate work opportunities result in low household income and purchasing
power, and then malnutrition. China has succeeded in creating millions of skilled jobs
in the non-farm sector during a period of 10 years through the application of ''Eco-
technology''.
It is estimated that the Global Population may go up to 8.5 billion by 2024, and most
of this population will be concentrated in the developing countries, where most of the
world's poor live. The expansion of world agriculture to feed the growing population
has led to the degradation of more than a billion hectares of soil since 1945. Water
resources are becoming scarcer. In this situation, integration of ecological principles
in a job-led economic growth strategy is the need of the hour. ''Ecotechnology''
implies adding sustainability concerns to technology development and dissemination
(Swaminathan). The 'pro-nature', 'pro-poor' and 'pro-women' approach to technology
and policy is important. Every individual can now create his or her own income, thus
adding value through self-employment. We need to create appropriate institutions....
Land Reforms
a) Tenancy Reforms - Ownership rights should be conferred on tenants through
lawful means or farmers be enabled to acquire ownership rights on payment
of a small compensation to the landlords;
b) Ceiling on agricultural holdings and redistribution of surplus land among
weaker sections;
c) Updating and maintenance of land records through technology,
computerization of land records - targeted at the benefit of the landless rural
poor;
d) Transparency in land records management;
e) Resettlement and rehabilitation of persons displaced by development projects.

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CHAPTER 7b
FROM BLUE REVOLUTIONS TO GREEN REVOLUTIONS
“With industry being liberalized before agriculture, more money will flow into the
cities. There will be fancy universities in the cities and no blackboards in village
schools. The imbalance will be aggravated and then the farmers may revolt.”
- V. Kurien, Founder, Anand Milk Union Ltd., Gujarat state, India.
“Developing nations could hasten progress by accepting more foreign private
investment in agricultural projects”
–Extract from a book by Miss. Tadd Fisher (“Our Overcrowded World”).
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE LAST DECADE, ISSAC ASIMOV PUBLISHED A
BOOK WITH A ONE-WORD TITLE “CHANGE”. THE WORD WAS NOT ONLY A
DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT HE SAW AROUND HIM; IT WAS ALSO A
DIRECTIVE TO THE PEOPLE AROUND HIM. HE SAID, AMONG OTHER THINGS,
THAT
A GLOBAL VISION IS NEEDED.
The urban consumer has woken up. Science has brought us together in the form of
communication. Information, and entertainment on airwaves from abroad in the form
of satellite TV have given consumers global exposure and sharpened awareness,
making them more discerning.
BUT LIBERALIZATION HAS BROUGHT IN PRODUCTS LIKE ALLEN SOLLY AND
PETER ENGLAND WHICH THE ORDINARY MAN CANNOT AFFORD. SCIENCE IS
HELPING CONSUMERISM GROW, IT HAS GIVEN A LOT OF CHOICE TO
(URBAN, MIDDLE CLASS AND ABOVE) CONSUMERS, BUT IT HAS NOT TAKEN
CARE OF AGRICULTURE TO THAT GREAT AN EXTENT AS IT SHOULD HAVE.
AND WE ARE TALKING OF THOSE REGIONS (AFRICA, BANGLADESH, INDIA)
WHERE A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE DEPENDENT ON AGRICULTURE. IF
AGRICULTURE IS FURTHER IGNORED, FARMERS MAY REVOLT.
In Asia, Africa and Latin America, societies are largely agricultural. About 80 % of
their people depend largely upon the land to provide them with the essentials.
Farmers can barely feed their families, and frequently they must work on land they
do not own. Traditional systems of land ownership and lack of modern equipment,
markets, and means to transport produce prevent agriculture from becoming a
profitable business. This represents a very serious failure. No nation has attained
strength and power until it overcame its problems on the land and established a
sound agriculture to support other kinds of economic growth.
THE NEW MILLENNIUM SHOULD BE THE FARMERS’ MILLENNIUM. Green
houses should be constructed. Research and development activities should be
expanded. Biotechnology plants should be set up. Horticulture, sericulture and
pisciculture should be encouraged and the government should help. This way, it
would be possible to create millions of new job opportunities in developing countries.
The government should launch projects for providing quality seed production and
training to farmers. We should adopt certain strategies for the 21st Century and
beyond. An E-mail facility (at subsidized rates) and an Internet facility with an
instructor in every village would help connect the villagers directly to policymakers.
Let us through thoughtful planning and perfectly conducted research, develop
superior hybrids in all the important horticultural crops for various agro-climatic

82
regions of the country. Let us start rearing silkworms (sericulture) and fish
(pisciculture). Let us identify and conserve forestry plant species through modern
biotechnologies. Let us diversify into other allied areas (such as forestry), and related
research (lab) to land programs for the upliftment (economic well being) of a still
larger farming community.
LET US GO GREENING THE DESERTS. ISRAEL HAS DONE IT. MANY ASIAN
AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES SUFFERING FROM CHRONIC SHORTAGE OF
FOOD AND ENDEMIC HUNGER, CAN CERTAINLY BENEFIT FROM THE
EXAMPLE OF THIS COURAGEOUS NATION IN THE GREENING OF THE
DESERTS AND TURNING ARID ZONES INTO CROPLANDS. SOLUTIONS,
HOWEVER, SHOULD BE COUNTRY-SPECIFIC. LET US HAVE GREAT VISIONS
OF TURNING DESERTS GREEN AND CREATING ARTIFICIAL OASES AS THE
21st CENTURY BECOMES TRULY THE CENTURY OF MODERN FARMERS ALL
OVER THE WORLD.
Let us have more gatherings of modern farmers and farm experts and international
agricultural fairs. Let us have gatherings of the media, policy-makers and farmers.
Farming nations could become farm powers of the world with faster modernization,
more research into farming, more farm technologies (like Combined Harvesters) and
more and more sophisticated farm management that could cover land management,
water management, seed management, marketing management, processing,
packing management, data management and human resource management. There
are enormous possibilities in these areas. Let us bring in fresh technologies in the
field of irrigation, horticulture, social forestry, seed farming, gene banking, fertilizer
management, pesticide management, high altitude farming, digital genetics and of
course storage, processing, packaging and transportation.
Let India offer a hand of friendship to the rest of Asia, and Africa to create a fresh
new impetus in the battle against hunger.
Let us halt for a moment. From the newspapers, it seems that militants have hijacked
a Kathmandu-Delhi Flight. Let us pray for PEACE.
OM SHANTI
A SALUTATION TO THE CONCEPT OF PEACE.
The poor are constantly being wooed. Therefore, the need for an International
Government which will protect the poor when National Governments are not acting
on the issue. The function of the International Government will be to cater to the
problems of each nation, in fact, each state and resolve conflicts. The International
Government will be composed of representatives from each country (however small
it be) well versed in issues pertaining to each country, e.g. the representative(s) from
India should be well versed in security and defense (problems in Kashmir) to
agriculture and POVERTY. This International Government should have a Steering
Committee consisting of a few representatives with a Chairman. This body should be
attached to the United Nations.
Coming back to agriculture, India is predominantly an agricultural country. A majority
of India’s populace lives in the villages. Despite what policy-makers say,
liberalization has ignored agriculture. Liberalization has improved communications to
the extent that at the press of a button, two people at two ends of the Earth can link
up. This communication facility (human technology) should be extended to the rural
areas. We should encourage self-help groups, and savings and thrift groups,
especially women’s groups. We must have scientific means (like a truck) of reaching
food to the villages, slums. Because food will never reach the poor!
83
To combat POVERTY, an expert group should be brought in, who will examine the
wholesale- and-retail-price-export-import-food distribution grid and then give
suggestions. Let us take the case of India. India is among the four largest (USA,
Russia, China, India) producers of food, and yet a majority of Indians are starving???
The major reasons are corruption, lack of efficiency and unequal distribution of food.
To build up a high standard of living, let us alter our environment and use our natural
resources (within limits).
THIS IS DEDICATED TO Dr. M.S. SWAMINATHAN, INDIA'S LEADING AGRO-
SCIENTIST (AND E.F. SCHUMACHER, THE FOUNDER OF THE APPROPRIATE
TECHNOLOGY MOVEMENT).
CONTEXT: THIRD WORLD POVERTY. THE SUCCESS OF OPENING UP (LIKE
LIBERALIZATION) IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD WILL DEPEND ON
AGRICULTURE.
PRESUMPTION: IT TAKES YEARS TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF
POVERTY.
WE ASSUME AND TELL OURSELVES THAT POVERTY CAN BE ERASED. WE
TAKE SCIENCE (ESPECIALLY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY) TO THE FARMER
AND BRING THE FARMER TO SCIENCE. Take people from the lab to the farm and
bring the farmer to the lab. By working both ways, we can promote extension. And,
thereby innovative ways of farming, trying to revolutionize the entire concept of
agriculture. LET US TRY TO EDUCATE OUR RURAL FOLK, AND WORK TO
CHANGE ATTITUDES. EDUCATION IS A MUST, FOR WE NEED MORAL,
SPIRITUAL AND SOCIAL REJUVENATION OF THE RURAL MASSES.
OUR GOAL: TO REACH THE HIGHEST. For this, all our agro-scientists and agro-
universities go right on to the field. And advise our farmers to make the most of the
findings from the lab. Try to give the farmers the latest seeds and know how- how to
use fertilizers and chemicals. Also teach them the latest techniques in marketing and
irrigation. START A FORUM OF BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS
LEADERS IN AGRICULTURE. LET US INTRODUCE BUSINESS COURSES IN
AGRICULTURE IN OUR UNIVERSITIES.
IN VIEW OF THE POSSIBLE CHANGE IN THE QUALITY OF RURAL LIFE AS A
RESULT OF AGRICULTURAL ADVANCEMENT, THERE COULD BE A REVERSE
PROCESS OF MIGRATION FROM THE URBAN TO THE RURAL AREAS. THAT
SHOULD BE THE MAIN REASON FOR PROSPERITY TO THE VILLAGERS. WHO
LIVES IN THOSE SLUMS? LET US TELL OURSELVES THAT WE DO NOT WANT
OUR FARMERS TO LIVE IN SLUMS, AMIDST SQUALOR, FILTH AND
UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS IN THE CITIES? IF WE PROVIDE ALL
FACILITIES TO OUR FARMERS IN THE VILLAGES, WHY ON EARTH SHOULD
THEY COME TO OUR CITIES? LET US TAKE A PLUNGE, TELL OURSELVES
THAT WE ARE GOING TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL “DREAM VILLAGES” WHERE ALL
AMENITIES ARE AVAILABLE.
We must involve every village through the community development program. Good
agro-business should be encouraged. Let us work to eliminate exploitation of
farmers by landlords. Let us give community leadership, involve women in leadership
and development (build co-operatives), make provision for seeds and tools, make
available immunization facilities, nutrition and health care education, encourage
women to build co-operative dairying, give loans, give training in skills and involve
the villagers in income-generating activities-like poultry farming. Let us promote
small and ancillary industries. Let us promote products and handicrafts made by the
84
villagers. Let us promote literacy classes for every man, every woman and every
CHILD.
LET US WORK TO CHANGE ATTITUDES. LET US BUILD UP AN ATTITUDE
TOWARDS CHANGE. Let us involve ourselves in agricultural training and irrigation.
Let us revert to solar cells for solving the energy crises of most villages. Let us bring
civil engineers to supervise construction of “homes” (huts), for water well and tank
construction and small dams for generating energy in hilly and rainy rural areas. Let
us build tree nurseries and work to prevent deforestation and promote reforestation,
promote adult literacy classes at night and primary education for CHILDREN.
LET US WORK TO BUILD CONCRETE ROADS AND THROUGH THE
“INFORMATION EXPLOSION” BRING THE VILLAGERS CLOSE TO ALL CIVIC
AMENITIES AND SUBSIDIZE ALL AMENITIES FOR THEM. LET US BREAK ALL
BARRIERS (COMMUNICATION IS NO LONGER A BARRIER???) AND RAISE A
THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE TO OUR “DREAM-VILLAGE”.
-(This chapter has also been written out of some research literature on
Agriculture and Rural Development)

85
CHAPTER 8a
What is virtue?

It is to hold yourself (and your organization)

To your fullest development

As a person(and as an organization)

And as (a) responsible member(s)

Of the human community.

- Arthur Dobrin

There is now an ever-increasing concern for a business organization to be seen as a


good corporate citizen, having a concern for the community in which one is
operating. It would involve putting combined interests above personal gain or
exploitation, towards a contribution to the community, quality of life, the environment,
rural upliftment, etc, rather than merely being concerned about profitability.

Treat People as Assets: Historically, owners have viewed investing in equipment as


important. But people make the difference. They are the only assets that really
count. What we get out of our people depends on what we do for them. Encouraging
them to give their best means creating incentives for higher performance. A worker
must feel individually important for the organization’s growth.

86
CHAPTER 8b
ONLY VISIONARY MANAGERS CAN DREAM OF DREAM-
VILLAGES
“EVERYONE IS AN ORGAN OF SOCIETY AND EXISTS FOR THE SAKE OF
SOCIETY. CONSEQUENTLY, EACH PROFESSION MUST TRY TO MAXIMIZE ITS
CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY… AS MANAGERS, ALWAYS AND IN
EVERYTHING, STRIVE TO ATTAIN, AT THE SAME TIME, WHAT IS USEFUL FOR
OTHERS AND PLEASANT FOR ONESELF…BECAUSE THE DOWNTRODDEN
MAN IS CRYING OUT – ‘RESCUE ME, HELPLESS AS I AM, FROM THE
TRACKLESS FOREST OF THIS MISERABLE WORLD’… YES, STRIVE WE MUST,
TO ATTAIN WHAT IS USEFUL FOR OTHERS… BECAUSE EXPRESSIONS OF
LOVE… YES, TO A POOR MAN, AN EXPRESSION OF LOVE IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN THOUSANDS OF CRORES OF DEVELOPMENT AID…
BECAUSE EXPRESSIONS OF CARE NEED NO LANGUAGE, NO RELIGION, NO
CULTURE OR NO DESIGNATION OR INCUMBENCY… SO COMMIT
YOURSELF… TO A LOFTY TARGET WORTHY OF YOU… BE CONVINCED THAT
YOU WILL SUCCEED.”
We are talking about ‘managers’- as agents of change, managers as visionaries,
future driven managers, innovative, creative, motivated managers, socially
responsible managers, environmentally conscious managers, responsive, efficient
and effective managers, managers who are global in mindset, and above all,
versatile managers, people – who can manage an enterprise, a hospital, a voluntary
organization, a school system or a business and all alike. Such managers can make
a big difference to our world. They can make a difference to our world by supporting
the development of the people who work for them. What I am trying to convey to you
is the very positive view of the job of a manager. I believe that the job of a manager
is among the most exciting, challenging and rewarding. Individuals can and do make
great contributions to society as members of managed organizations- not only firms,
but also universities, hospitals, research centers, government agencies and other
organizations. For most of our lives, we are members of one organization or another-
a college, a sports team, a musical group, a religious or civic organization or a
business. All organizations, formal or informal, are put and kept together by a group
of people who see that there are benefits available from working together towards
some common goal – the goal may vary- to win a league championship, to entertain
an audience, to sell a product, but without a goal, no organization would have a
reason to exist. ORGANIZATIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, THE INTERNATIONAL RED
CROSS-CONTRIBUTE TO THE PRESENT STANDARDS OF LIVING
WORLDWIDE. WE RELY ON THEM DAILY FOR FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHING,
MEDICAL CARE, COMMUNICATIONS, AMUSEMENT AND EMPLOYMENT.
FURTHER, SUCH ORGANIZATIONS MAY HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE FUTURE
STATUS OF OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, ON THE PREVENTION AND
CONTROL OF DISEASE AND ON WAR AROUND THE GLOBE.
Charles Wendel and Elaine Svenson in “Business Buzz - Words: Everything You
Need to Know to Speak the Lingo of the Nineties”(published by Amacom, a division
of American Management Association, New York, USA) have spoken of managers
as “renaissance communicators”, or, in other words, people who must communicate
effectively in the process of being responsible to society. This is the “organizer” or
“manager” breed of development professionals.

87
WAY BACK CONFUCIOUS SAID: “RADICAL CHANGES REQUIRE ADEQUATE
AUTHORITY. A MAN MUST HAVE INNER STRENGTH AS WELL AS AN
INFLUENTIAL POSITION. WHAT HE DOES MUST CORRESPOND WITH A
HIGHER TRUTH…”
It would be better that we used the term “leader” instead of manager. “LEADERS
SEE WHAT OTHERS CANNOT” (TAYLOR). They have a VISION.
Effective leadership requires a VISION, a better way of life for the “company”
workers (I am using the term “company” in an era in which the term “Corporate
NGO” has come up). Leaders have in mind improving the common good, for
instance, to a political leader, the vision may be a state of affairs which is attractive
to those who are governed. All successful entrepreneurs and strategists have been
masters in communicating a vision. JAMSHEDJI NASSERWUNJI TATA HAD A
VISION -THAT OF A STEEL PLANT IN INDIA…AND BEYOND…TODAY, TATA
STEEL’S CONCERNS- HUMAN RESOURCE, PARTICULARLY RURAL
DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL WELFARE, ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT, SPORTS AND ADVENTURE, REFLECT THE DREAMS OF THE
FOUNDER.
At the inauguration of the Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, India, someone had said
(I do not remember who it was), but it carries a very powerful message. These are
not even the verbatim words-
“ I hope and wish that the Tata Hospital remains as much vacant as possible and all
this, despite the heavy expenditure involved.” Such is the commitment of Tata
Steel…
Now we come to the concepts of “business ethics” and “corporate social
responsibility”. Corporate social responsibility is a beautiful concept. In 1995, the
Ford Foundation supported a workshop organized by “Partners in Change”
(corporate citizens) of Actionaid India, to share the experiences of intermediary
organizations in the NGO and philanthropic sectors. A major issue for discussion
was: Is there a need for an Apex Support Organization to promote philanthropy? And
the consensus was “YES”. The outcome was the establishment of “The Indian
Centre for Philanthropy”. The center was started with a mission to promote a
philanthropic movement in India and to promote a caring and sharing culture by
encouraging the giving of time, money, knowledge, skills and other resources in
order to create a socially aware, responsible and participatory society.
A similar concept had led to the formation of the “Prince of Wales Business Leaders
Forum” (PWBLF) (with the Head Office in the UK), a consortium of business leaders
with representatives across the globe, who practice and support good corporate
citizenship.
Managers today must pay close attention to the values that guide people in their
organizations. Robert Solomon has argued that “managers must exercise moral
courage by placing the value of excellence at the top of their agendas.” Continually
striving towards excellence has become an organizational theme of the present era.
Today, ethics has moved away from the fringe of management theory to the heart of
it.
WE ARE WORKING IN A WORLD WHERE QUICKFIXES DO NOT EXIST. It takes
years to address the root causes of POVERTY. Sometimes, the first step is
emergency relief, but sustainable, lasting change depends on long term relationships
and authentic partnership with communities, governments, businesses, churches
and individual supporters.
88
For many years, many organizations and managers have talked about an
organization’s responsibility to society. “CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOCUSES ON WHAT AN ORGANIZATION DOES TO INFLUENCE THE SOCIETY
IN WHICH IT EXISTS, SUCH AS THROUGH VOLUNTEER ASSISTANCE
PROGRAMS.” Companies like M/S Johnson and Johnson, M/S AT & T have used
their past experiences and value systems in setting new moral visions for the future.
One particular business owner has instituted a practice of hiring ex – convicts. He
believes that business has to play a large role in changing our society. Another
employs homeless people to serve ice cream. Campbell Soup Company, Burger
King, IBM and Colgate Palmolive are running education programs. Reebok has been
providing services to inner city street kids. In 1899, Andrew Carnegie, founder of the
US Steel Corp, talked about “THE CHARITY PRINCIPLE” which requires the more
fortunate members of society to assist its less fortunate members, including the poor,
the unemployed, the handicapped, the sick and the elderly. After the Los Angeles
(USA) riots, corporations such as A T & T, American Express and Merrill Lynch gave
cash to church relief efforts.
The question is, how does management fit into corporate social responsibility? Keith
Davis feels that “responsibility must follow power. Corporations (or, for that matter,
all organizations) should treat people as ends in themselves. Take them seriously,
accept their interests and desires as legitimate, and important….”. This is how
management fits into corporate social responsibility.
(Source of what follows: “Partners in Change” Corporate Partnership: Making
Social Responsibility Work, Actionaid INDIA, Date not specified)
I would strongly suggest that Social Responsibility be made compulsory in all
companies and social audits be carried out. The question is, how do we make
corporate social responsibility work, on how the corporate sector can participate in
social development. Like any other corporate endeavor, corporate involvement in
social development too needs to be approached systematically:
(a) DEFINING THE VISION: should be a part of the corporate mission to ensure a
consistent, focused and sustained involvement of the company. Money is not
the only corporate resource that they can provide to social development
initiatives. Others include executive time management, total quality
management (TQM) of social services, human resource management,
marketing and technical areas, support to ancillaries, usage of company
facilities etc. The company could look at sectors (education, health, economic
programs) or issues (CHILD labor, AIDS awareness) or categories (disabled or
women or CHILDREN or tribal, etc). The period of support is crucial, as
development is a long-term process;
(b) DETERMINING THE APPROACH: “Sustainable development” is about
providing opportunities or choices to the disadvantaged to enable them to stand
on their own feet with dignity. It requires working “WITH” communities in a
participatory manner and adopting the most suitable methodology for a
program.
Companies can adopt any of the following approaches to their social development
activities:
“DO-IT-YOURSELF”- Companies can run their own programs through their own
employees. However, it will be vital to employ specialized persons for this task who
have the necessary experience and expertise to design and operate such
interventions;

89
“PARTNERSHIP”- The other option is that the company can work in partnership with
an implementing voluntary organization. The company can provide some of the
resources the voluntary agency may require, such as development skills and
expertise;
“SUPPORT”- Alternatively, the company can just make resources available to a
development agency and allow it the discretion to use them optimally. This usually
works best with monetary contributions from the company;
(c) PLANNING THE INTERVENTIONS: Once the VISION is clear and the
organization choices determined, the interventions must be designed. This
requires a deep understanding of local and long- term development issues.
“Participatory Rural Appraisal”(PRA)- which helps identify local issues with the
communities is a very useful methodology that provides inputs to the program
design;
(d) MONITORING AND EVALUATION: The company which chooses the “Do-it-
yourself” approach must get expert inputs at this stage either from its own
experts or from experienced agencies. The “Partnership” and the “Support”
approaches are relatively easy for the company as the expertise is readily
available with the partner and start-up is quicker.
Social development is an extremely complex process and hence needs to be
approached in a professional and systematic manner, using the appropriate field-
tested methodologies. COMPANIES CAN CREATE EMPLOYMENT
OPPORTUNITIES by employing the disadvantaged (person with disabilities, for
example) or developing / supporting ancillary units employing the disadvantaged.
COMPANIES CAN ALLOW USAGE OF COMPANY INFRASTRUCTURE such as
medical facilities for referrals, camps, conference facilities, communication facilities
such as fax and telephones, equipment such as photocopiers and computers ((An E-
mail facility in the village man’s expectations!, tapping of ground water through a
computer, yes, a village woman’s expectations!(because she has to walk miles and
miles to fetch water)).
COMPANIES CAN OFFER FINANCIAL SUPPORT either as money ((this can be in
the form of a cheque or employees contributing a part of their salaries or cause-
related marketing. It can form specific capital projects (school, vehicles, water
harvesting structure) or running costs (training of teachers and health workers,
salaries, publications, etc)). COMPANIES CAN HELP BY APPOINTING NGOs in the
process of donation or discounts on products and assets- company manufactured
products (office equipment, vehicles, agricultural inputs etc) or second hand/used
assets (computers, furniture, office equipment).
WHAT EVERY COMPANY CAN DO
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IS A LONG TERM PROCESS. IT WILL, THEREFORE,
BE USEFUL FOR EVERY COMPANY TO PARTICIPATE IN WHATEVER MANNER
IT WISHES. ONCE EMPLOYEES GET INVOLVED, INNOVATIVE IDEAS CAN
COME UP AND THE COMPANY CAN CALL ITSELF A “GOOD CORPORATE
CITIZEN”.
It should be an era of corporate social responsibility and the corporate sector should
focus on POVERTY and other problems. Corporate social responsibility should come
in when villages are close to industries; and in remote areas, other arrangements
may be done.

90
The corporate sector should buy tractors, seeds, implements and fertilizers for
nearby villages and sponsor research on improvements in agriculture for nearby
villages.
<< COMPANIES CAN DO A LOT FOR THE POOR, THE HOMELESS, THE
UNEMPLOYED AND OTHERS DISADVANTAGED>>.
HOW???
– A company can support an NGO by FUNDING, say, for instance, a school
building and some community halls from its office-
– A company focusing on economic and business issues can provide FREE
ADVERTISING SPACE to NGOs in its newspaper-
– Companies can provide TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT to the NGOs
working in the slums and rural areas (to the savings programs, for instance)-
– The corporate sector can support NGOs by FUNDING RESEARCH ON
DISEASE e.g. Tropical Sprue, Dengue, Hepatitis B, Cholera, Malaria, Filaria etc,
which largely affect the developing world-
– Companies can support NGOs working for women (or, men) who are victims of
sexual harassment and violence by providing volunteers with mobile phones,
greatly facilitating their rescue and counseling efforts-
– Multinational companies can provide VOCATIONAL TRAINING to
underprivileged youth by partnering with NGOs working in urban slums or rural
areas-
– The Corporate sector can have an EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERS program where
the employees can contribute a part of their salaries as well as share their skills
in management, computers and marketing on weekends with a few NGOs-
– Leading pharmaceutical companies can work in partnership with NGOs by
establishing MEDICAL CENTERS, providing medicines free of cost and
supporting HEALTH INITIATIVES-
– A SAFE DRINKING WATER PROJECT benefiting some villages can be run by
the Corporate Sector providing the funds, the NGO the technical expertise and
supervision, with the community providing the labor-
It may sound ridiculous but my ideal dream would be: a group of companies and
NGOs get together and through CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP make social
responsibility work by providing infrastructure or help in whatever way for a group of
buses which will go to the slums and remote rural and tribal villages as part of A
LITERACY DRIVE. CHILDREN will LEARN to read and write on the buses itself.
Reading and writing for CHILDREN will be interspersed with play activities. FOOD
(A MIDDAY MEAL) will be provided on the buses. MORAL EDUCATION will also be
imparted. This package will include some education for adults like information on the
disadvantages for farmers when they migrate to cities. There will be a common
package for slum and rural CHILDREN. The PACKAGE FOR ADULTS will be
separated in quality, stressing more on SURVIVAL STRATEGIES (like science in
agriculture) for farmers and strategies for slum dwellers. Coordinated by experts, this
drive could stop the flow of farmers to the cities and promote welfare of the slum
dwellers. They could for instance learn better ways of sanitation.

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LET US SUM UP THE TEMPERAMENT I BELIEVE IN WITH THE CREDO OF A
REPUTED COMPANY (I do not remember which company it was):
“ WE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO OUR EMPLOYEES. EVERY ONE MUST BE
CONSIDERED AN INDIVIDUAL IN HIS OWN RIGHT. WE MUST RESPECT THEIR
DIGNITY AND RECOGNIZE THEIR WORK…HOWEVER MINUTE A
CONTRIBUTION THEY MIGHT MAKE … WE ARE RESPONSIBLE TO THE
COMMUNITIES IN WHICH WE LIVE AND WORK AND TO THE WORLD
COMMUNITY AS WELL. WE MUST…. BE GOOD CITIZENS – SUPPORT GOOD
WORK AND CHARITY. WE MUST…. ENCOURAGE CIVIC IMPROVEMENTS AND
BETTER HEALTH AND EDUCATION…. WE MUST…. WORK TO PROTECT THE
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES… WE MUST EXPERIMENT WITH
NEW IDEAS, RESEARCH MUST BE CARRIED ON, and INNOVATIVE
PROGRAMS DEVELOPED… AND YES, MISTAKES MUST BE PAID FOR….
THIS IS OUR CREDO.”

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CHAPTER 9a
Let us open our eyes and see man not as a commodity, but as a reasoning, rational
being capable of becoming self-reliant with slight help from others. This is especially
true of those who are mentally or physically disadvantaged or otherwise.
She (Helen Keller) will live on….the woman who showed the world there are no
boundaries to courage and faith.

– Former Senator of Alabama (USA) Lister Hill


I believe that life is given to us so that we may grow in love, and I believe that God is
in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower-the light in my darkness,
the voice in my silence.
– Helen Keller
Homeless blind people of all ages roamed the streets of most large towns, and even
well-educated men and women seemed to find it amusing to watch them groping
their way and bumping into buildings. They would throw things at them or trip them
up, and then burst into laughter.
-Norman Wymer, from “ The Inventors”
On the highways it was common to find groups of sightless people…These people
were regarded as incomplete beings, ignorant and simple.

- Lennard Bickel, from “Triumph Over Darkness, The Life of Louis Braille”
At the Fair at St. Ovid, in 1771, Valentine Hauy saw blind people clowning to the
shouts and jeers of the audience. THE SIGHT OF HUMAN BEINGS SO
DEGRADED AND SO HELPLESS BEFORE THE CRUEL LAUGHTER OF OTHERS
SHOCKED HIM PROFOUNDLY. It set his feet on the path which led to the
foundation of the world’s first school for the blind (visually handicapped) where
Francois Lesueur was Hauy’s first pupil.
It is high time for Louis Braille’s genius to be recognized….He built a large, firm
stairway for millions of sense-crippled human beings to climb…..

- Helen Keller

They took away what


Should have been my eyes,
(But I remembered Milton’s Paradise).
They took away what
Should have been my ears
(Beethoven came and wiped away my tears).
They took away what
Should have been my tongue, (but I had
Talked with God when I was young).
He would not let them take
Away my soul – possessing that, I still possess the whole.
- Helen Keller

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CHILDREN who hear acquire language without any particular effort….The little deaf
CHILD must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the
process, the result is wonderful….

- Anonymous

(The following extracts have been taken from a book on Community


Development, “OUTREACH”): -

Care for People with Disabilities: The disabled should never be subjected to any
barrier- 'Environmental' (Access to public and private buildings, educational
institutions, workplaces, factories, shops, public transport systems), or 'attitudinal', as
in social stigma. They are definitely not inadequate, pitiable or in any ways inferior.
They are not different, but are like any other human being....
Employment Opportunities: The first special employment exchange for the
physically handicapped in India was established in Bombay in 1959. The Ministry of
labor has established 17 vocational rehabilitation centers for the evaluation and
placement of the disabled. The “National Centre for Promotion of Employment of
Disabled People” (NCPEDP) works in facilitating an interface between industry, the
disabled and NGOs involved in rehabilitation.
Disabled people now have legislative protection of their rights, but, are laws
sufficient? We and our attitudes towards the disabled have to change. Governments
should
(i) Take concrete steps to prevent disabilities from occurring;
(ii) Integrate disabled CHILDREN into normal schools or establish ‘special’
schools for those with such need;
(iii) Establish non-formal education and ‘open’ educational institutions for the
disabled; and,
(iv) Help disabled people train, employ and rehabilitate themselves.
Incentives should be given to employers to employ the disabled, whether the blind or
those with low vision, those with hearing impairment, those with locomotor disability
or those with cerebral palsy. Time to treat the MENTALLY ILL AS NORMAL, AND
ABLE TO MAKE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY.
All public buildings should have ramps; adaptable toilets for all users of the
wheelchair should be established and Braille symbols and auditory signals should be
set up inside elevators. At the same time, we should try to integrate people with
disability into mainstream society, create social and economic opportunities for
spastic CHILDREN, integrate culture of the disabled into main society and widely
disseminate information and awareness about facilities available to the disabled. Let
us try to provide the above-mentioned facilities in rural areas....
Loans can be given for setting up small business or a small industrial unit, for higher
studies, vocational and/or professional training, for agriculture, for production of
devices for the disabled, for self-employment of those with mental retardation,
cerebral palsy and autism, for entrepreneurial development programs, for “disability
societies”, etc.
We should start making a difference to the lives of the disabled, through our own
efforts, if not through the efforts of others.... Call it, looking at the (lives of the)
disabled through one's own eyes....

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CHAPTER 9b
OUR CREDO SHOULD BE: LET US HELP A VISUALLY
HANDICAPPED MAN CROSS THE STREET
Before I begin, let us pray the way I prayed during my last visit to the Missionaries of
Charity:
“ OH FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN
(How inhuman they were who nailed you to the cross)
Holy be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On Earth as it is in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread,
GIVE THEM (THE POOR, THE DOWNTRODDEN) TODAY THEIR DAILY
BREAD,
Forgive us our sin,
As we forgive those who sin against us,
Do not bring us to the test,
But deliver us from evil,
-AMEN”.
We all know about HELEN KELLER and Anne Sullivan and LOUIS BRAILLE and his
system for the blind. At the same time, we have to bear in mind that
THE BLIND CANNOT SEE THE BLUE SKY,
THE DEAF CANNOT LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS OF THE MOUNTAIN STREAM,
THE MUTE CANNOT APPRECIATE (VERBALLY) THE BEAUTY OF A FLOWER
OR A MOTHER’S LOVE. THEY CANNOT EXPRESS (VERBALLY) A CONCERN
FOR THE FAMILY,
AND THE MENTALLY RETARDED ARE IMPAIRED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY
HAVE DIFFICULTY IN MAKING BODILY AND SOCIAL ADJUSTMENTS.
But they all sing in chorus:

BLESSED ARE THOSE


WHO UNDERSTAND MY AWKWARD STEP AND CLUMSY HAND
WHO KNOW THE WAYS OF MY HEART AND LOVE ME AS I AM
WHO MAKE ME FEEL LOVED, RESPECTED AND NOT ALONE
WHO WILL LISTEN FOR I TOO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY.

- Anonymous.
Blindness, deafness, muteness are physical handicaps. Braille, a system of writing
and printing for the blind was invented in 1843 by Louis Braille, a Frenchman who
had been blinded in an accident in his CHILDhood. The world has plenty to learn

95
from Louis Braille’s experience. The Sign Language was developed for people who
are deaf, mute or both. The first known sign language for the deaf was developed in
France. As a tribute to the inventor, LET US PUT SIGN LANGUAGE ON TV
PROGRAMS so that the deaf as well as people who are able to hear can enjoy. Let
us get college students involved with reading to the blind or learning how to
communicate with the deaf.
We must all realize that mental and physical impairment (e.g. mental retardation,
deafness, blindness) are conditions that can be improved with special education
(e.g. Braille), training and rehabilitation. You can make them more self sufficient
through training. Such handicap can occur in any family- rich or poor, illiterate or
educated. I just heard that a rich businessman, who is a patient of Thalassemia, has
started a fund towards Thalassemia, with the help of well-known citizens of his city.
The idea is, rich patients of mental or physical disability should help poor patients
monetarily and / or in other ways. Schools for those with disabilities of some kind
should keep admissions open to needy CHILDREN from all backgrounds throughout
the year. Concessions and freeships should be made available for needy students.
Such schools should impart education in self-help and pre-vocational skills, including
academic training, vocational skills, self-help skills and other extra-curricular
activities. Services of counselors, social workers, special educators, clinical
psychologists and therapists should be provided. Trips, excursions, and cultural
shows should be arranged. SOCIAL INTEGRATION PROGRAMS WITH GENERAL
SCHOOLS SHOULD BE HELD TO CREATE AWARENESS AND POSITIVE
ATTITUDES AMONG OTHER SCHOOL CHILDREN.
Regular extra-curricular activities like yoga, dance, music, drumming, painting,
sewing, embroidery should be held. Indoor and outdoor games should also be
encouraged. State level, national and international level Olympics should be held for
the blind, the deaf and the mentally retarded.
A vocational training center would be useful in such “special” schools and the
corporate sector should purchase and promote products and handicrafts made by
the CHILDREN of such schools. The corporate sector should be involved in as many
ways as it can.
Remember: The blind cannot see the world, beautiful nature. The deaf cannot listen
to the songs of the mountain stream. The mentally retarded find it difficult to make
social adjustments.
THEREFORE: IF YOU CAN, HELP KNOW MORE ABOUT MENTAL
RETARDATION, MENTAL ILLNESS, BLINDNESS, AND OTHER DISABILITIES.
SPREAD AWARENESS AMONG OTHERS. AND ACCEPT THEM WITHOUT PITY.
WHATEVER MIGHT BE YOUR CASTE, CREED OR RACE,
HELP IN WHATEVER WAY
YOU CAN BUT
HELP!!!
-(Source: Some literature on Mental Retardation and other common
disabilities)

96
CHAPTER 10a
There are different countries,

And different people speak different languages,

But only one sun, one moon, one tide, one mother Earth.

So let us live in PEACE, in harmony.

1) “If we don't stop helping these African flesh eaters, we will soon wake up and
find Rev. King (Martin Luther King Jr.) in the White House.”

- From a leaflet circulated by some racists -


2) “Segregation forever”, “Communist Jews behind race mix”, “Go home to Africa”,
and “Keep Alabama (USA) White.”
- Anti-Black Poster in Alabama (USA), 1950s-
3) “Attitudes changed as they saw Negroes being watered down with fire hoses...
innocent CHILDREN being bombed in Churches, there was a reaction to this
type of thing.”
- William Nix, Morehouse College, America -
4) “Those who are equal before God shall now be equal in the polling booths, in
the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and
other places that provide services to the public.”
- President Johnson of the USA, after signing the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964-
5) “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last.”
- From R.J. Owen: “Free at Last” and Flip Schulke: Martin Luther King, Jr.
6) If the Negro is a man...
There can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of
another.
- Abraham Lincoln, from his speech at Peoria, Oct, 1854
7) Racial prejudice??? Why ????
8) Multiracial classes in schools have become increasingly common in South
Africa. They bear out Archbishop Desmond Tutu's vision of racial harmony, a
vision of the future.
9) ‘You must defend the right of African parents to decide the kind of education
that shall be given to their CHILDREN. Teach the CHILDREN that Africans are
not one iota inferior to Europeans. Establish your own community schools
where the right kind of education will be given to our CHILDREN. If it becomes
dangerous or impossible to have alternative schools, then you must make every
home, every shack, every rickety structure a centre of learning for our
CHILDREN...’
- Nelson Mandela, speaking at the ANC’s Transvaal Conference, 1953.

97
10) One of Eleanor’s (Roosevelt) closest friends was the great Education and Civil
Rights leader, Mary McCleod Bethune.... White racists called her (Eleanor) a
“Nigger-Lover”…. In May 1936, she organized a garden party in the grounds of
the White House for the mainly Black inmates of a training school for delinquent
girls where disease was rife and conditions miserable.... She was said to have
entertained “A Bunch of Nigger whores at the White House”.... When she
uncovered similarly dreadful conditions at an old people’s home for Black
people... she said: “We should be ashamed. I was sickened. If that is the way
we care for people who are not able to care for themselves, we are at a pretty
low ebb of civilization.”

- From Eleanor Roosevelt by David Winner

11) ‘First the White man brought the Bible, then he brought guns, then chains, then
he built a jail, then he made the native pay tax’ - A Zimbabwean Trade
Unionist, J.H. Mphemba, describing the process of turning African
farmers into wage - workers, 1929.

98
CHAPTER 10b
THEY ARE NOT OF MY CASTE, CREED OR RACE, NEVER MIND,
HELP!
To some extent in the modern era, there is inter - racial and intra - racial hatred. But
these are extreme cases of racism. I wish to cite the examples of the Ku–Klux-Klan
and the Dot-busters.

There was a pronounced victory over racism when W.E.B. Du Bois in America
founded the “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People”. This was
in 1909. Upto May 1994, racism was predominant in South Africa in the form of
“Apartheid”. There was a tremendous victory over racism when Nelson Mandela of
the African National Congress (ANC) was voted the country’s first black president.

Actually, the terms black, white and brown are misleading. The terms European,
African (Kenyan or Egyptian), Afro-American, Indian, or Caucasoid, Negroid or
Mongoloid should be used.

Gone are the days when “blacks, dogs and Indians” were not allowed into public
places. Moreover, the situation is changing every moment at Johannesburg, Pretoria
and Durban in South Africa and in other cosmopolitan regions. Mahatma Gandhi was
thrown out of a train when he tried to protest. This, however, is a matter of the past.

Racism in the true sense of the word has perpetually vanished, OR HAS IT ???
Now, a great many Europeans (Whites) are working for development in the deep
jungles of Africa. Many Europeans are working in India, under difficult conditions of
climate, food, water, clothing and cultural differences. However, ethnic fighting
continues. The Gulf war is an example. Bosnia and Rwanda are other examples of
countries where we have witnessed further and further social disintegration.

There are still caste feelings and creed feelings. Inter - caste marriage is still taboo in
India. In certain parts of India, casteism is rampant. Let us take blessings from the
Gods, because there have been cases of witch - hunting and lynching of inter-caste
couples who had eloped.

Let us take blessings for all those who have been or are being abused in the name
of race, caste and creed and especially for “HARIJANS” (named by Mahatma
Gandhi as “CHILDREN OF GOD”).

LET US QUOTE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: “KEEP THE MOTTO BEFORE YOU:


ELEVATION OF THE MASSES WITHOUT INJURING THEIR RELIGION”.

 AND LET US WORK TO PROTECT GOD’S CHILDREN.

99
CHAPTER 11a
“I AM THE CHILD.
All the world waits for my coming;
All the world watches with interest to see what I shall become;
Civilization hangs in the balance;
For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.
I AM THE CHILD.
I have come into your world,
About which I know nothing,
Why I came I know not;
How I came I know not;
I am curious, I am interested.
I AM THE CHILD.
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine, largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, those things that make for happiness.
Train me, I beg you, that I may be a blessing to the world.”

- Mamie Gene Cole

1) In our society, grown-ups are too unfree to be positive about anything, adults
are too cynical to change society and the spark of hope lies only in
CHILDREN. Let us motivate CHILDREN to change and spiritualize society.
2) “CHILD (a beautiful flower in the Giant garden called Earth) my heart
bleeds for you”-
3) In every CHILD which is born….the potentiality of the human race is born
again-
4) I pledge myself to care for…, especially CHILDREN, and to look upon other
CHILDREN all over the world as my friends.-Junior Red Cross Pledge
5) CHILD sexual abuse, CHILD rape??? Are the authorities sleeping? The police,
the courts, society??? We have to adopt stern measures to nab ‘potential’
abusers, and afterwards change them into ‘human beings’….
6) “Police massacres of Blacks had punctuated South Africa’s history but nothing
so terrible had been known: a modern armed force moving against school
CHILDREN.”-Mary Benson, South African author, date not specified-
7) “Be more thoughtful to each other, respect people different from yourself…. It
is wise to teach CHILDREN that intrinsically every human being has the same
value before his Maker, but that the moment a CHILD enters the world, he is
conditioned by his surroundings. There is inequality…Therefore, we as
individuals should always try to recognize the actual worth of a human being….
and work towards such a world…..”
8) Since the Declaration (of Human Rights), human rights have improved. But….
some of the most flagrant, inhumane actions of despotic governments have not

100
been disciplined….The worst sufferers are CHILDREN : like the orphans of the
millions of people murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the
1970’s…or Kurdish CHILDREN from Iraq who were murdered by their leader
when chemical weapons were used to wipe out their village in 1988….The
story(of these unfortunate CHILDREN) goes on….What will happen to the
future of our planet….if CHILDREN continue to suffer?
9) Destitute, homeless, hungry, poor CHILDREN in “big” cities and remote
hamlets of a “small world”. What an anomaly?
10) U.S.Service Agency CEPAA has announced the establishment of a Social
Standard to check workplace abuses, including CHILD Labor. A year 2000
campaign to re-direct world military spending to human development has also
been started –New York, Nov 4,2000.
11) Until the 1970’s, Black CHILDREN and parents often had to build their own
schools…The walls were made of mud and the patterns on the walls were
caused by the nimble fingers of CHILDREN, as they plastered the walls –
from Desmond Tutu by David Winner-
12) Let us not accept that anyone should suffer because they are women,
or….worse still….CHILDREN… The world is truly one world, and all its
inhabitants members of one family….
13) Can you believe this? That some CHILDREN are born into confinement, inside
jails and prisons, where young mothers may have been detained?? - Adapted
from “CHILDhood in India” by Jon. E. Rohde(UNICEF)-
14) “The toss of a coin, or the throw of a dice, and who knows what face, aspect, or
hue will reveal itself in the ‘game of chance’ – that is a CHILD’s life in India.”-
Adapted from “CHILDhood in India” by Jon. E. Rohde(UNICEF)-
15. June 16, 1976 was the start of the “CHILDREN’s Revolt” against Apartheid (in
South Africa). It began in Soweto among school CHILDREN but spread rapidly
through the country…. Many fell “victims” to police bullets. Shocking!
16. Gabriele Mistral, the famous poet and a great humanist, said way back: “We
are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning
the CHILDREN, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can
wait. The CHILD cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his
blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot
say ‘tomorrow’. His name is ‘today’...”
It is constantly argued that society can get rid of social evils if only there is a
change in the attitude of the people. The greatest change can be brought about
by ensuring CHILDREN grow up with clear notions of the rights and wrongs in
conducting their lives in society....
It is better late than never. The benefits may not be immediately obvious... But
we do need a more ‘complete’ education of the CHILD. As John Haywood said,
“Better unborn than untaught” -
17. The little one was crying out in hunger. There was no one to comfort her. Her
parents had deserted her and she had been thrown into a garbage bin,
wrapped in a piece of cloth. It was yet another case of CHILD abandonment

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and this time too it was a girl CHILD... Women in our country are obviously still
treated as subhuman. Giving birth to a female CHILD is considered a curse...
A government report on family planning in India paints a sorry picture. Less
than 40% of women have access to contraceptives and more than 60% women
in the country are still in the dark about the basic ideas of contraception. In
states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India, illiteracy and POVERTY have
forced females of all ages to be victimized and discriminated against in the
worst possible ways. This includes being abandoned, or worse, sold off at a
price cheaper than that of cattle. Shocking! Is it not?
- From ‘Why Leave Crying Babes in the Wood’ - CHILD abandonment -
The Telegraph, India, 14 Nov. 2000.
18. Hold My ‘Today’, I‘ll hold Your ‘Tomorrow’, CHILD Rights: Towards A New
Dawn: A nation marches on the feet of its CHILDREN. Let us rededicate
ourselves for the development of our CHILDREN, by empowering them with
knowledge and resources by meeting their basic needs, fighting
malnourishment and improving the quality of their CHILDhood by making them
healthier and stronger. Healthy and strong CHILDREN make a great nation. Let
us compliment mothers as we welcome the Women Empowerment Year
2001.... The future of our CHILDREN shapes the future of our country.
19. “….CHILDREN, the world over, are the greatest human resource. The
prosperity and the strength of a nation depends largely upon the health, well
being and education of its CHILDREN. It is today’s CHILDREN who will chart
the future frontiers of progress...
Let us rededicate ourselves to making every effort so that our CHILDREN can
grow up in an atmosphere of joy, prosperity and PEACE; so that every CHILD
is assured a life of dignity, free of hunger and exploitation.”
-Message from the Prime Minister ,Shri A.B. Vajpayee, New Delhi, India,
Nov. 14, 2000.
20. ‘... Though we have achieved steady progress in several spheres like improving
the immunization, literacy and mortality rates in CHILDREN... we have to
overcome the vicious cycle of POVERTY, discrimination against the girl CHILD,
and illiteracy, and give all CHILDREN in our country a real Childhood invested
with love, care and knowledge....’
-Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi
Min. of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, New Delhi, India, 14
Nov’, 2000

21. A novel scheme in Haryana (India) has been revised to provide direct help to
the girl CHILD, in the form of a grant (scholarship) of Rs. 500/- to be deposited
in a joint account in the name of the girl CHILD and a designated officer, in a
nationalized bank or post office. This entire amount is to go into education.
Laudable effort!
22. CHILD labor is cheap and ideal, because of “small and delicate” fingers. And
nimble fingers earn daily bread for impoverished families in so many countries

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across the globe. Most economic analysts agree that the social and economic
factors behind it should be addressed. Governments which import goods
manufactured by CHILDREN can help, for instance, by providing opportunities
(financial or otherwise) to bonded CHILDREN to attend school or to be trained
in vocational skills.... Or, to pay off loans taken by their parents... or pay a
“bonded-CHILD” sum to CHILDRENS’ organizations.” Work by CHILDREN
has to be phased out and replaced by education, with the work being taken
over by unemployed adults.”(Keith Cooper)…Some work can be provided to
mothers and elders of the CHILDREN concerned, who, should, however, never
be moved into more hazardous work. The role of the ILO and the appropriate
trade unions need not be underestimated – Adapted from Hussain, Elliott and
Goodbody, “ The Statesman”, India,30 Oct,’ 97-
23. Adapted from ‘The Telegraph’, India, May 1999: - ‘... The “Dai” (midwife)
delivered the baby without too much trouble.
But the mother’s joy was short-lived. For three days, she could not see her son,
with both confined in separate chambers. In keeping with the age-old traditions,
the mother had to go without food as she prayed for the well being of her
CHILD...
... Both the mother and the baby had survived the ordeal - the “period of
separation” - not many villagers of Patamda Block, (East Singhbhum District,
former Bihar State, India) have this kind of luck. The lack of medical facilities
and trained nurses offering pre-natal and post-natal care result in both the
mother and the baby risking their lives...
There are areas plagued by dismal literacy rates, low individual income and
high rates of infant mortality... about 56% of the population comprise tribals
who live without safe and healthy medical practices and supplies, which
influence survival rates.
... Medical practices in these areas are primitive and people are mired in
superstitions and live below the POVERTY line leading to high mortality rates...’
Let us discuss an ideal “CHILD survival project”: -
a) Inculcation of tenets of healthy behavior among mothers and midwives
during the pre-natal and post-natal periods, to increase chances of CHILD
survival;

b) Setting up of free clinics and supply of free medicines, immunization and


healthy diet programs for infants;
c) Awareness camps on safe CHILDbirth and breast-feeding;
d) Songs and skits in tribal and rural languages;
e) Health and hygiene programs;
f) Training camps for midwives;
g) Monitoring of pregnant mothers;

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h) Vaccination of mothers. Projects should involve and rest with the
community itself.

24. First time, worldwide, CHILDREN’S Day was celebrated in October 1953,
under the sponsorship of the International Union for CHILD Welfare, Geneva.
On its basis, let us formulate an ‘action agenda’ for CHILDREN :-
- Create awareness about social issues in the school, family and community.
- Encourage and inculcate suitable work ethic among women so as to make
them economically self-sufficient.
- Create awareness about women and CHILDREN’S rights in poor sections
of the society.
- Treat girls with respect and discourage discrimination.
- Make ‘Each one teach one’, a compulsory mandate for all CHILDREN in
middle and senior schools.
- Mobilize sponsorships for educating poor CHILDREN.
- Discourage parents from sending CHILDREN to work (they have no choice
anyway).
- Students’ Organizations to go to villages to promote primary education and
educate CHILDREN and women on health, hygiene and environmental
sanitation.
- Students’ Union to visit remand homes and interact with CHILDREN.
- Set up a forum in villages with whom students’ unions can interact.
- Promote peer group action to plant trees to prevent pollution and conserve
the environment.
- Create awareness to prohibit telecasting films that are harmful for
CHILDREN.
- Donate old toys and clothes to CHILDREN of underprivileged sections of
society.

- Market CHILD survival.

25. Their hunger - ravaged bodies bring back stark images of a sub-Saharan
region. It’s Somalia revisited as you enter Araria (Bihar State, India), where
CHILDREN are born to die.
Situated near the rough, hilly terrains of Nepal, this POVERTY - stricken North
Bihar district is being put on the same, horrific map of CHILD-care neglect….
where, according to UNICEF, more than 90% CHILDREN suffer from acute
malnutrition.
Only sub-Saharan countries stand comparison in the level of malnourishment in
the district.
.... Deaths are attributed to absence of trained midwives, lack of proper
medicines for common scourges like diarrhoea and non-availability of safe
drinking water...

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Programs to make available adequate Vitamin A can help combat night
blindness and malnutrition.
.... Investment in early CHILDHOOD development is essential to make any real
gains in education, economic development and crime and debt reduction.
- From “ UNICEF Echoes Kids’ Rights – Violation Cry”, The Telegraph, India,
13 Dec, 2000:- CHILDREN around the World:
- Education : % of CHILDREN who - Malnutrition : % of CHILDREN
finish 5 years of primary under 5 years old suffering from
education(1995-99) : stunted growth(1995-2000) :
Industrialized countries – 99%, Industrialized countries – 0 %,
Developing countries – 73% - Developing countries – 33% -
- Life expectancy (1999) : - Mortality Rate(1999) : Before age
5, for every 1000 births :
Industrialized countries – 78 years, Industrialized countries – 6,
Developing countries – 63 years - Developing countries – 90 -

The rights of CHILDREN are being continually and blatantly violated…


India is home to a third of the world’s malnourished CHILDREN, trapped in
intractable POVERTY, violence and disease.
In its report “The State of the World’s CHILDREN” 2001, the UNICEF underlined that
47% of CHILDREN under three in India are still underweight and malnourishment is
high, despite the fact that the country produces enough food for its entire population.
Only 27% of CHILDREN in this age group, suffering from diarrhoea are treated with
oral dehydration salt. Discrimination against female CHILDREN begin in the foetus
and continue through infancy.
UNICEF’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CAROL BELLAMY says,” The lives of
CHILDREN and women are the truest indicators of the strength of communities and
nations. If the youngest and most vulnerable are left to find their way alone, a
country violates the rights of its people and sabotages its future as an equal partner
in the global economy.”
The top five CHILD killers in 1998 were respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases,
vaccine – preventable infections, malaria and prenatal conditions.
10 Million CHILDREN under 15 have lost their mothers or both parents to AIDS. In
the developing countries over 20% of CHILDREN are out of school and 15 Million
girls in the 15-19 age group give birth every year.
The picture at the turn of the century does indeed appear very bleak…
- No newborn CHILD should be doomed to a short or a miserable existence merely
because he or she happens to be born in the “wrong class” or in the “wrong
country” or to be of the “wrong sex”-
- An analysis of CHILDHOOD in terms of infant mortality rate, life expectancy,
enrolment in school; etc, would generate numbers, providing an incomplete
picture, making it easy to lose sight of the daily realities of the human lives that lie
behind such statistics. Millions of CHILDREN are growing up in POVERTY in the
shantytowns and villages of the Third World. The condition of girls is pathetic.

105
When they are made to feel special, there is likely to be an association with their
maternal role(s)-the onset of menstruation, a wedding, the announcement of
conception, the birth of a son.
- The most comprehensive statement of CHILDREN’S rights ever made is the
“Convention on the Rights of the CHILD”, broadly grouped as the Right to
Survival, to Development, to Protection from Abuse and Exploitation and to
participate in decisions affecting their lives. Adopted by the UN General
Assembly in 1989, it has since been accepted by over 180 countries, making it
the most widely - ratified human rights treaty of all time. Countries, which ratify
the Convention, have agreed to meet the standards set for all CHILDREN,
regardless of their gender, religion and income group. Although the main
responsibility for meeting the rights of the CHILD lies with the Government,
everyone has a role to play.
- Thousands of boys work on the looms in the carpet belt of Mirzapur/Bhadohi
(India). Many of them are bonded; others are paid a few rupees a day for their
work.
- In Mass Marriage Ceremonies which begin on the festival of “Akha Teej” (day
after the harvest is brought in), girl CHILDREN in Rajgarh district of Madhya
Pradesh, India, are “Married Off”. While CHILD Marriages are illegal in India, in
several communities, they are a common practice, and a daughter reaching
adulthood in her parents’ home is considered a matter of serious concern.
- India has the largest proportion of CHILDREN out of school (22% of the Global
Total).
- I come from a country (India) where CHILDREN grow up on railroad tracks and
on the streets. How can I remain quiet?
- Many CHILDREN traverse long distances to get a good education. What matters
in education is the enthusiasm and skill of a good teacher, in village schools.
Adopting activity - based teaching would mean making learning joyful and
productive, for example, teaching how to count six toy pigeons or the English
alphabet. One should provide incentives for learning, and physical punishment
(as is often done) should never, never be resorted to.
- The majority of India’s CHILD labor works in the agricultural sector - 15 Million of
them (for example, girls working in the sugarcane fields of Bihar) are bonded,
their work pledged to pay off the debts of their families. Tens of millions of
CHILDREN in India have an adult’s burden of work (example, CHILDREN
working in gun factories, glass industry in Ferozabad, Uttar Pradesh, India -
CHILDREN as young as ten years). CHILDREN are attractive to employers
because they are cheap, pliable and do not unionize. The burden of work falls
heaviest on girls and yet is often not recognized as CHILD labor at all. The girl
who spends her days looking after her siblings and performing household tasks is
denied her rights to education and healthy development as much as the CHILD
working in a factory. And boys have to accompany their fathers on fishing trips.
Girls and women work in prawn - peeling units (of factories) in Orissa. Boys
usually load and unload the catch until 4 p.m., after which peeling is done till 7
a.m. Though the Factories Act prohibits the employment of CHILDREN at night,
splitting the factory into smaller units, which are not covered by the Act,
circumvents the rule. Untold numbers of girls are sold into prostitution and forced

106
to service upto ten men a night. Girls most vulnerable to commercial sexual
exploitation are those from poor families living in marginal communities on the
orbits of the major towns, daughters of destitute families living in villages,
migrants who have no night shelter and daughters of commercial sex workers.
There are many other forms of CHILD labor-shoeshine boys, CHILDREN
performing acrobatics, little CHILDREN of nomads going through daily routines of
jumping through a Ring of Fire. Sometimes, CHILDREN have to beg on the
streets to make a living. Countless CHILDREN work in the unorganized and self-
employed sectors-
- Street CHILDREN? Their hopes, their aspirations, their futures? Falling asleep
on the pavements?? CHILDREN of 15 and 16 year olds, CHILDREN of drug-
addicts??? Homes on disused railroad tracks???? CHILDREN earning a living by
collecting plastic cartons at railway stations and selling them for a few rupees?
- Babies born inside jail, where young mothers are detained, birth in confinement?
- In addition to over half of preschool CHILDREN who are malnourished, a large
number of young CHILDREN suffer from serious micronutrient deficiencies,
particularly those relating to Iodine and Vitamin A.
- Adolescent mothers (approximately 10-16 years of age) are likely to remain
physically underdeveloped and are at greater risk of obstetric complications and
maternal deaths, as well as of bearing under-weight infants with reduced chances
of survival. For the adolescent mother, CHILDHOOD is effectively over and her
education comes to an end. The premature assumption of CHILDCARE
responsibilities ensures that for the CHILD mother, there is no world beyond the
family. In all this, economic considerations are often critical, and the sale of girls
to much older and affluent bride-grooms is not uncommon. In some districts of
Rajasthan (India), 45% of 10-14 year olds are married off. When the eldest
daughter is married off, her younger sisters may also be married off at the same
time to reduce the expense of the wedding. The cost of dowry is also much less
for a CHILD groom than for a man.
- Some CHILDREN are born amidst conflict. CHILDREN in Kashmir are surviving
past heavily armed militants. CHILDREN come face-to-face with violence when
soldiers enforce curfew in areas of violent conflict (Remember Sarajevo,
Rwanda?)
- Some CHILDREN are born into a loving, nurturing and protective environment,
while their families outrightly exploit some others. Some CHILDREN are
struggling in a hostile world of street life and other difficult circumstances. 18
million CHILDREN work under hazardous conditions. Millions of CHILDREN have
an adult burden of work from an early age. Don’t we all see the scars of pain and
long-term neglect on these innocent faces?
- Despite commitment to education stated in the Constitution, only a half complete
primary school. Even then, the quality rendered is abysmal. CHILDREN in the
rural areas have to traverse long distances to reach school, which are normally
run down, leaky and over-crowded but with no playgrounds.
- CHILDREN grow up in different environments. Some grow up in opulent,
restricted royal families or comfortable urban middle class families, while some
(the very poorest of the urban and rural poor) live in insecurity with constant
threat of violence. It is remarkable how these CHILDREN and their families

107
survive at all, given the extreme difficult conditions under which they are living.
Indeed, many do not...
- The family, particularly the mother, is crucial to the survival and development of
the CHILD, and a lot depends on the amount of care received. In many homes,
mothers struggle to provide safety and security to their CHILDREN under most
difficult conditions. Infants face special problems when mothers are CHILDREN
themselves.
- At the time of (Indian) independence in 1947, only 14% of India’s population were
literate and one CHILD out of three had been enrolled in primary school. One of
the Directive Principles of the Constitution of India stated that the State shall
endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of
this Constitution, for Free and Compulsory education for all CHILDREN until the
age of fourteen.
53 years have passed, and yet only a little over half of India’s population is literate,
and almost half of the CHILDREN enrolled in primary school drop out before
completing even five years of schooling, thus fuelling illiteracy in the future. Girls are
particularly affected. The female literacy rate remains much lower than that of males
and dropout rates for girls in the six large northern states are higher than that of
boys. But, there is now a growing consensus that universalizing primary education is
the most pressing priority for the country’s well-being benefiting both the economy
and the health of the country’s people, as well as contributing to a slowing of
population growth.
- “The air, the water and the soil are not a gift from our parents but a loan from our
CHILDREN.”
-Saying of a Canadian Indian Tribe.

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CHAPTER 11b
FROM GOD’S CHILDREN TO THE CHILD
“Producing a CHILD is really no great accomplishment. The truly great
accomplishment is to give a CHILD LIFE in the fullest meaning of the word…”
- Extract from a book by Ms. Tadd Fisher, former Executive Editor of the Population
Reference Bureau in Washington D.C., USA (Moral issues in the production of a
CHILD).
THE CHILD, a flower, EVERY CHILD, rich or poor, maimed or otherwise, IS A
BEAUTIFUL FLOWER. Everytime I see a CHILD crawling on the ground, or learning
to walk, or going to Montessori (then to primary school unto the time the CHILD
grows up) I am reminded of a beautiful flower…
Michael Learns to Rock has sung
“Oh my sleeping CHILD
The world so wild!”
Yes, the world is so harsh, so wild, for so many CHILDREN - victims of war,
domestic violence, CHILDREN who lack good nutrition, CHILD labor, CHILDREN
who do not have the opportunity to read and write and so on.
CHILDREN OF THE WORLD ARE CRYING OUT:
“O Lord of the universe! Refuge of the whole world! O thou of infinite forms! Soul of
the universe! O thou in whom repose the infinite virtues of the world! O thou adored
by all! Compassionate one!
Rescue me, helpless as I am, from the trackless forest of this miserable world.”

- Sri Sankaracharya (a renowned Indian saint)

The world’s most pressing problems at a time of “dramatic global change”, are
unemployment, POVERTY and social disintegration. The denied sections are Third
World women and CHILDREN, like health of the pregnant mother and her to–be-
born baby. Every person has a right to development, including those relating to
education, food, shelter, clothing, employment, health and information. Liberalization
(in India) has opened up new means of communication, yes, now we can watch
Australian and British and American channels, but what way has it helped the man
on the street??? How has it helped women (I mean slum and rural women) and
CHILDREN??? How will CHILDREN benefit if political leaders continue wooing the
poor???
CHILDREN (and women, for that matter) SHOULD BE PLACED AT THE CENTER
OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY. THE WORLD WILL NOT
SOLVE ITS FUNDAMENTAL LONG-TERM PROBLEMS UNTIL IT LEARNS TO DO
A BETTER JOB OF PROTECTING AND INVESTING IN THE PHYSICAL, MENTAL
AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF ITS CHILDREN.
BECAUSE WE PROTECT
TODAY’S CHILDREN,
WE PROTECT

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TOMORROW’S WORLD!
YES!!!
CHILDREN ARE
TOMORROW’S WORLD!!!!!

WE SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPMENT, ESPECIALLY THOSE


RELATING TO MEN (think for a moment) AND CHILDREN IN POVERTY, AND ALL
SECURITY PROBLEMS (frustrated aspirations, rising social tensions, internal
conflicts, failed states, mass migrations, disaffection of large numbers of people from
their value systems, governments and institutions) WILL VANISH!!!!
MILLIONS OF CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING - from malnutrition, ill health and poor
growth, from an inability to read and write, from disease, from exploitation as CHILD
labor, millions are being pushed into the flesh trade, are being married off (CHILD
marriage), millions are victims of war, or are being sexually abused or mutilated,
many are being abused at home by drunken parents, millions are victims of
superstition (female circumcision / infibulation, female infanticide). THIS IS NO
FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
CHILDHOOD IS THE TIME WHEN MINDS AND BODIES AND VALUES AND
PERSONALITIES ARE BEING FORMED. AND IT IS A TIME, WHEN EVEN
TEMPORARY DEPRIVATION IS CAPABLE OF INFLICTING LIFELONG DAMAGE
ON HUMAN DEVELOPMENT. IT FOLLOWS THAT THE VITAL, VULNERABLE
YEARS OF CHILDHOOD MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS.
THINK ABOUT CHILDREN WHO ARE CAUGHT UP IN ARMED CONFLICTS.
EXAMPLE IN RWANDA, WHAT MUST HAVE HAPPENED TO CHILDREN
CAUGHT UP IN THE CATASTROPHE? WHAT KIND OF ADULTS WILL THEY BE,
THESE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN TRAUMATIZED BY MASS
VIOLENCE, WHO HAVE BEEN DEPRIVED OF HOMES AND PARENTS, OF
FAMILY AND COMMUNITY, OF IDENTITY AND SECURITY, OF SCHOOLING AND
STABILITY, WHO HAVE BEEN DENIED THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP
NORMALLY IN MIND AND BODY? WHAT SCARS WILL THEY CARRY FORWARD
INTO THEIR (OWN) ADULT LIVES? AND WHAT KIND OF CONTRIBUTION WILL
THEY BE MAKING TO THEIR SOCIETIES IN 15 OR 20 YEARS FROM NOW?
At one time, wars were fought between armies. But in the wars of the last 10 years,
far more CHILDREN have been killed or disabled than soldiers. Millions of
CHILDREN have been forced into refugee camps, and millions have been left
homeless. It’s a shame that world governments have not been able to avert such
calamities.
Economic forces also deprive far larger numbers of the kind of CHILDHOOD that will
enable them to become part of tomorrow’s solutions rather than part of tomorrow’s
problems.
“For many millions of families in the poorest villages and urban slums of the
developing world”, says UNICEF, “ the daily consequence of these economic forces
over which they have no control is that they are unable to put enough food on the
table, unable to maintain a home fit to live in, unable to dress and present
themselves decently, unable to protect health and strength, unable to admit in school
or sustain education of their CHILDREN.”

110
The impact of these forces on nutrition, health and education, means that the
heaviest burden has fallen on young CHILDREN. The very young are paying the
highest price of all, because they are paying with their one chance to grow normally
in mind and body.
MILLIONS OF FAMILIES ARE BECOMING DESTITUTE AND DESPERATE. MOST
OF THE VICTIMS ARE YOUNG, UPROOTED AND URBANIZED. ACCORDING TO
UNICEF, THESE GROUPS KNOW FAR MORE ABOUT THE WORLD THAN THEIR
PARENTS DID, AND THEY EXPECT FAR MORE FROM IT. THE ALMOST
INEVITABLE RESULT IS AN INCREASE IN SOCIAL TENSIONS, ETHNIC
PROBLEMS, AND POLITICAL TURBULENCE.
IT IS UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT THE RISE OF CRIME,
VIOLENCE, ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ABUSE ETC. (BY WHICH THE AGGRIEVED
AND THE DISCARDED HAVE ALWAYS SOUGHT TO CONSOLE THEMSELVES)
SHOULD BE INEVITABLE.
PROTECTING THE NORMAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN IS A PRACTICAL
AS WELL AS A LOGICAL PROPOSITION.
AT LEAST THE MOST BASIC NEEDS OF ALL CHILDREN - FOR NUTRITION,
CLOTHING, HEALTH CARE AND PRIMARY EDUCATION, SHOULD BE MET
WITHIN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. WE CAN OF COURSE DEPLOY TODAY’S NEW
KNOWLEDGE, NEW COST TECHNOLOGIES AND NEW COMMUNICATION
CAPACITIES. IF THE EFFORTS CAN BE SUSTAINED AND INCREASED, THEN
OUR GOALS FOR PROTECTING ALL CHILDREN FROM MALNUTRITION AND
PREVENTABLE DISEASE- AND ENSURING THAT THE VAST MAJORITY HAVE
AT LEAST A PRIMARY EDUCATION- CAN CERTAINLY BE ACHIEVED.
THE INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS SHOULD GIVE MORE SUPPORT TO THESE
EFFORTS. ACTION TO PROTECT THE RISING GENERATION SHOULD BE
ENCOURAGED WORLDWIDE.
(Source: Several books and magazines containing articles on children)

I will sum up with a beautiful song by Mark Owen: - “CHILD”

“Sleep peacefully now my CHILD

I hope that you go away

To a place where your dreams can play

WIPE ALL THE TEARS FROM YOUR EYES

There is a sky of blue

This is your time of truth

Like a bird high on the wind

May you fly away….

Like a snow fall in the spring

111
MAY YOUR CARES MELT AWAY…”

112
CHAPTER 12a
By the end of the 21st Century, books as we know them will no longer exist, replaced
by such new technology as Electronic Books. In 100 years, few people will want to
read at all, and fewer still will know to write.
- Geoffrey E. Meredith, a California (USA) Marketing Consultant
What about the Third World slums and villages? Who will bring such technology to
them? By the time the Third World gets the benefits of more sophisticated
technology, the industrialized world will have gone on to something totally different.
And, what about
- Broken down buildings;
- The lack of interest on the part of teachers;
- Falling Ceilings;
- Lack of Toilets;
- Lack of Electricity; and
- Lack of Clean Drinking Water???
[In India and in many other countries of the Third World]
And, how can we forget those men and women who labor by day and by night to lay
the bricks of a school building? And, in a rural area???
1. ‘Everyone has the Right to Education. Education should result in people
learning about and respecting human rights. It is a tool for understanding and
liberation...’ - Article 26 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
2. Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing;
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

- Will Durant

3. It is well when the wise and the learned discover new truths;

But how much better to diffuse the truths already known amongst the
multitudes.

- Horace Mann

4. Education is a debt due from the present to the future generations.

- George Peabody

5. Education is the process by which the individual relates himself to the universe,

Gives himself citizenship in the changing world, shares the race’s mind and
enfranchises his own soul.

- John H. Finley

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6. In the Third World (particularly, Africa, Bangladesh, India) very few CHILDREN
can hope for a place in primary school. In the most backward countries, fewer
still, can hope for such a place...
Independence has come... and gone... and a revolution in education is
needed... the size of populations is growing fast... independent governments
have, therefore, to provide many more schools and teachers...
Both quantity and quality (in education) are needed... girls are still in an inferior
position, many fewer girls get to school than boys... efforts have to be made
towards correcting this... sports and recreation should be included...
Education curricula should include, among other things... value (or, moral)
education, a simple and lucid discourse on “Development” of the countries of
the students concerned, human rights, vocational schools for practical training
(to enable employment), agricultural schools, schools for medicine (particularly,
indigenous medicine), a discourse on “culture” or the worth of local traditions
and beliefs, modern science, and the need for national and “International Unity”
in facing common problems…. A need for “Social” hygiene, personal health and
hygiene, a need for cleanliness and sanitation….Expansion in education must
continue...
Africa has more than 700 languages, many of which are spoken by small
communities. Some are spoken by numerous peoples, for instance, the Yoruba
language in Nigeria; or the Akan or Twi in Ghana; Arabic in North Africa and
Sudan; Swahili in East Africa; and Hausa in West Africa. There is need for a
common language...
Very few actually possess “Literacy”, or the knowledge of how to read and
write. Many literacy campaigns should be launched, and the teaching of
elementary arithmetic be made an integral part of them...
The number of illiterates remains high. For the problem of “Literacy” goes
beyond teaching people to read and write, to produce conditions in which
people form the habit of reading, writing and/or both.
The time has come in the history of nations to liberate their peoples from
(centuries of) superstition, illiteracy and ignorance. There is imminent danger
that the growth of population will very soon begin to outrun the literacy
campaigns, and fresh efforts are needed... And every village and every tribal
hamlet, however remote... will have a school (within close access)....
7. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC-INDIA) declared in a report
that the “Problem of CHILD labor will persist... until the reality of free and
compulsory primary education... is realized.” There is no dearth of laws
prohibiting employment of CHILDREN below 12 years in several industries,
and India is also a signatory to the “Convention on the Rights of the CHILD”
of 1989. Yet there are as many as 44 million to 100 million working CHILDREN.
An ILO convention has described compulsory primary education as the most
effective antidote to exploitation of CHILDREN.
Due to continued neglect of the problem for decades, the number of
CHILDREN out of school has grown as fast and large as the country’s
population. The requisite financial and infrastructural resources are just not
there... time to re-orient national policies on education....

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-It has been observed that the economic, industrial and social development of
any nation depends on the number of literate population. Many things about a
country can be known from the number of educated people and the level of
Education.

LITERACY IN SOME MAJOR COUNTRIES

Country Literacy Rate (%)


USSR (Former) 99.8
Australia 99.0
Japan 98.0
UK 97.0
Belgium 96.0
Argentina 94.0
Thailand 88.0
China 65.0
India 52.0
Pakistan 25.0

Source: CMIE Report, Sept. 1990-

(Source of the following extracts: “OUTREACH”, Min of HRD, India)

– Man has gradually been recognized as an important resource of development


and progress. The concept of human capital or resource development is now an
integral part of planning. The value and quality of the human resource can be
increased through education. Therefore, literacy plays a vital role in human
resource development.

– Education is an important tool to help people and groups in coping with the
process of transition and change. The concept of Basic Education was reinforced
by the World Declaration for All adopted by the Jomtien Conference held in 1990.

Illiterate persons cannot do practical things as read or write a letter, read a bus plate
or keep accounts. An ignorant person remains poor, and vice-versa. In India, there is
widespread resistance to female education. Girl CHILD labor is prevalent. Rural
women and those belonging to weaker sections are largely illiterate.

The importance of literacy:

i. Encourage independence and escape exploitation;

ii. Avoid regular humiliation and frustration;


iii. Increase in productive skills and confidence;
iv. Helps fight against social evils and restrictive beliefs;
v. Gainful access to health and other information;

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vi. Increase in participation in nation building and enabling people to determine the
direction of developmental process;
vii. Higher enrolment and retention of CHILDREN in schools;
viii. Enhanced participation in community health, environment and other programs.

– In the “Mass Campaign Approach” to literacy, local volunteers implement


literacy programs, whether in a slum area, a village, a cluster of villages, or
even a whole district within a fixed time frame. This approach creates a
conducive environment for learning, with educated individuals coming forward
to help the illiterate -without any incentive.
The most difficult job in any literacy effort is to provide enough motivation to illiterate
people to learn and educated people to teach on a sustained basis. There have to be
minimal dropouts. Special efforts should be made to mobilize girls and women.
Efforts should also be made to dispel doubts and misgivings about literacy and
spread positive perceptions of it.
Methods of literacy could include play, games, song, drama, stickers, posters,
banners, slides, hoardings and films.
CHILDREN in the 9-14 age group, and those in the 6-9 age group who cannot attend
whole day schools due to economic or family compulsions, should be given “Non-
formal Education” (NFE). Also, vocational training, immunization of CHILDREN
and family welfare can and should be included.
- Continuing Education for Development (CED):
Essentially extends literacy and primary education to promote human resource
development (HRD). Most Third World developmental plans and policies aim at
strengthening formal education to ensure that there is enough knowledge and skill
for development. Unfortunately, this policy has largely failed, and inequalities of all
kinds, low productivity and illiteracy and semi-literacy remain. The formal educational
system, which is largely urban- based, has caused massive migration from rural to
urban areas. (Urban) schooling has alienated people from society and led to social
disintegration, conflict and aggression.
In “Continuing Education”, an individual can engage in lifelong learning. Continuing
Education gives individuals a second chance and focuses on Human Resource
Development (HRD).
Many theorists say that problems like unemployment, illiteracy and social inequality
cannot be addressed by education alone. Continuing Education seeks to address
this problem in two ways:
i. It equips people with the capacities and skills needed to address structural
flaws in society;
ii. More importantly, it switches emphasis from something “imposed” as a formal
system of education, to something self-run by individual learners. In Continuing
Education, individuals set and sustain their learning objectives, not the system.
Efforts should be made to provide library facilities and reading rooms to create a
good learning atmosphere. Cultural and recreational activities should be organized.

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Continuing Education programs should be extended to neo-literates, school
dropouts, primary school pass-outs, NFE pass-outs, and any one interested in life-
long learning. Programs should take into account local conditions and available
resources.
– Alternative Education programs may be provided to out-of-school CHILDREN
who have acquired basic literacy skills or have completed primary school and
who would like to study further.
– Programs of individual interest should be encouraged, particularly among
CHILDREN. These may include sports, hobbies, art, painting, drawing, music,
dance, drama, creative writing, leadership skills, etc.
For each of the following articles, I have consulted the “Public Report on Basic
Education in India” - Centre for Development Economics, Delhi, India.
“Elementary Education as a Fundamental Right”: The 83rd Amendment to the
Indian Constitution which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in July’,97 recognizes
Elementary Education as a fundamental right. Political leaders are hardly concerned.
There is a good chance, however, that the 83rd amendment will be adopted in the
near future.
Education has been neglected for so long. The system of schooling is nowhere near
the goal of providing decent education to every CHILD.
The successful ‘universalization of elementary education’ depends on the ‘positive’
involvement of parents, political parties, and society in general. The Right to
Education may be hampered by a system in which either teachers abscond from
school, or CHILDREN are withdrawn by parents from school for financial or other
reasons, or a CHILD laborer is exploited by his or her employer. We need to make
social responsibility more forceful.
Millions of CHILDREN are still excluded from the schooling system. Guaranteeing
the right of every CHILD to education is a question of basic social justice.
The states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal
Pradesh account for 40% of India’s population and more than half of all out-of-
school CHILDREN. Except for Himachal Pradesh, these states are the worst
performing on elementary education.
“The State shall endeavour to provide within a period of ten years from the
commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all
CHILDREN until they complete the age of fourteen years.”
(Constitution of India, Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 45)
It is still believed that it is not essential for all citizens to be educated, hence public
commitment to universal elementary education is so half-hearted.
Enormous resources have been spent on institutions of Higher Learning (e.g. IIMs
and IITs) while thousands of primary schools (mostly in rural areas) go without black-
boards, sanitary toilets or clean drinking water.
Education is important for various reasons – firstly, for economic growth. It is also a
fundamental right. Demand for education is rapidly growing. Education is important
in that, for poor families, education for boys is more important, as they work and earn
incomes. Education may be important for the “sheer joy of learning” without being

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repetitive and cumbersome. Education helps achieve good health, and protect
CHILDREN from disease. In Kerala, India’s most literate state, infant mortality is only
14 per thousand live births, while in Madhya Pradesh, the rate is 97 per thousand.

Education facilitates a number of activities: reading newspapers, availing oneself of a


bank loan, avoiding extortion or harassment, and participating in local affairs.
Education facilitates social progress as persons who acquire good education can
help their own communities develop, mothers can educate their CHILDREN.
Education enables work on disease, population growth or environmental
degradation. Educated people are better able to participate in the political process,
like exercising their votes. Lack of education makes a person powerless, and
increases economic disparities.

Education can liberate CHILDREN from a feeling of powerlessness, which is so


much experienced by those who are illiterate or ignorant.

In a letter to the International League for the Rational Education of CHILDREN (14
August 1908), Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore viewed Education as ‘a right which
enables individuals and communities to act on reflection.’ His words have largely
gone unheard.

Economic Returns to Elementary Education: “In mainstream Economics,


Education is treated as an ‘investment.’ International studies of economic returns to
education suggest that (i) Education is one of the best investments developing
countries can make, (ii) Economic returns to education are highest for primary
schooling and decline with rising levels of education, and (iii) Female education has
higher economic returns than male education.”

With reference to India, “Anganwadis” can help: “We are talking about a crèche
or CHILD-care facility being available. This is one of the aims of the ‘Anganwadis’
run under the Integrated CHILD Development Scheme (ICDS). In fact, a well-
functioning ICDS center can provide much more-from looking after the nutrition and
health-care needs of pregnant and lactating women, to enabling poor women and
their elder CHILDREN go to school without constraints. It would even look after the
developmental needs of the young CHILDREN placed in its care.

A well-functioning Anganwadi has much to contribute to the success of schooling. If


pregnant women are looked after, then babies are less likely to have a low birth-
weight, with all its attendant problems. Providing the right kind of stimulation as well
as food to small CHILDREN helps their healthy development. And a good pre-school
program enhances the readiness of young CHILDREN to enter school.”

Health and Schooling: Convenient access to basic health-care may be an


important reason for high school attendance. It may be possible that in areas where
access to health-care is limited, school attendance is much lower. Poor patients are
always suffering from lack of contacts or lack of financial resources to avail
themselves of good health care. Very often, CHILDREN miss school either due to
their own illness or due to the illness of a family member. In a country like India,
infant mortality rates are high, and when survival of CHILDREN becomes important,
health becomes a higher priority than schooling. High fertility also tells upon
schooling. Better health-care helps reduce gender disparities in school attendance.

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Distant Schools?
Leaking roofs...??
Damaged walls???
.... Dampened learning????
An oppressive environment: How can a CHILD grow? (Source: Probe in India,
Oxford, 1999)

EXPERIENCE EFFECT
- School building is usually bare, often - Going to school is neither attractive
dilapidated, even filthy nor stimulating to the CHILD
- Teacher shortage; overcrowded - CHILDREN play or fight among
classes; Class 1 usually neglected themselves; puzzled and bored and
switched out, particularly the younger
ones.
- Teaching activity is of short duration; - Spoils chances of success especially
teachers arrive late and leave early; for first-generation learners; CHILD’S
when present they may not teach self-esteem hurt: ‘I am not important
and neither is learning’
- No teaching aids used; alien - CHILD repeatedly experiences the
curriculum; CHILD may not even burden of non-comprehension, and
have a textbook with it a sense of failure.
- Copying and cramming are the most - No stimulation for a thinking mind to
common teaching methods develop or for self-confidence to
grow
- No craftwork or color or music; - Boredom; schooling is not
physical activity is rare invigorating for the CHILD
- Gender bias; quiet discrimination - Further marginalization of under-
against CHILDREN of privileged CHILDREN.
disadvantaged background
Access to education in India is sharply skewed, even at the primary level. At one end
are the resource-rich, mainly private schools that cater to a privileged few. At the
other, are a large number of ill-equipped and badly managed government schools,
which are supposed to educate the majority of CHILDREN. The contrast between
these two schooling systems is so stark that they are virtually different worlds
altogether.
Boy fails in exam, commits suicide: New Delhi, The Times of India, 20 June 1998:
A 16-year old boy who failed in the class-X Board Examination reportedly killed
himself. The body of Ravinder Kumar was fished out from a canal.... He is learnt to
have been missing since he went to check his examination results.... He was
studying at a government school.
Does not the system shock you?
The Case for ‘School Meals’: The major argument is that they make for better
school enrolment and attendance. School meals attract CHILDREN by giving them
scope to enjoy a free meal. School meals can help provide (even simple) nutrition to

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CHILDREN at least in deprived areas. Finally, meals help CHILDREN sit together
and share, without the barriers of class and caste.
Success with CHILD labor-Elementary Education: By Neera Burra: “Free and
compulsory education is a necessary, if not sufficient condition, for the elimination of
CHILD labor.... In the carpet-weaving belt of Bhadohi, Mirzapur district, CHILDREN
themselves are making lists of all out-of-school CHILDREN to enable CREDA (an
NGO) to put pressure on the administration to provide schools....

The NGOs that have succeeded in eliminating CHILD labor are those which have
mobilized parents, CHILDREN, communities, employers and government officials to
get CHILDREN out of work and into school. These NGOs have searched for
community solutions.... This changing of mindsets has to start with all of us…The
poor are ready to make all the necessary sacrifices to give their CHILDREN a
chance in the future - but are we ready to share the shrinking cake of opportunities
with others who are more disadvantaged?”

A Model School:

i. Teachers affectionate towards CHILDREN;

ii. Teachers have atleast a basic understanding of CHILD development and a


concern for CHILDREN;

iii. Incentives to boost CHILDRENS’ confidence;

iv. Innovative and CHILD-friendly practice;

v. Care and compassion for CHILDREN;

vi. Interesting learning atmosphere;

vii. Orderly premises;

viii. Low pupil-teacher ratio.

Elementary Education in the Media: One point worth noting is the poor coverage
of elementary education in the media, which gives more attention to issues like
foreign investment and celebrity weddings. And moreover, very few articles in
newspapers talk of the daily struggle of underprivileged CHILDREN in rural areas
(nearest school 2-3 kms away, physical punishment?) And, there is always more
coverage of defense and Pakistan’s antics, than of elementary education.

The time is for concerted action. The future of hundreds of millions of CHILDREN is
at stake.

-[Source: The PROBE team (report) C/o Centre for Development Economics,
Delhi]

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CHAPTER 12b
AS A CHILD OF (THE) FUTURE (INDIA), I DESERVE TO BE
EDUCATED
“Delivering a lecture in Rome in 1981, Mrs. Indira Gandhi said that an
intercontinental missile costs the same as setting up 65000 primary schools. This
explains why India is both a nuclear power and a world topper in illiteracy and CHILD
labour. Let us face it, India has chosen to develop military might in preference to
CHILDREN’s health and education.”- Krishna Kumar, Former Head and Dean,
Department of Education, Delhi University, India.
Universal elementary education for India’s CHILDREN in the 21st century will involve
a series of mammoth tasks. India has to tackle them. Can India, for instance, make
economic progress so long as half its population never goes to school? But why
would these CHILDREN ever go to school when their illiterate parents are not
compelled to send their CHILDREN to school? Why should they not be allowed to
send their CHILDREN to do all sorts of hazardous work just for money? How can
millions of CHILDREN be given free elementary education in a desperately poor
country like India? The above questions hold good for all poor nations.
We halt for a moment!
“Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot
there, undigested all your life. We must have life-building, man making, character
building, assimilation of ideas.”
- Swami Vivekananda
I have spoken earlier of moral education and basic literacy skills.
“If you have assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have
more education than any man who has got by heart a whole library!”
- Swami Vivekananda
(The following extracts are based on an article in “The Telegraph”, cannot
recall the date)
First, wishing – as most people possibly do - all CHILDREN should be able to go to
school for their elementary education, is, I believe, a matter of human values.
Every CHILD’s right to (get) free, elementary education stands recognized as a
fundamental right. This is the law of the land as it stands. This holds good for all the
world’s CHILDREN.
ONE REAL PROBLEM, HOWEVER, WILL REMAIN WITH US: THAT PROBLEM
WILL LIE IN DECIDING HOW TO PROVIDE EDUCATION FOR ALL OF INDIA’s
CHILDREN – AROUND 200 MILLION OF THEM, WHICH WILL MAKE UP THE
WORLD’s LARGEST CHILD POPULATION. First, to decide on the right languages
of literacy and primary education; second, the contents of what is to be taught; and
third, how to maintain the quality of the elementary education to be imparted. In
India’s special case, how to teach across a country which is multicultural, multilingual
in character. Clearly, this is one enormous task.
This goes for CHILDREN in all poor nations. Illiterate parents in general, are today
ready to make greater sacrifices - to the extent of doing without the money earned

121
through the working CHILD - to send their CHILDREN – even girl CHILDREN, to
school. This, if there are regular schools to go to. (I have suggested mobile
education units promoted by the corporate sector. In my opinion, such units can go a
long way towards reduction in CHILD labor). For the task, we need dedicated
people.
To send all CHILDREN to “regular” schools with “regular” teachers, if that “rare
species of human capital” (“regular” teachers) can be made physically available in
sufficient numbers-will cost an enormous sum. But the respective governments can
always pay that “rare species of human capital”.
If we could persuade kind-hearted and qualified people to help out at nominal
salaries and teach for about 1000 teacher days each over a few years, then we
could achieve universal elementary education in India for a song. But that is a distant
arrangement. Conversely, we could practice the “ripple effect ” wherein one teaches
a second, a second teaches a third, and so on.
How do we EDUCATE CHILDREN OF FARMERS?
 Start with small projects – For raising finance, we can look for small
businessmen / women, like those who have money they cannot pump back
into their own business when it reaches saturation point. Such people can
invest small amounts (e.g. For a small school building ) -
 Provide “Book Bank” facilities for them-
 Provide boarding facilities for students-
 Give each student a plot inside the campus on which they can be taught to
grow flowers and crops-
Fearing that education may generate even larger scandals than what food
and fodder have, I can foresee that this would be one of the most daunting
tasks facing India at the moment…
We must bear in mind, however, that (the right to) education is an important
human right, and should not be neglected…

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CHAPTER 13a
“ You ought to believe something in life, believe that thing so fervently that you will
standup with it till the end of the day.... We have a power, a power as old as the
insights of Jesus and Nazareth and as modern as the techniques of Mahatma
Gandhi.”

- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

‘I was so overwhelmed, when I heard it.... I was so moved, I cried.’

– Ximena Campos (Chilean) whose brother had disappeared earlier, on Sting’s


famous song, “They Dance Alone” as part of his “Human Rights Now” tour of
North America (1988).

1. “Forty years ago (on 10 Dec 1948) the Governments of the United Nations made
a historic promise to the world. They proclaimed, for the first time in history, that
all human beings would be recognized as free and equal in dignity and rights.
This was the promise of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)...
That promise has not been kept.”

- Franca Sciuto, Amnesty International.

2. “We will not have finished until cruelty, be it killing or torture, is seen as obscene
and impermissible.”

- Peter Benenson, 1991.

3. People get killed at PEACEful pro-democracy demonstrations... Troops open


fire... students and spectators get shot at random... men, women and
CHILDREN get beaten or shot... and more.... This is the kind of repression
humanity has to put up with.... CHILDREN disappear.... people are tortured for
many reasons - Religion, Ethnic Origins, Sex and Political Beliefs.... the death
penalty.... detention camps.... forced refugees.... mass killing.... mass rape....
massacre.... The electric chair for Juvenile offenders, suppression of kids for
minor offences.... people sleeping in cardboard boxes on cold wintry nights...
massive starvation....street CHILDREN.... CHILDREN looking for food on
rubbish heaps, sleeping under parked cars, victims of war and persecution… the
list is endless.
4. Nazism in World War II... Six Million Jews.... herded into.... Concentration
Camps.... Dachau…Auschwitz.... Nuremberg… The Gas Chambers....
Unimaginable...!!!
5. ‘Hopes have been aroused in many people through the ages. But it has never
been possible for the nations of the world to come together and try to work out in
co-operation such principles as will make living more worthwhile for the average
human being.’
– Eleanor Roosevelt. On the night of Dec. 10, 1948, the “Universal
Declaration of Human Rights” (set out in a way that the average person could
understand and drawn for an improvement in the lives of ordinary people

123
everywhere), was adopted by forty-eight countries of the United Nations. Its
articles set out the Fundamental Rights of every Human Being on this planet-
whether they be freedom from arbitrary arrest, or the right to food, shelter and
health care -

6. ‘The poorer nations were deeply committed to the rights aimed at eradication of
hunger, disease, illiteracy and homelessness. To some of their governments it
seemed almost irrelevant in comparison to fight for the rights of a few score
political prisoners....

Basically “Human Rights” has a different meaning to Soviets and


Westerners. In the West, “Human Rights” conjured up political persecution,
imprisonment and torture,.... But for Russians,.... they meant the rights to
employment, to Medical Aid, to housing, to education and to freedom from
hunger. Viewed from the USSR, Western Unemployment, Homelessness and
POVERTY were serious violations of rights.’

- Adapted from David Winner.

7. “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to
home-so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the
world.... Unless these rights have meaning there.... we shall look in vain for
progress in the larger world.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt.

8. Our common Humanity should link everyone in the world.


9. Suharto’s Indonesia in the 1960s, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Idi Amin’s
Uganda in the 1970s, Iraq of the 1980s and 1990s - have tortured, murdered
and tyrannized their own people while continuing to pay lip service to UN
Human Rights Principles.... Murdered students of Tiananmen Square in
China.... Civilians in the Philippines under the tyranny of Ferdinand Marcos
(1980s)....???
10. ‘Governments are very concerned about their “image”. No one likes to be seen
committing atrocities. If all the evil can be carried out under the cover of
secrecy, in the dead of night, in remote places, then it is easier to get away with
it. A government can present a good face to the world in the light of day and no
one will know the difference...’
11. Can you believe it that a four-year-old girl in India was married off to a dog by
her parents? Shocking! This came out in the newspapers a couple of years
ago.
12. Human Resources form the vital foundations of long term economic prosperity
in any society... The experience of South-East Asia provides some sobering
lessons for Indian policy makers.... The important, long-term lesson that India
should draw, is that growth depends not so much on markets and financial
institutions, as on the basic quality of life of the people.... A strong economy
can be built on the rock of human development only….

124
13. From “Human Development in South Asia”, 1988, Mahabub-ul-haq and
Khadija Haq, Oxford - Despite being a region with a lot of promise, South Asia
has failed to convert its potential into reality. A major failure has been the
inability to transform the region’s vast human resource potential, represented by
one-fifth of humanity, into a productive, vibrant work force. Being deprived of the
basic levels of health, literacy and gainful employment, a large number of South
Asians continue to live on the brink of deprivation. If the South Asian
Governments do not act now, catastrophe is imminent....

The challenge in South Asia consists of the reality of imparting education


(“Human” knowledge) which is responsive to the needs of the domestic and
global markets (including technical skills). Education should involve community
participation, flexible timings and cost effectiveness.

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CHAPTER 13b
AT THE TURN OF THE 21ST CENTURY, HUMAN RIGHTS: THE NEW
CONSENSUS

A CHILD VIEWS HIS RIGHTS:

“THE MAJORITY OF THE LEADERS IN THIS WORLD NEVER HAD TO CARRY A


GUN WHEN THEY WERE EIGHT YEARS OLD. THEY NEVER HAD TO
EXPERIENCE STARVATION. THEY NEVER HAD TO SEE THE DEATH OF THEIR
PARENTS OR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. I ASSUME THAT THESE
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS NEVER HAD TO GO THROUGH LIFE BEGGING IN
THE STREETS JUST TO LIVE DAY BY DAY.”

These are the words of a young CHILD gazing at the panoply of modern world
leaders speaking for Coalition For CHILDREN of the Earth at the World Conference
on Human Rights convened in Vienna (Austria) by the UN General Assembly. Her
words have now been published.

It has been predicted that the 21st century will be a century wherein there would be
no wars, but all the Asian and African countries will be plagued with a number of
small and medium battles in which thousands of innocent people will be killed.
Inequality will reach the highest level. There would be very few islands of
abundance, encircled by a sea of POVERTY. This pattern of world phenomena will
be seen all over the world. In countries like India, there would be 80% POVERTY -
stricken people. In the world, only 6-7 nations will be rich, encircled by the poor
South. On the whole, 80% will be in POVERTY and 20% will be rich. Justice, Truth
and Equality will be trampled over. The weapons and the physical strengths of 6-7
nations headed by the “Big Boss” cannot be challenged by conventional methods.
How to fight against injustice, exploitation and the dons of inequality? These are the
patterns and the problems of the 21st century.

HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE POST-COLD WAR ERA

In too many places, everywhere on the planet, human dignity is under assault. For
too many of our fellow human beings, life is nasty and brutish. This, despite an
evolving international human rights system. After 1945, nations decided that the
promotion of human rights ought to be a principal purpose of the new UNO. In 1948,
the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS was presented to the UN. It
was a historic achievement, and an important movement in the development of
international human rights. But, now in the post-cold war era, our world community is
facing some critical human rights challenges. The forces that challenge and test our
human condition – THE FORCES OF TECHNOLOGY, DEMOGRAPHY, POLITICAL
DISINTEGRATION, CULTURAL ANIMOSITIES, ECOLOGICAL DAMAGE – are
severe and in many respects increasing. Respect for all – regardless of gender, age,
race, creed, social status, religion, and culture, into which he or she is born, must be
developed. We now must reformulate the challenge of well being to include
POVERTY and A BASIC RIGHT TO FOOD, TO HEALTH AND TO SHELTER. In a
world of 5,500 million people, 1,500 million live in absolute POVERTY. That a CHILD
dies of starvation is as much a denial of human rights as when an adult is tortured.

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What we need now is an agenda for dignity. All this takes a SPECIAL KIND OF
COURAGE.

The late Robert F. Kennedy observed at Capetown, South Africa in 1963:


“IT IS FROM NUMBERLESS ACTS OF COURAGE AND BELIEF THAT HUMAN
HISTORY IS SHAPED. EACH TIME A MAN STANDS UP FOR AN IDEAL, OR
ACTS TO IMPROVE THE LOT OF OTHERS, OR STRIKES OUT AGAINST
INJUSTICE, HE SENDS OUT A TINY RIPPLE OF HOPE.... THESE RIPPLES
BUILD A CURRENT WHICH CAN SWEEP DOWN THE HIGHEST WALLS OF
OPPRESSION AND RESISTANCE.”

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CHAPTER 14a
From the little spark

may burst a mighty flame.

- Dante.

1. Scientists have predicted that one day, every one, including farmers, will be
able to tap directly into data generated by new user - friendly satellite imaging
systems. Will the ‘Ripple Effect’ work? Will farmers in the Third World Benefit?

2. Throughout the world, tribal and rural people face the brunt of social and
economic backwardness (e.g. the Masai in Africa, The Ho, and The Birhor in
India). They have to be given global exposure. Let us create a consumer’s
forum for tribal and rural services. Tribal and rural culture - dances, art, music,
sport, etc, have to be taken to the global market.

3. Let us sponsor rural and tribal students pursuing education (particularly,


technical education) anywhere in the country.

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CHAPTER 14b
CREATING A RIPPLE OF HOPE -
HOW DO WE ORGANIZE THE RURAL POOR?
POVERTY alleviation can be achieved through the “RIPPLE EFFECT”. Through a
difficult process of building cadres of rural workers, a new generation of dedicated
and properly – motivated workers with a VISION for development must be created.
Over 75% of India’s population live in about 5,50,000 villages. Out of an estimated
work - force of 250 Million, 200 Million consists of landless laborers, share -croppers
and artisans in the rural areas. Yet, the paradox remains that rural labor is by and
large unorganized.
The forty thousand and odd trade unions which together claim to represent Indian
labor have but a total membership of around six million, most of it in the urban areas.
Illiteracy, ignorance, ill - health and the grinding POVERTY resulting from decades of
exploitation and penury compel millions of rural workers to subsist in sub - human
conditions.
This condition exists in all THIRD WORLD NATIONS.
STOP! JUST FOR A MOMENT, AND THINK-
 TIME – 11:00:24
 EVENT – AN ATHLETE HAS TESTED POSITIVE ON THE DOPE TEST
 ON WHAT – STANOZALOL
 WHO DID THIS - MAN ( WITH NEGATIVE USE OF SCIENCE )
 CONCLUSION: ANIMAL BESTIALITY PUT INTO HUMAN BEHAVIOR.
The emphasis can no more be on “raising the people above the POVERTY line but
how to halt further impoverishment ”, especially in the rural areas. No amount of
statistical jugglery (of the population below the POVERTY line) can hide the fact of
the stark and naked POVERTY prevailing in the villages, where parents are obliged
to sell their CHILDREN and men their wives, daughters and sisters to get temporary
relief from the pangs of hunger.
THE SITUATION OF THE RURAL POOR IN THE THIRD WORLD NATIONS,
therefore, is such that it is a Herculean task to organize them for effective action to
pull themselves out of the quagmire, and march towards development and self -
reliance. Caught as they are in the vicious circle of extreme POVERTY and
ignorance, which prevents their organizing themselves, their situation cannot be
improved unless they are better organized and are allowed to become a strong and
articulate pressure group. The rural poor continue to remain where they have been,
inspite of the entire well meaning and widely publicized schemes of their respective
governments.
To win the confidence of the rural poor without inviting the hostility of the local vested
interests right at the initial stage, the activist begins with seemingly innocuous
programs like crèches, nursery schools, and elementary schools for CHILDREN,

129
informal education activities for the young adults and the women, and some welfare
programs in the fields of health and medicine.
These help arouse the awareness of the rural poor. The conscientation process then
begins to operate. The desire to improve their conditions takes shape in their minds.
The possibility for it spurs them to demand from the activist, facilities and resources,
who in turn, then points out to them the need for some kind of an infrastructure – in
such a situation emerges a registered society, a cooperative or a public charitable
trust. Since these do not invite the wrath of the vested interests, as does a ‘Trade
Union’, at this stage, the activist sets the course of the poor towards “Development”.
He enables them to secure financial and other assistance from government and non-
government agencies, banks and other financial institutions to supplement the
meager local collections through voluntary contributions and donations.
It is only when the rural poor have at least half their bellies full, that they will listen to
his discourse on the need for their own organization. Some local youth, (perhaps
educated unto the primary or middle level and may be motivated by public service
and attracted by the image of the selfless and devoted activist), will then risk dangers
and begin to organize the rural poor. The steep and perilous paths of suffering,
sacrifice, struggle and service are indeed difficult to tread as much for the activist as
for the rural poor.
Having identified the “who” (should be doing), the journey now leads to the question
of “what”?? And “HOW”???

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CHAPTER 15a
In the developing world, millions of people survive every day without access to the
formal economies of their countries, and related facilities. They live and work daily by
means of their own creativity and ingenuity. We are talking of a world where
necessity is the mother of invention.

We must infer
that all things are produced
more plentifully and easily
and of a better quality
When one man does one thing

Which is natural to him

And does it at the right time,


And leaves other things.

- Plato

1. The best investment


is in the tools of one’s own trade.
- Benjamin Franklin

2. No gain is certain
As that which proceeds
From the economical use
Of what you already have.

- Latin Proverb

3. The high prize of life,


The crowning glory of a man
is to be born with a bias
To some pursuit
Which finds him
In employment and happiness
Whether it be to make baskets,
.... or canals,
Or statues, or songs.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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CHAPTER 15b
LET US DEVELOP THEM GENUINELY
Educational Research and training for rural workers: By “Rural Workers” we
mean those persons who work in a rural area to obtain FOOD, SHELTER AND
CLOTHING they need for themselves. In practice, this generally means anyone who
is working in agriculture, forestry, fishing, or a directly related occupation. They may
be working for a wage (as contractors) or they may be self -employed and they
include the wives and CHILDREN of rural workers (CHILD labor) who often work
with them and who sometimes take their place when the men find other work.

Rural workers form the bulk of the population of our country. They are spread in
more than half a million villages neglected and uncared for compared to their
brethren in urban areas and in industrial occupations. Since they are dispersed over
a large area, they remain unorganized unlike industrial workers. EDUCATION is
therefore, necessary to make them realize the abject condition they are living in, and
also, the opportunities and possibilities available for them to get out of this situation.
POVERTY alleviation alone will not redeem them from the centuries of oppression
and suppression to which they are subjected to by the clever manipulation of social
and economic forces in the rural communities. A dynamic and purposeful
EDUCATION leading on to well-directed and organized action will alone save them
from their present deprivation.
Mass media like radio, TV and newspapers, invasion by political parties and their top
and petty have provided some information to villagers. The CONTENT OF
EDUCATION has to be enlarged to include an analysis of the economic and social
conditions of rural communities, THE POSITION OF WOMEN in families and the
community, the various schemes and programs initiated by the government for the
development of villages and the eradication of POVERTY. The other component for
SELF – DEVELOPMENT should not be ignored in THIRD - WORLD POVERTY.
These SELF-DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES are essentially Indian, but they should
provide an example for all Third World nations. Promotion of cottage and village
industries, initiating agro-industries, initiating bio-technology plants, manufacture of
selected consumer products, promoting self-employment opportunities like poultry,
brick-making, coir making, khadi spinning and weaving require special skilled
training. MAKING OF PRODUCTS which could be bought by outsiders may also be
an additional source of income. These non-farm activities for rural workers are
absolutely necessary for them to make a living during lean periods. Organizing
women, helping the self-employed increase their income and ensuring their social
well –being have necessarily to form part of any training program.
PRAY…
Durga! Goddess of Mercy’s ocean!
Stricken with grief, to thee I pray:
Do not believe me insincere;
A CHILD who is seized with thirst or hunger
Thinks of his mother constantly.
– Excerpt from Sri Sankaracharya

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Note: Durga is the Hindu Goddess who represents victory of truth over evil.
Some of the problems of POVERTY are essentially linked to the land the poor grow
crops on, which do not belong to them. They are also essentially related to the
problem of unemployment. From David Ricardo, on the effect of machinery on
employment, a rise in the rate of capital accumulation which enables the absorption
of the unemployed or low-productivity workers into high productivity jobs at higher
wages, is, therefore, considered in the traditional development literature as the
standard PANACEA FOR POVERTY.
Within the modern sector, THE TASTES AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE ELITE are
strongly influenced by the lifestyles of the advanced countries. Their consumption
patterns change accordingly and these are sought to be emulated by our elite.
Consequently, there is a sort of product - cycles and process innovations in the
Western world. The Third World nations produce today what the Western world
produced yesterday, and by the time they (Third World - India, Bangladesh, The
Sudan, etc.) start to produce today what the West has produced yesterday, it is
already tomorrow, and they have gone on to something altogether different.
The basic problem is that while tastes and consumption habits are transmitted from
the West (at any rate to the elite), capital is not, nor is labor allowed to migrate freely
from the backward to the advanced economies. FURTHER, IN ECONOMIES LIKE
OURS, “OPENING UP” DESTROYS EXISTING PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY
WITHOUT BRINGING THE SOLUTION TO MASS POVERTY ANY NEARER.
Overcoming mass POVERTY is far more complex than is usually made out. The
main characteristic of the PATH OF DEVELOPMENT would be:
a) Land Reforms (with direct impact upon POVERTY ) ;
b) A check on wide income inequalities ;
c) Independent innovations, so that the economy does not always have to choose
between remaining technologically frozen or dependent ;
d) RAMPANT CONSUMERISM SHOULD BE CURBED AND A SOCIAL
CONSENSUS BUILT AGAINST IT ;
e) An open and accountable government which sees a need to decentralize
power ;
f) A planned thrust in exports ;
g) Far higher rates of investment ; and
h) Measures of social security, which are immediate and do not await
“Development”.
To be sure, this is A STIFF BILL OF GOODS, BUT THEN GENUINE
DEVELOPMENT IS NOT AN EASY TASK. Let us take a fresh look.

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CHAPTER 16a
Farm mechanization will result in higher productivity and reduction in human
drudgery and will generate more employment. Transitory unemployment situations
caused by mechanization get readjusted with the creation of jobs in agro-processing
and manufacturing industries, set up in the wake of higher productivity and demand
for machinery. During economic liberalization, mechanization can be profitably
adopted in irrigation channels, development of underground water resources, soil
conservation, dairy and veterinary sectors, and food processing industries.
Lamartine and Warrier say that the types of machines that one needs will depend on
the nature of work for which they are used. Benefits include freeing farmers from
much laborious, tedious hard work, making life more beneficial and raising the
standard of living.

1. Be not concerned
If thou findest thyself
In possession of unexpected wealth,
Allah will provide
An unexpected use for it.

- James J. Roche

2. That man is to be accounted poor,


Of whatever rank he be,
And suffers the pains of POVERTY,
Whose expenses
Exceed his resources;
And no man is, properly speaking,
Poor, but he.

- William Paley

3. Let us define POVERTY:

“It is a state of existence whereby people are inhibited from participation in


society because of a serious lack of material and social resources...

Most writers distinguish between ‘Absolute’ and ‘Relative’ POVERTY. The


former refers to conditions that will not sustain physical life, the latter to a lack
of resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities and have the
living conditions and amenities that are customary, or at least widely
encouraged and approved, in the society to which a person belongs....

Early studies conducted by Booth and Rowntree in the 1890s in Britain


revealed widespread absolute POVERTY, which has now virtually been
eradicated....

Recent studies have suggested that race and gender have strong associations
with POVERTY....

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In the main, people blame the poor for their POVERTY. Media coverage of
POVERTY issues presents a fairly constant set of negative images of poor
people as lazy and welfare - dependent. These views do not accord with the
evidence, which reveals that many are actually in work, but that it is poorly
paid.... The vast majority, made up of CHILDREN and old people, could not in
any event be expected to be economically active.... The belief that the poor are
responsible for their own difficulties is persistent. In the public domain, the idea
of the Cycle of deprivation, and among sociologists the theory of culture of
POVERTY, seek to explain the persistence of POVERTY by reference to ideas
and behaviours transmitted from one generation to another. Critics of these
views point to the major changes that have occurred when governments have
pursued policies that seek to redistribute wealth - the clear implication being
that POVERTY is a structural feature of society and not a question of individual
behaviour....
Poor people form the largest group of consumers of social services. POVERTY
is a major source of stress... has strong associations with mental health
problems, with crime, with family problems including CHILD abuse and with ill
health....
Few Social Workers have POVERTY centre-stage or indeed are required or
permitted to develop an effective anti-POVERTY strategy. Such an approach
might entail income-maximization programmes, money advice, housing
improvement programmes and programmes to facilitate the involvement of poor
people in employment (for example, adult education services, nursery
provision, and work and food cooperatives). Many such ventures would require
at least a community - focus and methods rooted in the approaches of
community development and community action.”
P. Townsend, “POVERTY in the United Kingdom: A Survey of Household
Resources and Standards of Living”, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1979.
The tillers of the land (the producers of food) are themselves not in a position to
buy food. What a disaster!
4. “Food Security” means that all people at all times have both physical and
economic access to basic food. Even when there is enough food to go round,
people are to have ready access to food-that they have an “Entitlement” to
food, by growing it for themselves, by buying it or by taking advantage of a
public food distribution system. People can starve even when enough food is
available as has happened during many famines, because they cannot afford it.
Ample food is available in the world, even in developing countries. But not
everyone gets enough to eat. The causes are poor distribution of food and a
lack of purchasing power. Some 800 million people around the world go
hungry. In sub-Saharan Africa, despite considerable increases in the availability
of food in recent years, millions are undernourished. And in South Asia, a large
number of babies are born underweight - a sad indication of inadequate access
to food, particularly for women, who are often the last to eat in a typical
household.
Access to food has been denied because access to assets, work and income
has been denied....

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5. It would be wise to offer people direct incentives - to encourage people to
economize on consumption patterns harmful to future generations - for
example, through taxes and subsidies.
6. The World Bank’s latest report for the year 2000-01 “Attacking POVERTY”,
coincides with the centenary of POVERTY studies. Rowntree carried out a
pioneering study on POVERTY in the English town of York, the findings of
which were published in 1901....
With reference to South Asia, the report predicted that “the number of the poor
is expected to fall dramatically”. It is true that the proportion of the population of
South Asia living on less than one dollar a day - the line of “Extreme Income
POVERTY” - has gone down from 44% in 1990 to 40% in 1998. But, the
absolute number of people in this category has actually increased from 474.4
million in 1990 to 522 million in 1998 in the region....
In India, according to a 1997 estimate, a staggering 44.2% of the population
lives below the POVERTY line. This is worse than that of other countries of the
region such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s performance is worse than South Asia’s. While the share
of its population on less than $ 1 a day marginally decreased from 47% in 1990
to 46.3% in 1998, the absolute number of people in this category increased by
more than 34%. A new development is the phenomenal growth of POVERTY in
former Communist countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which are
changing to market economy (? - Vagaries of the market, “Prices”, export-
import-procurement-food-distribution, “exchange-entitlement”; POVERTY). In
these countries, the number of people living on less than a dollar a day has
increased more than twenty-fold.
If we take the world at large, around 1/5th of the world population with an
absolute figure of more than 1.2 Billion (more than a 100 Crore) people still live
on less than $ 1 a day, although the percentage of people living below this level
has been reduced from 29 in 1990 to 24 in 1998.
... “POVERTY, thus, remains a global problem of huge proportions.” There is ‘a
need to broaden the agenda’ and go ‘beyond Economics’, to such things as
expansion of the poor’s assets e.g. land and education. The poor are to be
‘empowered’ by a more pronounced popular participation in the political
process... because they are vulnerable to ill health, natural disasters and
violence....
There is a need to combine local, national and international efforts and a
complete commitment.
The world, is, however, waiting to see action. The affluent world is imposing its
own solutions on the Third World....
There is required more realistic and concerted action involving the ‘desperately’
poor and their representatives.... (The Telegraph, India, 14 Nov. 2000).
7. (July 23, 2000: The Telegraph, India): There is nothing to tell Sirpurwa village
apart from the hundreds of other villages in Eastern Uttar Pradesh... all of
which are reeling under POVERTY.... except that a 12-year old girl was ‘sold’
in marriage to a farmer old enough to be her grandfather. Her mother, a

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landless laborer lost a few of her 10 daughters and her husband to a
debilitating disease.... Tottering under the weight of POVERTY, the girl’s
mother could not afford to take chances.... could not wait atleast until little
Pinky (12) attained puberty....
And, so they say, POVERTY takes its toll, a very heavy toll....
8. In the Seventies, the eradication of POVERTY became big business. Solutions
to POVERTY-related problems are no longer in the hands of the poor, but are
now global management problems.... There is a strong vested interest for the
poor to remain poor, today, as many, many jobs depend on them. Pure
business, Ah??? -
9. “.... A point of concern is the continued and rather irrational obsession of
policymakers with laws of mathematical progression. In the long run, they fail
to come to terms with the more important factors. Humans do not multiply like
bacteria by binary fission. So it is impossible to plan or predict population
growth with the aid of a definite mathematical formula....”
- K. Panda, Indian Council of Medical Research, Calcutta, The Telegraph,
India, 28 Oct. 1997.
10. Let us develop simple and efficient computers at low cost, which can be used
by non-literate or neo-literate users. Let us take it to the rural masses and the
urban poor. Software in the vernacular (e.g. Hindi in India) should be
developed. (I believe this has already been done). Let us use them for
microbanking, data collection, educational programs and dissemination of
agriculture information....
11. A boy, Neethirajan, who was treated as a bonded laborer, started consuming
metal out of frustration. His poor parents took him to about ten private nursing
homes that expressed their inability to remove the metal pieces. This
happened in Andhra Pradesh, India (The Telegraph, India, 20 Nov. 2000).
12. “Disease and Debt Dog Hamlet” (The Telegraph, India, 20 Nov. 2000): A
quarter of a century ago, 250 families came to Bongaon as refugees from what
was then East Pakistan. As of now (Nov., 2000), a vicious circle of disease,
drink and death has reduced them to 60 families.
Leprosy, Kala-azar, excessive consumption of hooch and acute POVERTY
have taken a heavy toll on the Sarder tribe of Kansona, North 24-Parganas,
West Bengal. The tribals living in this hamlet are now awaiting death on empty
stomachs.
Several suffer from leprosy and most earning members lie crippled by the
disease...
With disease came addiction. Both men and women begin drinking country
liquor from the morning. When they run out of money, they borrow from local
moneylenders, sliding into a debt trap that eventually devours their houses and
land....
When the tribals starve, landlords and money lenders offer them a few kilos of
rice in exchange for thumb impressions on blank papers....

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The story goes on....

13. POVERTY is the greatest threat to political stability, social integration and the
environmental health of the planet. Some key lessons for POVERTY
Reduction are:
 Basic Social Services - Countries must ensure basic social services to the
poor, particularly basic education and primary health care;
 Agrarian Reform - A large part of POVERTY in developing countries is
concentrated in the rural areas, therefore, a more equitable distribution of
land and agricultural resources is needed;
 Provision of Credit for all - Equal access to credit must be ensured, thus
opening markets to the poor. Credit institutions must be decentralized;
 Employment - Productive employment opportunities should be rapidly
expanded so as to ensure a sustainable livelihood for everyone. This
employment creation is one of the most difficult tasks in an economy. Every
country should invest heavily in the education, training and skills of its
citizens. Governments should create an enabling environment - fair and
stable policies, equality before the law, sufficient physical assets and
incentives for private investment. Access to assets- land, means of
production like credit, etc are equally important. Developing countries have
abundant labor, and labor-intensive technologies have to be developed. In
certain regions or at certain times of the year, public works programs e.g.
street repairs, may help people survive. Countries should intervene when
markets start discriminating against disadvantaged groups like women and
ethnic groups. Now that the phenomenon of “Jobless Growth” is growing,
we must think and consider more innovative and flexible working
arrangements like “job-sharing”;
 Participation - The poor can benefit from economic development only when
they actually participate in its design and implementation. All strategies must
be decentralized;
 A social safety net - is needed for catching all those whom markets
exclude;
 Economic Growth - The poor can benefit from as well as contribute to
economic growth only when development efforts focus on increasing their
productivity;
 Sustainability - POVERTY pressurizes the ecosystem. The content of
growth must change from material-intensive to equitable distribution.
- (Source: Human Development Report, UNDP, 1994)
By 2001, the total population of India was expected to be equal to the total
population of entire Europe (excluding the erstwhile USSR). The density of
population is very high and the rate of unemployment increasing rapidly in a country
which is still under-developed. In this situation, the standard of living can be raised

138
only by increasing the per capita productivity of labor, through mechanization and
development of agriculture, and by increased utilization of power. But, expansions of
net sown area, irrigation and agricultural production is not unlimited. Our mineral
resources are gradually depleting, but nearly 170 Million new jobs have to be
created, with pressure on agriculture, and social and economic facilities. Our
environment is becoming more and more polluted.
What is needed for achieving a balanced development is a well-designed population
policy, rational use of natural resources, ecological balance between man and his
environment and thoughtful planning.
(I) AFRICA RE-VISITED: SOME LESSONS FOR US: - ADAPTED FROM
“MODERN AFRICA” BY BASIL DAVIDSON: -

The new nations of Africa became independent amidst a deepening social crisis
caused by colonialism. New problems of rural POVERTY, the rapid growth of urban
concentrations of ex-rural peoples as well as internal division had arisen.

Historically, Africa’s economies had been small-scaled, suiting the needs of mostly
rural communities. There had been no industrial revolution, no dependence on
machine-production, and no need for imports of food. Africans were sheltered from
the shocks and strains of the world market and its fluctuating prices.
Even after independence, Africa’s terms-of-trade were unfavorable (viz. its export
prices were much lower in value compared to its import prices). The economic
legacy in Africa was found to work in several ways: - First, by exchanging African
raw materials for imports of manufactured goods, secondly, by fixing export-import
prices, and, thirdly, by paying debt-interest on loans advanced by the industrialized
countries.
i. ) Export-Crops or Food? By the 1960s, large rural populations were earning
their living by growing cash crops for export-cocoa, groundnuts, coffee, cotton,
etc. Yet, governments in Africa could not simply ask farmers to stop growing
export-crops and start growing food, as they (the farmers) were dependent on
export-crops for their livelihood. Besides, governments were dependent on
cash crops for export for earning revenue.
But it became desirable to cut down on cash crops grown for export and to
utilize the extra money for the national benefit. Another reason was the need to
produce more food. Once cash crop production became important in an African
country, there were shortages of local food, because more land and labor that
could be used for growing food, was diverted to growing cash crops. Acute
local food shortages began to be felt, as early as the Second World War. In the
worst cases, famine broke out, as in Northern Mozambique where the
Portuguese forced farmers to grow cotton instead of food. Cotton, they pointed
out, became “The mother of POVERTY”.
As a result of increasing shortages of local food, both villages and cities had
less to eat than before. Also, (African) governments had to import foreign food,
often at high prices. As a consequence, by the 1960s, Africa, whose population,
was still largely “Farming”, could no longer feed its own people. Another major
fact was the formation of two Africas after the Second World War - rural and
urban, and their interests clashed. Following the Great Depression of the 1930s
and the Second World War, large areas of rural Africa had come into a

139
deepening POVERTY. Consequently, rural folk migrated to the urban areas
where political power was also concentrated. The situation is no different now.
ii) Population Growth and Movement: After the 1940s, African populations
began expanding rapidly, for reasons not as yet known to scientists, but
perhaps because of the spread of preventive medicine-vaccinations against
disease. By the 1960s, most African populations were growing at an average
rate of 2.5 % annually, meaning a doubling of nation size in another twenty or
thirty years.
Doubling of numbers could be good for Africans in that national skills, labor,
teamwork, and planning could annually result in more food, more production
and more wealth. However, if production of wealth backfired, Africa would get
poorer, and standards of living would plummet, as has actually happened in
most of Africa in recent years. Large economic changes were desirable for
another reason. Growing cash crops, as well as shortages of rural labor caused
shortages of local food. From the 1940s on, people in Africa were migrating
from villages to the towns and cities out of hunger or because they were being
forced labor. Rural people looked to the urban areas for a less hungry life, and
towns expanded.
But what did the author mean when he said that the new urban populations
would work in various ways to increase the national wealth? He was talking
about the need to build better systems of production.
Now, what did that mean?
The author meant “Development”.
iii) The Meaning of Development: was a question difficult for new African
governments to answer. Broadly speaking, ”Development” meant the question
of building a better system of production by using national resources - human
beings and materials - to produce more wealth. The quantity of natural
resources like those of soil fertility or minerals mattered. For instance, Niger
and Burkina Faso were generally poor in natural resources. What also mattered
was the amount of real freedom, which each nation had won.
The major task was how best to “Develop”. This meant more than the
development of skills, methods, and organization of work. It meant a change in
culture; habits and attitudes of work from handwork to machine work.
Development was to be a complex process in human minds as well.
For the process of development to operate, the new African governments had
to acquire national control over national resources, had to start building a new
national infrastructure, better transport and communications, power, and, had to
make a vast improvement in the poor systems of education and public health
left behind by the colonial legacy.
Finally, countries had to decide on “Planning” for their peoples, either by the
system of private enterprise (Capitalism) or by the system of collective
enterprise (Socialism). Were they to prioritize rural areas or urban? Agriculture
or industry? How to promote economic life, how to raise national savings, and
to what extent foreign loans were to be raised, were other questions confronting
African Governments of the post-colonial era.

140
Having “Alternative Policies” meant having alternative strategies for
development. However, in actuality, all new African states had to combine
policies. Nigeria combined private enterprise with some state ownership of
production and trade. And some like Angola combined collective type with
private ownership of farms by farmers.

Most Nigerians still lived in the rural areas, and rural people had fallen into
further POVERTY by the 1970s. Rural food-growers were paid very low prices
for their produce by national marketing boards, which fixed prices for the overall
benefit of urban-dwellers. It was hoped that the Nigerian Government would
support city investors going into agriculture and boosting agricultural output. But
Salisu Na’inna writing in “West Africa” (4 July 1988)
“... The policy failed to admit that many of the so-called large-scale farmers
often leave most of the land they control to lie fallow. They take bank loans,
ostensibly to promote agriculture, and end up using the money in building
dream mansions, buying expensive cars and aircraft, and organizing fairy-tale
type weddings.”
Very little was done to help ever-toiling peasants or small rural farmers with
better prices for his produce, subsidized fertilizers, more rural roads or medical
and health clinics.
Zimbabwe combined free enterprise with a genuine concern for the interests of
peasants and small farmers, and the recorded successes were impressive. By
1990, farmers’ share and their crop revenues went up impressively. No hunger
at home and no imports of foreign food, and Zimbabwe was actually able to
export food, and gift food to drought-hit countries like Mozambique, Tanzania
and Ethiopia. Policies favoring peasants included giving peasants more land,
giving good prices for peasant produce and setting up new distribution centers
for seeds, fertilizers and tools, etc.
Other countries followed different kinds of mixed development, with slight
aberrations. Malawi remained strongly free enterprise (under the severely
dictatorial President Kamuzu Banda), which tried to expand production at the
cost of the standards of living both of small farmers and of urban wage earners.
Zambia combined a mixed economy with national ownership, as in its copper
mines; also with an expanding private sector of Zambian private businessmen,
who prospered at the cost of increasing rural POVERTY. Uganda, during short
periods of internal PEACE, combined support for co-operative production with a
growing private-business sector.
All these countries had to put up with two major problems:
a) The general failure in increasing farming output and productivity. For
instance, Kenya’s farming output grew during the 1970s at an annual rate
of 2.5 per cent; but its population grew even faster; and to feed its growing
population, Kenya had to import expensive foreign food;
b) The “POVERTY-Gap” - The difference in living standards between the
minority having good jobs and property, and the majority having neither.
Inequalities grew much greater than before, and the POVERTY-gap
widened. It soon led to discontent and instability. But Africa was not the

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only region to experience such circumstances; private-enterprise systems
elsewhere have experienced the same.
iv) The Search for Better Solutions: Capitalism was (painfully) helping the lucky
few at the cost of the hungry many, and social inequalities were increasing. It
was leading to greed, immorality, strife and even greater POVERTY. Africans
wanted a better way.

Outside Africa, nations were following “Socialism”, based on the principles of


Karl Marx. Two trends developed in Africa. One was “Africa Socialism”
(Senegal and Kenya) under which inequities that existed grew worse.

A second trend developed in Tanzania under President Julius Nyerere, who


pointed out that since independence, inequalities between the ‘Haves’ and the
‘Have-nots’ had increased, and public resources were wasted. Tanzania was
developing an economic and social ‘elite’ - a ‘chosen few’....

After 1967, a policy called “Ujamaa” (Swahili for togetherness) was developed,
under which a big program was launched to bring together scattered hamlets
and homesteads into “Ujamaa” villages, which were, in turn, to be provided with
primary schools, health clinics, better and more farming tools, and even
tractors. These initiatives, however, ran into major problems in administration.

Furthermore, Tanzania had to abandon many development projects, face


adverse terms-of-trade, largely because power was “centralized” in the cities.

Some countries like Angola and Mozambique started developing African


solutions, “people’s power” or “people’s participation”. But the policy failed after
independence.

Most Africans realized that any successful solution would have to be suited to
Africa’s needs, and not imported. This was to be the major concern of the
1990s.

The island republic of Cape Verde had built a strong grass roots democracy
based on “people’s power”. The purpose was to eliminate, to as great an
extent, “systemic” exploitation: ways in which the POVERTY of the many has to
derive from the privileges of the few.

Said one Cape Verdean political thinker in 1986: “We had to carry our people
with us.... in an enormous effort at self-realization and common purpose. It was
completely obvious that any policy at the cost of the majority - a terribly
impoverished majority in 1975 - would bring failure. There could be no case for
trying to adopt - as Europe adopted for its own self-development - the policies
of Capitalism: policies to benefit the few on the argument that later on they
would benefit the many. We couldn’t have accepted that. We were bound to
look to the interests of the vast majority of our people.”

Cape Verde is small but can fight POVERTY. Did David not overthrow Goliath?
(Davidson, 1990).

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v) A Deepening Crisis: The 1990s inherited many problems. After years of bad
governments, failed experiments and world recession were leading to a more
serious crisis of POVERTY and hunger.

In April 1981, the Nigerian Executive Secretary of the UN Economic


Commission for Africa, Dr. Adebayo Adedeji, warned that: “With deteriorating
economic prospects and a generally bleak outlook for growth, no continent has
been worse hit than Africa. In the poorest or least-developed countries, people
are as badly off as they were in the 1970s.... With drought in the Sahel
countries, and escalating drought situations in East and Central Africa, many
countries face imminent economic collapse.”

It was clear that POVERTY, now as of never before, would be very hard to
overcome....
vi) National Planning and Infrastructure: The new African nations were now
required to develop. For that, they needed information on the size of their
populations and natural resources. Next, they were to plan for their economies,
like how much money to be spent on daily needs, and how much for
development, and in what manner?
One major priority of national planning was to grow more food at home, for two
reasons, to feed growing populations, and to cut down on expensive foreign
food. However, communications were poor, and rural labor was scarce.
Besides, more cash crops were to be grown in exchange for imported goods
and luxuries. This meant less food produced locally.
It was understood that Africa had many economic problems, but it was rich in
economic resources, which were to be utilized for the nation’s benefit. This was
sometimes been done, and sometimes not.
vii) Big Dams: Could make provision for new fishing industries, but many would
have to leave their homes, and farmers and their families had to be re-
habilitated on irrigated land in other places. Dams were definitely a source of
more power and more water for irrigation, but at the cost of the environment.
viii) Farmers are not Fools: Productive farming could not be achieved for two
reasons - too much reliance was placed on the advice of experts from abroad
who did not understand the actual problems, and African farmers were not
consulted on how best to increase output.
The countries of the Sahel (like Niger) were hit by severe famine during 1968-
74 and people died. The main causes were drought and poor policy. Both
people and cattle in Niger perished when both land and labor were being
utilized for growing cash crops instead of food.
There was felt a need to shift policies in rural development, to turn away from
previous experiments (e.g. the large-scale use of tractors in Sierra Leone) to
the knowledge and skills of Africa’s farming communities, and their opinions
and self-solutions.
Experts from abroad? Were recommending?? Solutions??? To (African)
farmers???? In its difficult ecology-irregular or tumultuous rainfall, thin soils,
differing climates?????

143
It was gradually realized that the key solutions to food shortage lay in the hands
of the farmers, and that farming output would increase if governments and their
agencies paid better prices to peasants for their produce. In Zimbabwe, for
example, the new government paid much attention to small peasant farmers’
needs as it believed “that the rural population is the backbone of a country’s
agriculture...” President Robert Mugabe said:
“... To give an example, prior to 1980, peasant farmers had virtually no access
to farm credit. By the end of the 1984-85 farming season, the number of loans
extended to small farmers had risen to 70,000. (At the same time) we reduced
costs to the peasant farmer by making sure he is within a maximum radius of
20 kms from a marketing depot....”
New varieties of seed also yielded successes. The use of “Hybrid-maize” seed
in Kenya yielded a larger harvest.
One major conclusion from these experiments is that an intelligent use of
science with close co-operation of farmers can result in more food.
Cape Verde, which was very poor at the time of freedom, built stone dykes and
retaining walls to conserve rain and store water, planted drought-resistant trees
over their bare hillsides in a process called “Afforestation”, thereby improving
upon their rocky conditions. These were some “Success-stories” to learn from.
ix) Foreign Aid: is given in cash or kind (in goods as food) by the ‘rich’
industrialized countries to the ‘poor’ countries. It may be provided free of
charge, or, paid for by the recipients as debt with interest (on loans). The USA
started giving or lending a lot of money to Africa. This was strongly supported
by the American people.
The main drawbacks of Aid are:
a) How to utilize aid towards development (and social welfare); and,
b) How to pay off loans with interest. Changes in policy are required,
changes in the “international economic order”: in the relations between the
industrialized countries and the former colonies.
Africa was already suffering from ”underdevelopment” and the crisis worsened
when the time came to pay back loans taken.
x) Conclusions: The “Black Continent” was suffering from worst crises of
POVERTY, famine and hunger by the mid-80s, and yet, injustice continued to
be part of the “World Economic Order”.
Africa must find its own way out of POVERTY…As Kwame Nkrumah, Africa’s
“Prophet of Modern Unity” wrote “Africa must unite…”
xi) Experiments and Lessons: The 1980s saw Africa facing a crisis of POVERTY
and conflict, human famine; and by 1985, AIDS was spreading fast. Africa’s
“get-rich-quick” policies took it nowhere; great forests lay destroyed for ever,
wide grassland plains had been over-grazed, and Africa was now facing
POVERTY, hunger, violence and conflict.
The world is divided into very different parts, the “developed” North and the
“poor” South, of which Africa was and is still a part. The major problems facing

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Africa in the 1970s and 1980s were a choice between scarce resources and
death by famine by the rural peoples, urban POVERTY, and militarism and
dictatorship.

In such a situation, everyone but the privileged few suffer. War causes wastage
of big resources while buying arms and paying the armed forces; resources
which could be diverted to overcome POVERTY. This happened in the case of
Ethiopia. How can Africa hope to put an end to its POVERTY with so much
spending on war paraphernalia?
Africa is very rich naturally, including big tropical forests. In recent years, these
forests were being destroyed.
In 1985, 30 per cent of Nairobi (Kenya) were facing serious POVERTY. But,
about a century earlier, London was facing the same problem. And, are there
not any hungry people today in the middle of America’s opulence?
What Africa needed, said King Mosheshoe of Lesotho in 1985: “Was to develop
open and participatory forms of economic and political planning: forms within
which people can take part in public debate about the main production and
development issues, and then have a direct say in the final decision.” A
decolonization of minds, a change in attitude and a new vision are needed
to shape Africa’s future.
May God bless Africa. May God bless the world.
(II) Health: -
Working together against TB and HIV: TB kills. And AIDS kills. 1 in 5 people
are HIV-Positive in Lusaka, Zambia. AIDS is the major cause of death of
women in their 20s in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In Odessa (The CIS), a large number
of injecting drug users are HIV-Positive. A number of female users have started
selling their bodies, but their clients, who are not drug users, are getting
affected. In Calcutta, India, only 3% of men visiting sex workers use condoms.
More than 1 million Americans are HIV-Positive. 14 million people (reportedly)
have died of AIDS. The most disheartening aspect is that the world’s youth are
indulging in irresponsible behavior (casual sex with multiple partners; needles;
or refusing to wear condoms). AIDS is (still) incurable.
Most people are unaware of the enormous and deadly role TB plays in the
AIDS epidemic. TB is the leading killer of HIV-Positive people. In a study of
prime causes of death in HIV-Positive patients (Abidjan, 1991), it was found
that TB alone killed 32% of patients, with septicemia killing 11%, cerebral
toxoplasmosis (10%), Pneumonia (8%), Malignancies (6%), Meningitis (5%),
and other infections (10%). Unaccounted causes killed 18% of people.
It is to be noted that HIV destroys a person’s immune system, leaving the HIV-
Positive individual highly susceptible to TB (and other) germs.
WHO had predicted that by 2001, the spread of HIV will cause more than 3
million new TB cases. Ill-prepared health care systems would suffer the most.
Until 1995-96, the worst danger zone was sub-Saharan Africa. But Asia, home
to two-thirds of the world’s active TB cases, will increasingly come under

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vicious attack. It is a stark fact that in Asia, HIV is spreading more rapidly than
anywhere else in the world.
With proper attention, techniques and resources, the doors can be slammed on
the TB/HIV epidemic before it worsens.

(III) Bangladesh - which is the land of three rivers, The Brahmaputra, The Ganges
and The Meghna, has rich and fertile land. Crops (like rice) are grown all the
year in subtropical climate.
Agriculture was abundant in the past. The Moroccan adventurer Ibn Battuta
described Bengal (which consists of Bangladesh and a province in India today)
as “a country of great extent and one in which rice grows abundantly... Indeed, I
have seen no region of the Earth in which provisions are so plentiful.”
As of now, circumstances have forced Bangladesh to become one of the
poorest countries in the world. The country has failed to provide the basic
needs of food, clothing, shelter, health care and education to its population.
However, Bangladeshis are working harder to extract latent and neglected
resources of the country - its “fertile land, water, manpower and natural gas for
fertilizer not only to be able to feed its own population, but to export food as
well...”
Bangladesh is recovering from under-development and stagnation. Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) has gone up since 1990. The primary school
enrolment of females went up from 31 in 1960 to 71 during 1986-93.
By 2025, Bangladesh is projected to have 175 million people, an increase of 56
million from 1996 level. The people of Bangladesh will continue to suffer from
unemployment and shortage of housing, school and medical facilities.
What Bangladesh needs today is more intensive local participation through
“decentralization”, optimum utilization of local resources, development of
human resources, especially in the fields of systems, program planning, MIS,
PM and IR, and an expanded “Technology (both computer and indigenous)
movement” at the grass- roots level. More rural extension projects, community
mobilization, Applied Operations Research projects, Applied logistics, IEC
(Information, education and communication) campaigns, and government-NGO
collaborations in the fields of family planning, health, credit and education, are
the needs of the hour.
Some NGOs are actually doing some very good work, notable among them
being Proshika, BRAC (The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and
The Grameen Bank (a world-famous pioneer in the field of micro-credit).
Poor Bangladeshi women, millions of them, have greatly benefited from
activities rendered by NGOs such as the Grameen Bank and BRAC. They are
earning cash income either by employment or by starting income-generating
activities. Many women are enjoying better lives. Many women are now going
to the polls.
Pregnancy and CHILDbirth are quite dangerous in (rural) Bangladesh because
of insufficient health services, mother’s poor nutrition and health. Women must
start taking good care of themselves. (Do women in the developing world have

146
the resources?) It is time we taught the younger generation to respect their
sisters, mothers, wives and women classmates and friends.
As of now, people in Bangladesh get to see such messages on television as
“Have a Polio Injection”. Bangladesh is working harder towards progress....

The main barriers to progress in the case of Bangladesh are high rate of
illiteracy, natural calamities such as floods, high infant mortality, high fertility
levels and a traditional society with unfavorable economic conditions.
Most of Bangladesh’s burgeoning urban population is living in unhealthy and
crowded conditions. And a large proportion of people still remains poor and
illiterate. CHILD - bearing is concentrated at young ages, with most first-births
taking place during adolescence, leading to high risk of maternal and infant
mortality, and maternal morbidity. A major proportion of births in rural areas is
still assisted by traditional birth attendants (TBAs), relatives and friends, etc.,
and at home under unhygienic conditions. Bangladeshi women are rarely
healthy. They suffer from much non-reproductive ailments-general weakness,
anemia, dizziness/vertigo, nausea, anorexia, abdominal problems; etc. We do
hope women in Bangladesh will be strongly empowered to nation building in the
21st Century and beyond.... through education, skills training, employment
opportunities and user-friendly information and services in health (particularly,
reproductive health)... like oral rehydration therapy, immunization, pregnancy
care, contraception; etc.
.... Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world excluding
city states such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Floods and cyclones occur
every year. There is tremendous resource scarcity and people live at
subsistence level. Majority of the people lives below the POVERTY line. The
per capita income is as low as $320. Agriculture is the mainstay of the
economy, but per acre yield is still among the lowest in the world, though
adoption of high yielding variety (HYV) technology in paddy production has
been continuously increasing the level (of per acre level). The country
continues to suffer from chronic food deficits.
The Social and health situation is deplorable - worse than that in most
countries in South Central Asia. Most adults are illiterate. Around 78 percent of
females are illiterate. Life expectancy is among the lowest in the region (with
Afghanistan, Bhutan and Nepal being worse off). Access to health and
sanitation is inadequate. The median age at first marriage for females is low. In
the rural areas, maternal, infant and CHILD mortality remain quite high and
fertility level still remains high.... Besides, Bangladesh still remains very
traditional…
Bangladesh has to focus on literacy, functional education, family planning,
environmental sanitation, skills training, small credit, income generation and
reduction of maternal and CHILD mortality, and malnutrition, and, basic human
needs of shelter, clothing, housing, safe drinking water, health care, etc.
Bangladesh needs local inputs to make its development programs “sustainable”
in future. It is tragic that too many Bangladeshi women die of preventable
complications resulting from pregnancy and CHILD birth, too many

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Bangladeshi CHILDREN die in large numbers of malnutrition, too many girl-
CHILDREN in Bangladesh do not go to school....
Dear Bangladesh, May the Good Lord bless you in future...
IV Creating New Job Opportunities through Promotion of Silk-Culture: - The
birthplace of silkworms covers Nepal, Bhutan, Indochina including Vietnam, and
parts of China. This region is very underdeveloped owing to geographic
limitations, and many people live in POVERTY. The status of women is low.
The author suggests that to enhance the status of women and improve the
standard of living in such traditional and poor societies, it becomes necessary
to create job opportunities for women, for which the author recommends
‘sericulture’. He tells us that, first, women are suited to work in raising
silkworms, second, those engaged in sericulture can earn income as side jobs.
Third, silk-raising farmers can earn a lot through modernization.
Some people may assert that not much can be raised particularly in the initial
stage (compared to farming). The author argues that the level of income from
silk raising could be raised higher with the increase in productivity. It should be
emphasized that securing fixed jobs is more important than receiving higher
income from short-term work from the viewpoint of the strategy to fight against
POVERTY.
There are some problems, however. First, there is lack of appropriate
technology. Second, local experts do not have the satisfactory level of expertise
as yet. Very often, quality eggs cannot be secured. Lastly, expensive
technology on silk-culture has to be imported from developed countries.
It is possible to raise the silkworm in many parts of the world. However, raw silk
production concentrates on Asia, with China being the largest producer,
followed by India.
The author adds that promotion of silk-culture also leads to “conservation” of
existing forests and tree planting.
An increasing number of forests are being destroyed in many developing
countries. There are a number of reasons for deforestation: First, trees are
being cut down to be used as fuels for daily cooking and baking bricks for
building materials. Second, forests are needed for factories. Third, forests are
being increasingly converted into farm land, in countries where population
grows annually at about 2 - 2.5 per cent and there is greater demand for grain
(for food, for fattening poultry and domestic cattle for meat, and for alcoholic
drinks).
More efforts should be made to protect our forests, which are an essential part
of our ecology. It also becomes important to reforest bare mountains.
Mangroves on lagoons (which are parts of diversified ecosystems where
various life - forms like birds, fish and shellfish live) are also disappearing in
many countries.
Under circumstances in which trees are being destroyed at unimaginable
speed, afforestation becomes urgent.

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Planting of trees is not easy. Reforestation requires time and funds. What is
crucial for tree-planting is active participation of the community. However, poor
people often are not willing to participate in reforestation because they get no
immediate benefits. Their major priority is to support their families today.
Hence, it becomes necessary to give them good incentives like cash (as daily
wage, medicine, food, etc).
The author has said that silk-culture can help in sustainable afforestation. Silk-
spinning worms of wild species feed on various local trees and leaves of
mangroves. Thus, local people will benefit from preservation and plantation of
indigenous trees. Also, unlike “Monoculture” (in which foreign ‘cash’ crops like
rubber, coffee, sugar, pepper, etc. disturb the ecosystem) reforestation of
indigenous trees will cause no harm.
Diffusion of silk-raising will contribute to afforestation as well as forest
preservation. Silk raising is a very promising economic activity in rural areas.
Moreover, it can provide employment opportunities to women. It also leads to
development of spinning and textile industries. In developing countries,
silkworms of wild species should be used (according to the author). Silk-raising
is expected to bring about improvement in the social status. The greatest
advantage is that one employed person will be able to support ten persons
including his/her family members: Ten persons will be saved from POVERTY....
A very interesting fact, this one....
V The Family Planning program in Indonesia has in the past extensively involved
women. Family planning has been perceived in sociological than in medical
terms.
The “Family Welfare Movement” (a national women’s organization), family
planning acceptor groups and female volunteers have, in the past, formed the
very core of the program: they plan, implement, evaluate as well as form the
‘recipients’ of services....
This has been (as of 1997-98), the experience of Indonesia....
VI To reduce POVERTY, we must shift our attention away from the traditional goal
of creating jobs, and focus on “sustainable livelihoods” (the capabilities, assets
and activities required for a means of living) and people’s everyday Economics
-
Some Reflections on Reproductive Health and Youth: As of 1995: -

i) “Reproductive Health in China is a ‘new term’ and.... although we have started


broadening the scope of our family planning/mother and CHILD health
activities to include general health care, community development and
POVERTY alleviation, the topic of reproductive health services to youth is still
a sensitive one. So, not much is done for youth in this area....”

- Ms. Zhang Zhi Rong (China)

ii) “Modernization and economic development in many parts of Asia has put a lot
of pressure on young people, creating situations or conditions, that have
aggravated certain social ‘problems’ such as teen sex, drugs and rebellion
against parents....

149
As a result of this, there are now many countries with active programs for
youth that focus on leadership training, drug abuse prevention, reproductive
health, and so on. They may have different names but the concern is the
same....”

- Mr. Shiv Khare (India)

iii) “We have been doing work with STD referrals, sexual health, and cancer
screening and so on.... Within the Penang (Malaysia) FPA, youth programmes
were first discussed and proposed in 1978. A recreational, social youth centre
was set up in 1982....

We are also trying to reach out to the factory workers in Penang. Reaching out
to youths is important because of their emerging sexual awareness. They
should be given the right information in a way that is non-threatening or
judgmental....”

- Ms. Engie Ng, FPA, Penang (Malaysia)

iv) “Reproductive health services for youth is an important area for Vietnam
because young people comprise almost 40% of the country’s population.

The government has been aware of this situation from the late 1970s when sex
education first started. Since 1989, there are new activities like the Premarital
Club and AIDS prevention education for youths, now the focus is on ‘family
happiness and good life’ as an integrated concept that includes young people.
The ‘Vietnam Youth Union’ is a mass movement that works to change
community behaviour so that RH services can be provided to young people
without any obstacles. Activities also include income-generating projects for
youth. We also wish to see more experience sharing on the problems of youth
at the regional level....”

- Mr. Nguyen Ba Binh (Vietnam)

v) “.... Young people in different countries act and think differently.... In South
Asia, the culture is more conservative than, for example, in South East Asia.
Young men and women in South Asia have fewer opportunities to interact
socially. They also tend to marry early due to the custom of arranged
marriages, hence they have a longer period of CHILD bearing....”

- Ms. Malicca Ratne (UNFPA)

vi) “We are concerned with reproductive rights especially with respect to domestic
violence and incest.... I find that there is no attempt at gender analysis in many
youth programmes.... We must realise that... a young woman has different
perceptions and needs on sexual and social matters. This must be taken into
account when designing programmes for the youth….”

- Ms. Azucena Pestano (Philippines)

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Creating Employment (Source: Human Development Report, 1994, UNDP): -
The creation of sufficient opportunities for productive employment and sustainable
livelihoods is one of the most important and most difficult - tasks in any society.
Experiences have shown that the following strategy may be effective:

 To compete in a fast-changing global economy, every country must invest


heavily in the education, training and skills of its people;

 The private sector is likely to generate employment. But markets can work
effectively only when governments create an enabling environment, including
sufficient physical infrastructure and incentives for private investment;

 A more equitable distribution of physical assets (land) and better access - to


means of production (credit and information) can ensure sustainable
livelihoods;

 Developing countries must make the most efficient use of their factors of
production - like (abundant) labor. Tax and price policies should try to
encourage “Labor-intensive technologies”;

 Where private markets consistently fail to produce sufficient jobs, in certain


areas or at certain times of the year, the state would do good to offer
employment through public works programs to help people survive;

 The state needs to consider targeted interventions at disadvantaged groups;


and,

 It becomes necessary to rethink “work” and to consider new and flexible


methods - like “job-sharing”.
“POVERTY”, IN MY OWN ANALYSIS: - Imagine a situation in which a landless
laborer (or, farmer) owned land. Imagine, also, that he or she had the power to
consume most of his (own) produce (because he would need other basics like
shelter, clothing, health care and education) without subjecting it to the vagaries of
the market. The point in contention is “power”, as I would call it, not just purchasing
power as laid down in POVERTY studies. Land and tenancy reforms can give the
poor this power. The ‘poor’ would no longer remain “poor” if they had things their
way. What would be, is that, worse still, as soon as food entered the market, the
“purchasing - power principle” would begin to operate. The poor would start to have
very low purchasing power, and very obviously, in comparison to the ruling “elite”.
According to me, POVERTY arises when food has to pass through a complex maze
(including “corruption”) of wholesale, retail, import, export, and, above all,
middlemen, with much of those who are part of this vicious triangle, remaining cold
to the needs of the tillers of land and the producers of food! Weren’t FAMINES IN
THE PAST a result of “Man-made-factors”?
When Adam Smith showed his concern that economic development should help a
person mix freely without being “Ashamed to appear in publick” he was saying that
POVERTY should go beyond counting calories to integrate the poor into the
mainstream of the community.

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There is ‘real’ tension between wealth maximization and human development.. Many
countries have a high GNP per capita, but low HDI’s (Human Development Indices):
Life expectancy, adult literacy, and high infant mortality rates. Similarly, opulence is
not necessary for fulfilling human choices – democracy, human rights, and gender
equality. Second, PEACE of mind, fresh air and long lives may go beyond economic
well-being.
POVERTY is a “vicious circle”. Fortunately or unfortunately (most) developing
countries grow “cash crops” e.g. cotton, for export and what comes to them are
expensive foreign products like Peter England and Allen Solly. And, offcourse,
foreign exchange circulates among the ‘elite’.
For the poor, what hardly matter are the vagaries of global trade and exchange, for
they have a number of mouths to feed. What is of concern to them is that they have
to survive today, or, in other words, remain alive till the next day. The needs of the
world’s poor women and CHILDREN are to be met. What we need is an efficient and
effective distribution of food, housing, health care, education and other essential
services. More food should be grown locally. Very often, land lying fallow can be
used to grow more food. I still fail to understand as to why so much stress is laid on
cash crops. POVERTY is POVERTY of many basics - beginning with lack of
“entitlement” to food.
As part of the backlash of globalization (in every village), the poor have been badly
hit. Commodity prices remain very high. Land reforms should be undertaken. I would
suggest that fallow land be offered to the poor at subsidized prices by the
government. The government should set up a ‘support price system’ for farmers. The
facilities of “fair-price shops” (offering basic amenities) and schools be provided to
the poor. Let us create a “Dream Village”!!!
The elitist are always feeling threatened. They might wonder: Who will fix our bulbs?
Who will drive our cars? Who will cook our food? Attitudes towards the poor should
change.
We live in highly specialized societies. There is division of labor, and, mechanization
may, in certain societies, render labor unemployed. There is a need to create jobs
through more “labor-intensive” (not capital-intensive) technology.
Corruption is eating away our moral fabric. Corruption should be investigated.
An expert should be brought in who will examine the “price (wholesale/retail) - export
- import - grid” and give suggestions. There is no scarcity of food and yet millions are
starving? (Actually, food grains are being diverted to the black market through the
use of fake ration-cards, this is happening in India!) Efforts should be made to build
strong, weather-resistant (food) storage facilities.
Urban POVERTY can arise out of man’s greed or compulsion, and can be a cause of
much hardship-misery, deprivation, homelessness, crime and conflict. By the middle
of the 21st century, much of the world’s poor will live? (Or, die?) in the world’s cities.
People should be placed at the center of development, and due respect should be
accorded to our natural systems. The livelihoods of the poor depend on forests,
fishing, flora and fauna (i.e. our forests, rivers, seas, etc). There is a need to
enhance human capabilities to the full, carry out a major restructuring of the world’s
income distribution, production and consumption patterns. “Sustainable (human)

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development” is all about bringing human needs into balance with the coping
capacities of societies and the carrying capacities of nature.
The world must pay attention to the status of women - without which not much can
be achieved. “Empowering” people is all about enabling them to design and
participate in the decisions, processes and events that shape their lives.

Agriculture is the basic foundation, curd or cheese cannot be produced without milk,
in turn a cow, a farm or ranch, a farmer. There is a need to develop
agriculture/farming. The establishment of “co-operatives” would be a positive step in
this direction. Food is a basic essential, and every food-industry product consists of
ingredients from agriculture.

Economic growth does matter in improving the quality of life. A lot depends on how
the fruits of economic growth are shared - especially on what the poor get, and to
what extent the additional resources are used to support public services –
particularly, primary health care and basic education. What is important is what use
is made of the extra income. A society can spend its income on arms or on
education. An individual can choose to spend his or her income on drugs, alcohol, or
music systems instead of on essential food.

We often confuse ends and means. Once we start concentrating on people as


“Human Capital”, forced CHILD labor and the exploitation of workers can result.
Improving human capital has offcourse resulted in enhanced production and material
prosperity, as in Japan. But we must remember Kant’s injunction, to treat humanity
as an end withal, never as means only. The quality of human life is an end.

The very poor, struggling for their daily survival, often cannot avoid degrading the
environment. After all, in poor societies, what is at risk is not (just) the quality of life -
but life itself.

From ‘The Telegraph’, 25/2/2001: Betul, MP, India - “A woman holds forward her
baby, as a blacksmith or a “doctor” raises a red hot iron sickle. As the iron touches
the baby, she screams so loud her lungs might burst. She throws about her arms,
her legs, fights her mother’s iron grip as the glowing sickle touches her again and
again, the sickle journeying down slowly from her neck downwards.

As the air is filled with the pungent smell of charred flesh, the mother tells her eight-
months-old: ‘Just a little bit more, this will make you strong and healthy....’

The tribals know of only one ‘cure’ for all diseases, be it goitre or stomachache, fever
or cancer - branding with a hot iron sickle.

In Chhattisgarh (Madhya Pradesh, India), they call this ‘Damhah’, an ancient practice
of treating all diseases. It was initially prevalent among the Korku tribe of Central
India, but now it has become popular with even the Gonds and the Banjaras. It
thrives in the remote tribal villages of Bastar, Dantewara in Chattisgarh, Jhabua and
Betul in South Madhya Pradesh, India....

What about more conventional cures? Tablets and capsules - how can they be any
good, ask the tribals. Their message is clear: ‘you have to suffer to rid your body of
an ailment....’ ‘Damhah’ does.”

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CHAPTER 16b
POVERTY IS A STIFF BILL OF GOODS
“The greatest POVERTY in the world is not the want of food but the want of love.
The POVERTY of the heart is often more difficult to relieve and to defeat.”
– Anonymous
“Work among the poor, suffering people, give whole hearted free service to the
poorest of the poor. Try to bring tender love and compassion to the unwanted, to the
unloved. Our works of love reveal to the suffering poor the love of GOD for them.”
– Anonymous
It is only in the Twentieth Century that POVERTY and the poor have come to be
matters of our concern and obligation. Just why are people so hungry? Why is it that
so many in our world go without adequate food? How do problems such as
deforestation, over – population and desertification contribute to POVERTY, in say,
Africa? (Africa needs a new direction: development in Africa must arise out of famine
relief and rehabilitation to end the vicious cycle). Good development must be people-
centered. It requires time, sensitivity and culturally - appropriate planning and
technology. Credit for all with education may be a good alternative. Sustainable
livelihoods may be good too as an approach to POVERTY. However, we are working
in a world where quick fixes don’t exist. IT TAKES YEARS TO ADDRESS THE
ROOT CAUSES OF POVERTY. But impart LOVE TO A POOR MAN, AND HE
STARTS RESPONDING TO YOU. THEREFORE, IT IS SAID LASTING CHANGE
DEPENDS ON FIRSTLY LOVE, THEN LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS AND
AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIP WITH COMMUNITIES. Corporate intervention helps.
Before we discuss what causes POVERTY, let us quote Gurudev Rabindranath
Tagore: -

“I Slept
And dreamt that life was all joy
I awoke
And saw life was but service
I served
And understood that service was
God, was joy.”
WHAT CAUSES POVERTY?
David Elesh (1973) has given three causes of POVERTY: –
I) INDIVIDUAL: – If one ends up in POVERTY, it is his own fault, because he is
lazy, dull, and inefficient or lacks initiative. This ideology maintains that
POVERTY is good for society because the fittest will survive.
II) CULTURE OR SUBCULTURE OF POVERTY: – This concept suggests that
despite economic changes, the poor have remained so because of their
culture or subculture, which fosters behavior and values, associated with
POVERTY. It has kept the poor out of the mainstream of industrial society.

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The first cause ignores the humanity aspect. How can we ignore a group of
people simply because they do not fit into Darwin’s theory. Besides, it is NOT
THEIR FAULT THAT THEY HAVE REMAINED POOR, THEY HAVE NOT
CHOSEN TO REMAIN POOR.
III) SOCIAL STRUCTURE: – Sociologists link POVERTY to social structure or to
“miserable and unjust social conditions”- our social institutions, our economy,
low educational attainment, lack of employable skills, long-term
unemployment or under- employment. Over - population causes an additional
burden on society and perpetuates POVERTY.

 ECONOMIC CAUSES: – We have to understand the difference between


people engaged in work and those not engaged in work. This may be
examined in terms of the following five factors: inadequate development,
inflationary pressures, lack of capital, lack of skill in workers and
unemployment.

 DEMOGRAPHIC CAUSES: – Population growth is the most important factor in


POVERTY. India is all set to become the most populated country in the world.
(AT PRESENT, CHINA IS THE MOST POPULATED COUNTRY IN THE
WORLD). According to one estimate, the per capita consumption expenditure
(PCCE), i.e. the minimum amount required per person per year for food,
shelter, health, education or to maintain a minimum standard at the 1981 price
level in 2001 would be Rs. 1032 and the per capita income (PCI) per year at
6% annual growth rate would be Rs. 3,285.

 MORE MOUTHS TO FEED: – IF THE PRESENT INEQUALITY OF INCOME


IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES PERPETUATES, THE LOWEST
PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WILL BE BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. IT IS
THEREFORE, ESSENTIAL, THAT ALL EFFORTS TOWARDS POPULATION
CONTROL MUST CONTINUE. IT HAS BEEN OBSERVED THAT POVERTY,
AGE STRUCTURE AND HEALTH ARE INTER-RELATED AND
INTERDEPENDENT. If a person is healthy, he is not only able to earn but he
spends less on his sickness. If a large number of people in the country suffer
from chronic malnutrition or live in an unclean environment, they suffer from
many diseases, which make them incapable of working and earning.
POVERTY is correlated to ‘increase in family size’ as well. The larger the
family, the lower the standard of living. Business families are exceptions.
Lastly, the “educational level” of the people in the country also contributes to
POVERTY.

 SOCIAL CAUSES: – Discrimination, prejudices, casteism, communalism (in


India) and parochialism also affect employment opportunities and the gross
income.

 CLIMATE is another reason for POVERTY. Hot climates reduce the capacity
to work hard. No wonder, cool, hilly regions are more prosperous, though not
necessarily.

 ONE THING WORTH NOTING: – THE “WARS” AND “THREATS OF WARS”


FORCE COUNTRIES TO DIVERT THEIR MINDS TOWARDS DEFENCE
INSTEAD OF DEVELOPMENT.

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ARE THERE NO PROBLEMS OF THE POOR???
ARE THERE NO PAINS OF POVERTY???
CAN ANYBODY DENY THIS???
THE STARK TRUTH IS…
AND NO ONE CAN DENY IT…
POVERTY IS VERY PAINFUL!!!!!
HOW????
WE WANT AN ANSWER!!!!!!

We want an answer to all of the following:


I) SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION AND SOCIAL CONDEMNATION: – IN THE
THIRD WORLD, EMPLOYERS, THE RICH, THE OFFICIALS AND EVEN
THE GOVERNMENT LOOK DOWN UPON THE POOR. THEY ARE
CONSIDERED A BURDEN ON SOCIETY. THEY ARE HARASSED,
HUMILIATED AND DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AT EVERY LEVEL. NOW
EFFORTS ARE COMING IN, BUT STILL THEY HAVE TO FACE THE
CHALLENGES OF ILLITERACY AND SOCIAL PREJUDICE. THE HOSTILE
ATTITUDES OF SOCIETY AT EVERY STAGE LOWERS THEIR SELF-
IMAGE, CREATES IN THEM A FEELING OF INFERIORITY, AND CURBS
THEIR EFFORTS OF GAINING MEANS TO HELP THEMSELVES.
II) HOUSING: – HOUSELESSNESS, OVERCROWDING, SLUMS AND
RENTAL LAWS ARE SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN URBAN AREAS. THE
HOUSES OF THE POOR ARE NOT ONLY OVERCROWDED BUT LACK
PRIVACY. Their CHILDREN are driven out into the streets. Family tensions
affect their personality and behavior.
III) SUBCULTURE OF POVERTY: – POVERTY is a VICIOUS CIRCLE. “When
POVERTY is transmitted over generations, it becomes a culture”, according to
Oscar Lewis. Their CHILDREN inherit a subculture of violence, which
becomes a part of their lifestyle. This in turn becomes a medium for solving
petty and / or difficult problems. Purchasing power of the poor is very low.
WORKING INNOVATIVELY TO COMBAT POVERTY (LARGELY RURAL): There
is no ultimate panacea for POVERTY.
I) POPULATION CRISIS MANAGEMENT (INTERVENTION): – “Man’s fate, like
that of all living creatures, depends on a planet with limited resources. His
environment will ultimately control his numbers. If he does not use his powers
of reason to curb population growth, nature will do the job for him. No species
can endure if it exceeds its resources.”
- Anonymous
What has accentuated POVERTY in the Third World is the lack of modern outlook in
the people wherein they go on producing CHILDREN. The primary task, therefore,
should be to control population by persuasion, if we can, and by coercion, if it comes
to that. (However, this runs contrary to our principle that “No change should be

156
forced but implemented”). It is also the time to build a POLITICAL CONSENSUS ALL
OVER THE WORLD on population control. MAKING EDUCATION FREE AND
COMPULSORY will also help in changing the outlook of the people, which in turn is
necessary for control over population.
“Family Planning”??????
“Family welfare” ???????
It means having CHILDREN by choice. This makes it possible not to have
CHILDREN when parents do not want them. The need of the hour is to transform
any population program into a gigantic PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT.
In this great task, the following have to play an important role:
The corporate sector
The unions / workers
Incentives and disincentives
Women’s organizations
NGOs / voluntary organizations
Cooperatives and
IEC (Information Education Communication) - mass media, population education
committees and inter-personal communication committees.
AN EFFECTIVE FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAM
THE PROGRAM CONTENT
(A) MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH CARE:
Through FW centers: Medical checkup of pregnant mothers, treatment facilities,
labor care, CHILD CARE clinics and immunization.
Counseling: Motivational work, clinical consultations, home visits, education and
awareness.
(B) STERILIZATION SERVICES
Methods Adopted
a) Vasectomy – Urban FW planning centers, overall trend declining ;
b) Tubectomy – Field “camps”, examinations and follow-ups.
(C) METHODOLOGY FOR MOTIVATION TOWARDS PLANNED FAMILY NORMS:
These are: “Extension approach”, mobile vans, field services, special motivational
and population education programs, the media, work done by national and
international NGO’s, “STREET PLAYS”, doorstep delivery of services, MONETARY
INCENTIVES, literacy programs, emancipation of women, participation of local
leaders and voluntary workers, dance/drama, charts / hoardings / banners /
population theme songs, Sex education, counseling, research and training / therapy ,
“outreach” to employed youth (taxi drivers, railstation workers ) through picture
lectures and peer counseling.
“In the past twenty years…man has demonstrated his skill at enabling large numbers
of people to survive, who would not have survived in the past – but to survive in

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POVERTY, in ignorance, in sickness, often in degradation. This is at heart what the
population problem is about, not about numbers but about the QUALITY of human
life throughout the world.”
- Anonymous
In clarifying the interrelationships between population and many facets of social and
economic conditions, it has been recognized that the private sector has an important
role in social development and can be a very useful channel for the delivery of
reproductive health care / family planning services and the provision of education
and information relevant to population and development programs.
Let us explore innovative approaches to strengthen the partnership between
governments, international and non-governmental organizations and the corporate
sector with the aim of increasing the overall impact of population and development
activities through CORPORATE CONSULTATIVE MEETINGS including business
sessions and field visits. A corporate sector entity can achieve so much in promoting
social development. The role and potential of the corporate sector in reproductive
health and family planning does not need any elaboration, keeping in view the fact
that it employs millions of people in every country. When the most intelligent and the
top brass of corporate giants decide to take initiatives at the national level as
partners in national action plans with government, international agencies and NGOs
for launching innovative approaches in harmony with local social and economic
needs, any venture is bound to succeed.
A corporate enterprise has certain social responsibilities (GOOD CORPORATE
CITIZENSHIP) to its customers, shareholders, employees and the communities
within which it functions.
Social investments can result in HUMAN HAPPINESS. Programs for population and
family planning are no more a social responsibility undertaken on a voluntary basis
by the corporate sector, but a social imperative. Social factors are as important as,
and as integral to economic growth as economic factors. In order to promote
sustainable development, both social and economic issues should be taken together
and not compartmentalized. Well devised family planning programs, reproductive
and sexual health, literacy and education for both boys and girls, women’s
empowerment and development, population, youth concerns and employment, for
instance, come to my mind.
II) EDUCATION: –
“If you are thinking one year ahead, plant rice,
If you are thinking 10 years ahead, plant trees, and
If you are thinking 100 years ahead, EDUCATE PEOPLE.”
- A Chinese Proverb
“I WILL SIGN MYSELF.... THE JOY OF LEARNING”
“THE UNBEARABLE, WRETCHED CONDITION OF THE POOR WORLDWIDE
CAN ONLY BE RELIEVED THROUGH EDUCATION. Education will arouse in them
self-consciousness, making them aware of their helpless conditions and instill in
them self-help and perseverance. Education is the only vehicle that establishes

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communication between man and the outer world where he looks upon himself as a
living entity. Consciousness is the true identity of man and it is stimulated only
through education.”(Anonymous)
PROGRAMS ON LITERACY have been going on for quite sometime. The degree of
success is dependent on several factors, one of the important ones being the
methodology adopted. We can promote free distance learning programs for the poor.
We can have a common room with a television set, where education can be
imparted in the vernacular. Literacy programs FOR WOMEN need A DIFFERENT
APPROACH AND STRATEGY. A normal program would firstly have to face shyness
in adults. It would require that women devote time exclusively for classes. Such
standard approach is unlikely to be successful for the simple reason that for the
illiterate rural woman, her domestic duties and chores are of greater importance than
studies. A more pertinent strategy would be the implementation of the program in
such a way that studies mix with her normal work, which makes it adaptable. We
could motivate literate girls or boys to select 2-3 women each from their related
families and friends. They could be sitting together whenever convenient for both
sides i.e. CHILDREN and women e.g. while cooking, cleaning around the house etc.
This can generate a lot of interest. However, this model needs to be implemented on
a “pilot” basis in some villages before large-scale implementation.
III) THE LIFELINE EXPRESS: - the unique HEALTH MISSION with a healing
touch…: -
A different mission is the “Lifeline Express”. Is it asking for the moon to have a
“LIFELINE EXPRESS” IN EVERY THIRD WORLD COUNTRY?
Alternatively, why not have helicopters to reach inaccessible places!!
Over and above this, we should also encourage more and more ‘Heal the World’
medical relief teams.
LET US HOPE MEDICAL SCIENCE WIPES OUT DISEASE FROM THE FACE OF
THIS PLANET, AND THE BENEFITS OF MEDICAL SCIENCE BE TAKEN TO THE
POOR. (An example, based on the same philosophy, is the work being done by the
“Center for Disease Control and Prevention” in the United States).
Now, about the “Lifeline Express”: Far away from most of us in many villages of rural
India, where our farmers reap harvest after harvest for us, modern medicine is yet to
find a foothold, and for some time, this distance had yet an indelible but preventable
scar, that of physical disability: however, many of them have cause for hope,
because with regard to HEALTH, crisscrossing across the country is the “Life-Line
Express” – a fully staffed hospital on wheels with a unique mobile medical mission
which seeks to bridge India’s remote rural areas with modern medical practices.
THIS STEP EPITOMISES AN INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE WHICH BEGAN OVER
15 YEARS AGO IN ENGLAND, TO PREVENT AND CURE AVOIDABLE
DISABLEMENT. In 1983, the UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and governments of
participating countries formalized this movement to create an international
organization called “Impact”. India was chosen as the site for the global launch of
this initiative. The project began with a journey to Khelari in the coal belt of Eastern
India in July - August 1991.

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It is important for the CORPORATE SECTOR to intervene in the health sector, as a
part of its SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. It could fund research into ‘tropical disease’,
like tropical sprue, dengue, malaria, filaria, cholera, hepatitis - B etc. The corporate
sector in coalition with NGOs and governments could also fund inoculation and
vaccination projects. The world’s big companies in vaccines and antibiotics (e.g.
SmithKline Beecham Inc.) can contribute in a large way to eradicating the diseases
that devastate the developing world. It need not be over emphasized that the health
care industry has to play an important role – 14.5 million people die every year from
malaria, 10 million from the effects of tapeworm. Billions can be invested in new
medicines. It is essential that the health industry should be involved in tackling the
health issues that so fundamentally affect development.
IV) CORPORATE PARTNERSHIP: -
The primary aim of creating jobs in developing countries is important, but influencing
attitudes to private enterprise is equally vital. Companies should develop closer
partnership with international agencies and NGOs. Key issues are – economic
efficiency, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, and ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION. The
issue of CHILD LABOR in Asia (and elsewhere) should be tackled. Almost a billion
adults (30% of the world’s adult population) are illiterate. More effective results can
be achieved by making LITERACY MORE RELEVANT, through a focus on rural
appraisal and development. The private sector should collaborate to scale up these
small-scale pilot programs and make a real impact. The private sector could work
with NGOs, agencies, partners, governments and LOCAL COMMUNITIES in
promoting improved LITERACY standards.
Business can assist, for example, by providing IT facilities. In Tilonia (Rajasthan,
India), for example, rural women using solar-powered computers have spent time
inputting and analyzing vital health data, such that these women could train
CHILDREN attending night school. Unfortunately, there is a real danger that
business and development agencies undermine the self-sufficiency of rural (and
urban) communities.
The multi - pronged principles of development are as follows:
 To de-professionalize development by helping ordinary people meet their needs
(SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) ;
 To use an integrated approach in meeting social and environmental needs,
emphasizing basic education and appropriate technology such as solar power,
pumps and machinery which villages could maintain themselves.
V) CREATING EMPLOYMENT: –
Certain kinds of economic activities do not create sustainable jobs, in the light of
POVERTY alleviation. To this group belong all large industries, using a lot of capital
or requiring import of machinery, components and raw materials. As such, SMALL
AND COTTAGE INDUSTRIES AND AGRICULTURE IN NEGLECTED AREAS, as
employment generating sources, now need to be identified, and credit and tax
incentives need to be channelized more intensely to these areas.
VI) DISTRIBUTIVE JUSTICE :–

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The problem of POVERTY is a problem of distribution. Atleast, the International
Court of Justice at The Hague, should intervene in such a manner that laws in
developing countries are so enacted and implemented that the rich do not escape
the paying of taxes.
VII) MAN-LAND OWNERSHIP :–
While land is limited, productivity can be increased to a large extent by the usage of
high technology. Even small holdings can be made profitable by proper irrigation
facilities, use of modern techniques and by diversification. LAND REFORMS should
be undertaken.
VIII) DECENTRALIZING PLANNING AND ITS EXECUTION :–
The village “Panchayats” and the municipal councils based on local resources and
the skills of the population (e.g. villagers, slum dwellers), should necessarily plan
programs in rural areas (and those in urban areas).
IX) AFFORDABLE HOUSING :–
Yes, the governments of developing countries in coalition with the corporate sector
can provide SUBSIDIZED housing and electricity to the poor. Actually, we should
look for more integrated solutions to the problem.
THE NEW MILLENNIUM SHOULD BE THE MILLENNIUM OF THE FARMER
(ACTUALLY THE POOR, HOW CAN WE IGNORE THE CITY POOR??? ) AND THE
ROLE OF THE CORPORATE SECTOR IS VERY IMPORTANT. Farmers may revolt
if liberalization (in any developing country) ignores agriculture. THE NEW
MILLENNIUM SHOULD BE THE ERA OF ‘PEOPLE-ISATION’. For instance, in New
Zealand, every dairy is owned by the farmer. Approximately, 70% of the dairying in
the United States is with co-operatives. These are experiences that are progressively
gaining momentum across the world.
These are the experiences we should learn from…
These are POVERTY related prescriptions, which can bring the poor closer…

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CHAPTER 17a
Following the Great Depression, shantytowns, “Hoovervilles”, sprang up in the great
cities of the United States, as unemployed and homeless families struggled for their
very survival.

- From Eleanor Roosevelt by David Winner.

The Missionaries of Charity have inspired a music cassette: ‘Flame in the Slum’
featuring songs by the Assembly of God Church Choir. The lyrics as well as the
music have been composed by Fr. I.C. Jacob, CHILDREN’S AID, Calcutta, India.
“And, Eleanor (Roosevelt) would be going into the hovels alongside ‘Scotts Run’,
one of the worst slums in the US at that time!”
As it is, men, women and CHILDREN in the Third World are no better off than
“guinea pigs” (they are facing the brunt of POVERTY, illiteracy and disease). Can we
not try out innovative experiments on them? Let us strengthen local innovation,
create opportunities for the poor to learn of successful practices in other parts of the
world, promote their replication and foster new forms of social experimentation,
which may lead to social changes on a wider scale.
The flight of people from the country to the cities in search of work is a problem in
most developing countries. Families leave their homes and farms in a desperate
attempt to find food and work, and often can find neither. The result is that cities
become overcrowded and the new arrivals have to build their homes where they can,
out of whatever they can find. Poor living conditions in the “big” cities of the world
lead inevitably to extremely bad health, POVERTY, crowded housing, poor
sanitation, crime, and other social problems... and much suffering....
“Locally rooted development programs in slums can encourage the inhabitants’
commitment to improving the quality of life....’-
To City dwellers, slums are embarrassing and most people show resignation in their
approach. Slums or ‘unintended cities’ have always been neglected, despite so
much environmental degradation...
Marked by poor sanitation, clogged drains, and encroachments, garbage (litter) and
during the rainy season, hellish conditions... Also, POVERTY, illiteracy,
unemployment, sometimes high infant mortality... lack of hygiene, of clean water,
and alcoholism is a major problem...
Only education can improve the lot of the slum-dwellers (including social and health
education)... Let us collect funds from the public and start primary schools in slum
areas.... But large numbers of CHILDREN still do not attend school even today.... Let
us build organizations of women from among the poor, train them for income
generation and help give voice to their concerns.... Common courtyards surrounded
by hutments can be turned into classrooms and voluntary help can be enlisted...
Adult literacy classes should be started... Illiterate women have been known to take
up cooking and cleaning jobs to support their CHILDREN through school... other
women are engaged in labor-intensive work or at odd jobs like making paper bags,
toys, etc. Let us form an inter-household community network to raise (some) finance
and form ‘co-operative(s)’ or ‘societies’...

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Given the acute nature of social and economic problems of slums, the only hope for
a sustainable long-term solution lies in a dweller-led movement.... A locally rooted,
systematically undertaken community development program is what is needed.”

- Source: Piloted Towards New Horizons, The Telegraph, India, 26 Mar,’ 98.

Migration from rural to urban areas, from small towns to larger ones, has pushed up
the rate of urbanization in cities and towns throughout the world... Solutions to such
questions may require some constitutional changes in the context of accountability
on the part of public servants... Science and technology need to be rationally applied
by town planners. Already an improved communication system has played a great
role in dispersed urban developments in developed countries...

There is an unequal distribution of resources and services between rural and


urban areas... some kind of equity is to be brought about in the standards of
living in rural and urban areas (through the provision of basics like fair-price
shops, education, health care and clean drinking water)... only a strong
commitment to development would solve unplanned urbanization.

- A former Chief Town Planner, West Bengal, India.

Slums are the areas of POVERTY and decadence, described by Nehru as the areas
of “the utmost form of human degradation, characterized by starvation, malnutrition,
disease, neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture, crime, vice and delinquency, illiteracy
and depression. The worst slums of the world are devoid of food, sanitation,
passage, water, electricity, light, ventilation, privacy, protection against disease,
health, medical care, and above all, hope. Mostly rural migrants inhabit these areas.
They are either in the middle of or at the periphery of a big city and are filled with
filth. In one or a couple of rooms, over a dozen human beings live and cook,
cohabitate and breed....

Growth of slums, overcrowding and pollution are some of the “Gifts” of our modern
civilization and can be attributed to factors like

a) Migration of rural masses


b) Low income
c) High cost of living in cities
d) Shortages of houses
e) Unplanned growth
f) Illiteracy and unbridled breeding
g) Exploitation and
h) Lack of political will....
The slum environment is conducive to the spread of several ailments viz.
communicable diseases, malnutrition, mental and physical retardation and
behavioral problems and is a slow poisoning process and it does not cause ripples in
political circles....

163
An Expert Committee of the UN included nine factors in living-health, nutrition,
housing, education, employment and working conditions, clothing, social security,
recreation and human rights and most of these are inadequate in slums...

“Community-Based Distribution” (CBD) of services, and nutrition education can be


of great help....

The ICDS or “Integrated CHILD Development Services” involve an “Anganwadi” -


literally, the “courtyard” - which is given or cheaply rented as a center for information
and help with CHILDcare. When the scheme does finally reach all the poor families
of India, it will still cost less than one percent of the nation’s GDP (James Grant,
“The State of the World’s CHILDREN”, 1987)

What can we do? To improve the health and welfare of slum dwellers, the state,
voluntary agencies (e.g. Rotary Clubs) and community workers need to commit
themselves. An “Integrated Minimum Needs program”, to ensure atleast two square
meals a day, clothing, sanitary housing, clean water and latrines, free vaccines and
doorstep medical treatment, family planning, iron and vitamin tablets and health
education, needs to be formulated....

Let us realize that slum dwellers can become a resource rather than a nuisance or
an encroachment on beautiful cities of our “beloved” planet!

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CHAPTER 17b
THE POOR ARE CLOSER TO YOU THAN YOU THINK
“TO KNOW THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY intellectually is not to understand it. It is
not by reading, taking a walk in the SLUMS, admiring and regretting that we come to
understand it and to discover what it has of bad and good. WE HAVE TO DIVE INTO
IT, LIVE IT, SHARE IT.”
– Mother Teresa
(Source of the following extract: An article by a reader at the LSE,
England)
All around us is the grim face of urban POVERTY. Yet, developing countries across
the world tend to associate POVERTY with rural areas. Therefore, there is a need to
analyze ways of understanding and responding to urban POVERTY.
Globally, patterns of POVERTY are changing. In 1980, there were twice as many
poor rural households as poor urban ones, but in the new millennium, more than half
the absolute poor are living in urban areas. The burden of POVERTY is being borne
increasingly by the world’s cities, particularly those of developing countries. Cities
and towns are blatantly ill equipped to deal with the impact of rapid urbanization.
This makes cities dysfunction and it puts at risk the stability of urban populations.
It is now acknowledged that the extent and depth of urban POVERTY is on the
increase. It is also being increasingly recognized that urban POVERTY has very
particular characteristics, forms and consequences. And yet, for many, POVERTY is
still seen as a rural problem.
The development of sustainable responses to urban POVERTY depends on a
deeper understanding, not only of the extent of urban POVERTY, but of the
processes by which it is created, perpetuated as also ways in which it may be
ameliorated. Urban POVERTY alleviation should remain firmly on the policy agenda.
Proximity of the urban poor to hospitals and clinics, in no way guarantees their
admission to care, or alters the fact that they are intimidated by the alien
environment and often haughty or hostile treatment they receive while waiting for
attention. FOR INSTANCE, IT CAME OUT IN THE NEWSPAPERS IN INDIA THAT
A SLUM-WOMAN WAS THROWN OUT OF A CITY HOSPITAL WHEN SHE WAS IN
LABOR, SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE COULD NOT FURNISH HER HUSBAND’S
NAME. SHE WAS NOT LITERATE ENOUGH.
“URBAN PARTICIPATORY APPRAISAL” (I have spoken of it much earlier, in
CHAPTER 2) will prove to be an effective means of understanding POVERTY
through the perceptions of the poor themselves. People in urban low-income
communities and slums emphasize not only material deprivation but also exposure
to risk, vulnerability and insecurity. Ill health may be a major fear, while death of a
breadwinner is the factor that most commonly may propel people into POVERTY.
We are able also to focus attention on the particular interests and needs of different
groups amongst the urban poor, such as the single-headed households, women-
maintained families, the elderly, CHILDREN in difficult circumstances, and those that
are vulnerable in the face of violence and issues of public safety, such as young
women and youth.

165
Rural POVERTY is more widespread and intense. But simply to conclude, that in
urban areas, the poor have greater material and human resources, income earning
opportunities and life chances than their counterparts in the countryside, can lead to
policy outcomes which penalize the urban poor for their very resourcefulness, while
ignoring the particular problems they face. PROBABLY THE WORST OFF ARE
CHILDREN IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, LIKE STREET-CHILDREN.
Urban POVERTY has particular causes, characteristics and consequences, which
need to be understood in their own right. The increasing concentration of POVERTY
in cities derives from both demographic and economic factors, including the fact that
THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF ECONOMIC REFORM MEASURES HAS FALLEN ON
THE URBAN POOR.
Economic factors are obviously important in understanding urban POVERTY.
However, a focus on income and consumption provides only half the picture. It is
important also to be alert to other sources of deprivation and vulnerability. The urban
poor are subject to additional stress factors such as insecurity of tenure or residence,
physical danger and violence, harassment by urban Mafia, officialdom and the
police.
SOCIAL STATUS: – The urban poor also suffer by overcrowding, lack of privacy
and health hazards. And are the first in line as victims of environmental degradation.
Their social status as “unnotified” slum dwellers or as linguistic, ethnic or religious
minority groups, can increase their vulnerability, particularly in cities that are violently
contested political terrains. Ironically, the big sprawling slums have deplorable social
and ecological conditions but exercise voting power through their numbers. Smaller
settlements and slums located in the vicinity of upper and middle-income
neighborhoods are of little interest to politicians and of great aggravation to more
powerful citizens.
URBAN POVERTY IS HETEROGENEOUS: – It is important to understand the
heterogeneity of urban POVERTY, not only from the region of city to another, but
within cities, neighborhoods and even households themselves.
The focus on the urban household, while an important step forward makes invisible
the contribution to household well-being of different household members.
The primary focus has been on women. This is partly because of the success of the
“Women in Development” lobby in keeping gender issues alive and in focus, and
partly because of a growing recognition that the individual, household and collective
survival strategies of women, have been vital for the sustainability of poor urban
households and communities in times of economic and social stress. Women and
more particularly women-headed households, have also been identified as being
among the poorest of the poor, and have become important targets for
compensatory measures and POVERTY alleviation programs.
Age is also an important variable in understanding urban POVERTY processes.
Cities are facing the problem of aging populations while at the same time becoming
increasingly youthful: – greater attention is being paid to problems faced by street
CHILDREN, CHILDREN in difficult circumstances and more recently urban youth,
but our understanding of the particular experiences of the elderly poor in urban areas
is extremely limited.

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SOCIAL CONFLICT: – Before we discuss social conflict in the cities, let us observe
a minute of silence: –

!! Om Shanti!!
!! A salutation to PEACE!!
SOCIAL CONFLICT IN CITIES DERIVES FROM POVERTY. Here we can equally
refer to domestic violence in households when frustrated unemployed males resort
to alcohol; to outbreaks of communal or inter-ethnic conflict under conditions of
competition for scarce resources within overcrowded neighborhoods; to violence
associated with the influx of refugees or rural migrants; or to organized violence
stemming from authoritarian regimes, poorly trained police forces, private armies,
urban warlords and the Mafia. In all such cases, the poor suffer the brunt of conflict,
experienced differently on the basis of sex, age and status, and POVERTY seems to
feed such differences.

URBAN POVERTY AND PUBLIC ACTION: – The last decade has seen the
international donor community deliver a “new urban agenda” which derives from
demographic and environmental concerns about urban areas, and an acceptance of
the crucial economic and political role of cities in national development. POVERTY
alleviation is considered a priority area for action. A key opportunity is presented by
the “new urban agenda” to focus on POVERTY at the level of the city and to
fostering an integrated approach to urban POVERTY reduction (in fact, my view on a
“holistic” approach should be “ERADICATION”).

Actions to address urban POVERTY have been consistently constrained by the


inadequacy of resources both at the national and the metro level, by fears of
alienating the urban elite and by poor management of POVERTY alleviation
programs and projects, leading to frequent failures to reach the targeted poor.

Globally, the balance of responsibility for urban areas has started shifting among the
public, private and community sectors. Current thinking has accepted that the public
sector alone cannot meet the needs and aspirations of urban populations and that
new forms of cooperation and partnership have to muster a broad complement of
material and human resources to address urban problems.

WHAT THE CORPORATE SECTOR CAN DO:

With most Third-World companies situated in urban areas, there isn’t too far in order
to find out how one can be useful. Management skills and resources, which the
corporate sector is so thoroughly equipped with, could be applied for urban
POVERTY management – in collaboration with the government, NGOs or even
individually.

The term “COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT” connotes the process by which the


efforts of the people themselves are united with those of government authorities,
NGOs and companies to improve the economic and social conditions of slum
communities. The philosophy behind the urban community development project is,
that any neighborhood, no matter how poor, can do something to improve itself by its
own efforts, and that any approach for outside help should be resorted to, only after
it has exhausted its own resources fully. The aim and objective of these projects is to

167
change the attitudes and motivation of the people and community rather than to
affect social welfare. The object is not so much to take social service to the
underprivileged as to evoke in them a desire for self-reliance. Also, achievements in
the field of organization of physical improvement, health and sanitation, education
and economic programs would be beneficial. Here again, the corporate sector would
be helpful.

I do not remember who had said this, but it is worthwhile noting the basic theme:

“The problem is not merely of old slums but of the creation of new slums. It is
obvious that we shall never solve it unless we stop completely the formation of
slums.”

Before we do that, we have to think of the slum dwellers and those without a home.
The worst off are CHILDREN in difficult circumstances like street CHILDREN.

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CHAPTER 18a
“Loafers” and “Wasters”, were bored, often delinquent boys who roamed the streets
smoking and getting into trouble.... But it was not the fault of the boys - they were
going wrong, only for want of hands to guide them the right way towards being
useful.

- From Robert Baden - Powell by Julia Courtney.

1. ‘I was 12 years old when I ran away from home and reached New Delhi Railway
Station. It was strange and frightening. People were using needles on each other
and older boys were sodomising the younger ones. It was so open....’

This is the voice of a CHILD huddled in the shadows of the Indian Capital’s Railway
Stations next to the glitz and glitter of Connaught Place (the market)... such
CHILDREN stumble through their childhood and adolescence scratching out a living
at the stations, sitting on the grimy tracks.. chasing heroin, raping and sodomising
the young and the vulnerable among themselves.

They spend violent nights month after month, year after year, on the platforms, in the
dingy hovels next to the tracks.

Pallab Das’s documentary film “The Unseen” made for the UNICEF uncovers the
dark underbelly of the Indian Capital - the hidden violence that devastates hundreds
of street CHILDREN, trapping them in a dungeon of drugs, sex and AIDS....

And so they say, these are ‘Platforms of plundered innocence....’

From “Time” magazine - Jan 15, 2001:

“I’d rather stay down here than at the shelter. No one pays attention to me there. I’ll
stay here with my friend until my baby comes.”

-Altanchimeg, 17 and eight months pregnant.

“My father cannot work so I dropped out of school and carry heavy sacks of flour at
the train station to pay for food.”

- Enkhmunkh, 12.

“Kids at the mines collect the coal dropped by the bulldozers. What they don’t need
to keep themselves warm, they sell them.”

- Oyun, UNICEF Project officer in Ulan Bator, Cambodia.

When the temperature plummets to - 30 °C, the warmest place in Ulan Bator is the
sewer. For the nearly 4,000 homeless CHILDREN in the capital of Mongolia, it is a
choice between going underground and ‘death’. Kids sleep, cook and play beneath
the manhole covers.... Families in post Communist Mongolia suffer economic
despair, alcoholism, domestic violence and sexual abuse, driving a large number of
CHILDREN to the streets. And after a severe drought and the loss of cattle to

169
exposure last year, Mongolia is going through yet another difficult winter... Local
shelters offer day schooling and day meals, but during the nights, the CHILDREN go
into the tunnels, staying close to the hot-water pipes for warmth.... During warmer
times, these street-kids do odd jobs: portering at the train station, gathering loose
coal at the mines or scrap metal at the dump.... for food....

And, so Ulan Bator’s army of homeless CHILDREN struggles to survive another


frigid winter. By begging, stealing, scavenging and seeking warmth in the sewers....

From The Telegraph, 26 Feb., 2001: Villages of health and hope: Irishwoman
plans twin centers for street-CHILDREN to grow amid security, love and a family
atmosphere: “She is the locality’s universal ‘mom’ providing education, shelter,
healthcare and protection to street CHILDREN near Triangular Park, for well over a
decade now. But Edith Wilkins, born in Cork, Ireland (yes, she deserves
attention!)...wants to “give Calcutta more”.

Edith…now wants to fulfil her ultimate dream, in Calcutta - setting up twin villages for
kids, to give them, a total family atmosphere with surrogate parents.

The ‘Health Village’ and ‘Asha’ will cost around £400,000 each. The Health Village
will have a mini-hospital for street CHILDREN, a hospice ...a special unit for
malnourished CHILDREN and a CHILD - orientation center.

Edith feels CHILDREN are on the streets for various reasons - dysfunctional
families, POVERTY, alcoholism, abuse.... And our aim is to give them security, love
and a family atmosphere.”

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CHAPTER 18b
WE GROW UP ON THE STREETS
To CHILDREN: –
“The direction that society will take tomorrow depends mainly on the minds and
hearts of today’s CHILDREN. You are called to build up human society. As
CHILDREN, you have at your disposal, abundant means that you must learn to know
and appreciate fully.”
– Mother Teresa
To Society: –
“Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and
happier. Be a living expression of God’s kindness, kindness in your face, kindness in
your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness to your warm greeting. To CHILDREN,
to the poor, to all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile. GIVE THEM
NOT ONLY YOUR CARE, BUT ALSO YOUR HEART.”
-Anonymous

“STREET-CHILDREN’, as they call themselves, are CHILDREN IN DIFFICULT


CIRCUMSTANCES, are CHILDREN who have run away from home, the slums,
often from violence, and become part of a vast community of ragpickers, shoe-shine
boys, hawkers and ‘odd jobbers’, living a rough life on city streets. They live in a
complex world of sorrows and joys. They have their visions of life and work in the
streets.”
As they grow up on the streets, STREET CHILDREN become increasingly
vulnerable to DRUG peddlers, ALCOHOLISM and CRIME. Further, these
CHILDREN are exploited as CHILD LABOR. CHILD LABOR and CHILD ABUSE
are very common in developing countries. It has also been estimated that a vast
majority of “juvenile delinquents” are homeless, urban CHILDREN, who eventually
land up on the streets.
Despite hectic planning, welfare programs, legislation and administrative action in
the developing countries, a majority of THIRD WORLD CHILDREN continue to
remain in distress and turmoil. In most cases, parents neglect them and employers
sexually abuse them. Millions of CHILDREN from among the urban poor are
compelled by economic considerations to join the labor force. India has the dubious
distinction of having the largest number of the world’s working CHILDREN. (One-
Fourth of the world’s CHILD Labor Force).
The major cause of CHILD abuse is “Adaptational failure” or maladjustment in the
environment (both in the family and in the work place) mostly on the part of the adult
perpetrators (parents, employers) but to some extent on the part of adults
responsible for family socialization as well. The types of abuse on CHILDREN are
physical, sexual and emotional. Bolton and Bolton (1987) have identified eight
possible effects of abuse on CHILDREN, namely, self-evaluation (the loss of self-
esteem), dependency, mistrust, revictimization, withdrawal from people, emotional
trauma, deviant behavior, and inter-personal problems.

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One Beautiful Overture
STREET CHILDREN IN ONE PART OF INDIA ARE NOW AN ORGANIZED
GROUP, THANKS TO SENSITIVE INTERVENTION BY SPARC, THE NSDF, AND
THE MAHILA MILAN (WOMEN’S GROUP). THESE CHILDREN NOW INTERACT
WITH CITY OFFICIALS BUT MANAGE THEIR OWN LIVES AND MAKE THEIR
OWN DECISIONS. THEY VOICE THEIR CONCERNS AND ARTICULATE THEIR
PROBLEMS AND NEEDS. THE “NIGHT SHELTER” IS ONE SUCH INITIATIVE
THAT DEVELOPED THROUGH THIS INTERACTION.THE CHILDREN
THEMSELVES MANAGE THE SHELTERS WITH SUPPORT FROM THE TRI-NGO
ALLIANCE AND THE ONLY DECISIONS LEFT TO PROFESSIONALS ARE THOSE
THAT CONCERN HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES.
LET US HAVE “SPONSORED TOWNSHIPS” WITH CARETAKERS FOR ALL
UNFORTUNATE CHILDREN.
We shall now devote a prayer to a highly deprived category called “Beggars”.

172
CHAPTER 19a
We do not know just how many people die alone on the streets. How many
wash, eat, live and die on the road-sides of major cities of the world. Just how
many line the gateways to temples, shrines, etc., begging for alms?

Let us pursue projects that can rebuild communities e.g. street repairs... and public
works like cleanliness and sanitation... To tackle POVERTY and unemployment....
High time we begun....

The benefits of globalization are not being fully realized for all our people, especially
in the developing world where income distribution has become more unequal.
Globalization must help the poor (by creating more jobs for “the Poor”, for instance,
in a restaurant or hotel, replacing dishwashers with human hands, although it may
not actually be a very practicable solution).

“Until she (Mother Teresa) could accommodate her lepers in proper settlements....
they would still go out to beg in the streets of Calcutta if they wanted to ... If she
happened to see them when they had come back, she would ask them how they had
done.”

- Malcolm Muggeridge, from “Something Beautiful for God”.

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CHAPTER 19b
I MAKE MY LIVING BY BEGGING
“When I pick up a hungry person from the street, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of
bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the
person who has been thrown out of society – that spiritual POVERTY is much harder
to overcome.”
– Anonymous
“Charity begins today,
Today somebody is suffering,
To day somebody is in the street,
Today somebody is hungry
Our work is for today, yesterday has gone,
tomorrow has not yet come, we have only today to make
Jesus known, loved, served,
fed, clothed, sheltered.
Do not wait for tomorrow.
Tomorrow we will not have them
If we do not feed them today.”

– Anonymous

“None of us, I am sure knows what is the pain of hunger, but one day, I learned it
from a little CHILD. I found the CHILD in the street and I saw in her face that terrible
hunger that I have seen in many eyes.”
– Mother Teresa
The personality of the beggar is one of complete dependence and constant
expectation. It is well said that by begging, a person lets loose from his self five of his
presiding deities: shame, lustre, confidence, intelligence and self-esteem. Such
demoralized persons do not hesitate to lie, impersonate, adopt any trick or even take
to crime. Rehabilitation of beggars can take place if there are well-managed beggar
homes. But in India, these are few and far between. There are still thousands of
beggars roaming in the streets and lining approaches to temples and shrines.
Although officials are sympathetic, the rehabilitation of beggars is a daunting task
ahead of all of us.
As per a particular press report in India, although a few beggars are relatively well
off, the conditions of a majority of the dying, the destitute, the lonely, the homeless
and the elderly remain pathetic.

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CHAPTER 20a
I believe that the best way

to serve
the poor and the underprivileged
is to
walk hand in hand with them
and allow God to show you the way.

People all over the world could identify with Charles Spencer Chaplin (Charlie
Chaplin)... who looked forlorn and lonely in his films - one of life’s losers. But, despite
life’s difficulties, he always won in the end - somehow becoming a symbol to the
poor, the failures and the losers of the world.
- Source: David Robinson: Chaplin: His Life and Art.
POVERTY gave Charlie Chaplin a passionate desire to see the underdog succeed
and to fight against the injustices of the world. His courage gave a lot of people hope
and laughter in the face of their own problems.
Do we have “Homes” for the people who wash, clean, eat, live and perish on the
roadsides of India??? And for that matter, (of) the world???
Let us start our work by picking up one dying person from the street... To Mother
Teresa, the important thing was that each person died with the feeling of being
loved.
“In these twenty years of work amongst the people, I have come more and more to
realize that it is being unwanted that is the worst disease that any human being can
ever experience. Nowadays we have found medicine for leprosy and lepers can be
cured.... For all kinds of diseases there are medicines and cures. But for being
unwanted, except that there are willing hands to serve and there’s a loving heart to
love, I don’t think this terrible disease can ever be cured.”
- Mother Teresa.
Loneliness is a disease, a “POVERTY” worse than lack of food, warmth or shelter...
whether in London or in New York: people relegated to “cold” rooms or boxes in the
street, by a wealthy society...
To combat destitution, let us set up welfare systems to protect the weakest members
of society....
‘.... We reached a cluster of huts.... The well outside was filled over with sand and
inside we found Sabhayi, 80 plus, nearly blind and all alone. Her sons and their
families had all left due to dearth of food. She (Sabhayi) did not have the energy to
travel with them. So, they left her alone. She had no time to be asked questions
about what she ate and how she would survive... This poor, elderly woman was
trapped in solitude...’
- ‘Sands of Solitude’, The Telegraph, India, April 2000.

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CHAPTER 20b
LET US CARE FOR THE DYING, THE DESTITUTE, THE LONELY,
THE HOMELESS, THE ELDERLY AND THE INFIRM
“Where is God? He has made himself the hungry one, the naked one, the homeless
one, the lonely one and he says:
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to Me.”
– Mother Teresa

“He who serves the poor serves God.”


– Mahatma Gandhi

“In our home for the dying,


It is so beautiful to see,
People who are joyful,
People who are lovable,
People who are at PEACE,
In spite of terrible suffering.”
– Mother Teresa
“Pray, who will look after the senior citizens of the world. They have raised the
present generation. They deserve company.”
– Anonymous
”There are about 100 Million homeless in the world, of whom 3 million are in
America.”
“Help AGE world: The less privileged elderly need your love, care and compassion.”
– Anonymous
“Help AGE world: Let us build more old-age homes, let us donate in charity to old
age homes.”
– Anonymous
“We have homes for the sick and dying,
Destitutes,
And it is so beautiful to see how these people,
Who have lived such difficult lives,
Die with such contentment,
With such PEACE –
It really is unbelievable.
We picked one of them out of a drain once,

176
And brought him to the home for the dying,
I remember him saying:
‘I have lived like an animal in the street,
But I am going to die like an angel-loved and cared for…’
He had no fear,
We fear only when our conscience is not clear,
When we are afraid to face ourselves.
That is why so many people are afraid of death –
They are afraid of facing reality,
of facing self,
by looking at GOD.

A pure heart sees God,


and I think the poor people,
Live very much in the presence of God,
That is why they have no fear,
That is why they meet death with happiness,
I find that our people in the homes for the dying,
Our lepers and so on,
Their happiness at death,
Is not due to their being released from suffering,
It is because they are truly at PEACE – a PEACE which shines through in their
faces,
Although thousands of people die in our homes each year,
I have never yet seen anybody die in distress,
Or in despair,
Or restless...
They simply go home to God.”
– Mother Teresa
GOD HAS GIVEN A SPECIAL KIND OF SUFFERING TO REFUGEES AND
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.

177
CHAPTER 21a
Day by day, by building big dams, by destroying forests and foliage, by building big
missiles, big bombs - we are breaking ourselves.

In a speech given before the 29th Annual Meeting of the Central Board of Irrigation
and Power (17th Nov’, 58) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Ex. PM, India) said, “For some
time past, however, I have been beginning to think that we are suffering from what
we may call ‘The Disease of Gigantism’. We want to show that we can build big
dams and do big things. This is a dangerous outlook developing in India... The idea
of big - having big undertakings and doing big things for the sake of showing that we
can do big things (the country plans a space launch while innocent people are
starving???) - is not a good outlook at all. And ... it is... the small irrigation projects,
the small industries and the small plants for electric power, which will change the
face of the country for more than half a dozen big projects in half a dozen places.”
Dams provide irrigation and also power for domestic use and manufacturing
industry... and yet.... most of these dams displace people ....and the cost in terms of
human lives is enormous....
.... A large number of indigenous groups all over the world are adversely affected by
government projects in the name of development in the form of ‘displacement’ with
low rehabilitation... The tribals’ illiteracy, ignorance, gullibility and lack of knowledge
make them prone to suffering ...and democracy stands defeated.
Already many displaced people are awaiting rehabilitation... Can the government
show how land is available in actual for resettlement of all these displaced
persons?? ...The tribals are looted to the core and rehabilitation lies in the lifeless
official machinery papers....
Is the government not disturbing habitats and later harassing the tribals over
development and meager rehabilitation measures?
Call it, “Pinching the CHILD in the cradle and rocking the cradle when it cries...???”
People everywhere, often without realization, have been influenced by the cultures of
indigenous peoples through the foods on our tables, the words in our languages and
our daily medicines.
Many of the world’s staple foods, such as potatoes, lentils, peas, sugar cane, garlic
and tomatoes, were first cultivated by indigenous peoples. Indigenous languages of
the Americas are the source of familiar words like canoe, barbecue, squash and
moccasin. Truly, indigenous peoples have made a long-lasting contribution to
modern civilization.
Indigenous peoples are descendants of the original inhabitants of many lands. They
are of a variety of cultures, religions, societies and economic organization. Some are
hunters and gatherers, while others live in cities. But common to all is a strong sense
of their distinct cultures, the most salient feature being a special relationship to the
land.
Millions of the world’s indigenous peoples live across more than 70 countries.
Among them are the Indians of the Americas, the Inuit and the Aleutians of the
Poles, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia and the Maori of New

178
Zealand. There are also large numbers of indigenous people in Bolivia, Guatemala,
Peru, China, India and Myanmar (Burma).
Indigenous peoples are some of the most disadvantaged groups on Earth.
 Most of India’s tribal people live below the POVERTY line;
 The life expectancy of indigenous Northern Russians is much less than the
national average;
 Unemployment among Australia’s aborigines is five times the national
average;
 Those indigenous people who are integrated into a national society have to
face discrimination and exploitation in housing, education, language as
well as religion. Those living in their natural (traditional) territories have to put
up with disruption of their cultures and forced displacement as their lands and
natural resources are claimed in the name of national development. I am not
exaggerating when I am saying that some indigenous peoples actually live
under the threat of extinction.
So, just what is the status of indigenous peoples?
The growing awareness about human rights in the post-war era has not been
matched by parallel progress in enhancing the rights of indigenous groups.
 In 1979, the Parliament of Denmark granted self-government to Greenland and
jurisdiction over education, health care, social welfare and economic
development;
 Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico have adopted far-reaching laws on the
rights of indigenous people;
 The government of New Zealand and the National Maori Congress have been
engaged in a number of constructive dialogues;
 In Canada, indigenous groups have enhanced their visibility to create greater
protection of their lands and carve out new social and economic gains.
Despite their successes, indigenous peoples continue to lose their lands,
resources and identities.
Among the issues that concern indigenous peoples are:
 Land and resources;
 Human rights;
 Internal colonization;
 Self-Government;
 Self-Development;
 Environment;
 Discrimination;

179
 Health;
 Education;
 Language;
 Cultural Survival;
 Intellectual Property Rights;
 Social and economic conditions.
Indigenous peoples consider control over local economy, social planning, land use
and their natural resources essential to their existence. They are seeking greater
degrees of autonomy and self-rule.
The lives of the millions of indigenous people who inhabit the world’s tropical
rainforests are threatened by deforestation. It is true that indigenous people are
finding their environments being degraded, but it is also true that they have a vital
role to play in environmental protection. For centuries, they have engaged in
sustainable land management and land use in the areas in which they live.
Indigenous artwork and cultural artifacts are of high quality, and in great demand, but
very often, they are sold illegally. Thus, indigenous peoples are looking to secure the
right to their cultural property.
They (Indigenous peoples) are keen on maintaining their distinct cultures and
transmitting their cultural heritage to subsequent generations.
These peoples have been demanding justice from the international community for
many years. They are now active locally, regionally, nationally and internationally,
seeking respect for their cultures, ways of life and full participation in decisions
affecting them.
The indigenous people everywhere, spread over some 70 countries - have been
suffering inhumanities in the process of industrialization and colonialism.... But today,
they are no longer crying for charities and sympathy, but are claiming their rights to
their own lands and forests, to conduct their own affairs, form their own councils, to
gain full jurisdiction over such natural resources as minerals and forests, to run their
own local or regional administration, shape their own justice and education systems,
and to administer much of the national funds that would continue to flow to them.
When, oh! When, would, justice, for so long denied, be restored to them that they
may have the opportunity to shape their own destiny?
Dams and mines operated in the tribal region contribute to the establishment of
industries in these areas - dams to supply water and hydroelectricity. As major
projects begin and expand, and many subsidiary industries emerge to support them,
the tribals get evacuated away from industrial areas to abject POVERTY and gross
neglect into the outskirts.
Will those who are evacuated from the project areas receive priority in employment
with the industries established?
Development at whose cost? - The irony of the development process in India is
that the inhabitants of the areas where industries, mines and dams are undertaken,

180
have never been consulted about them, nor are the benefits of these projects shared
with them.
Private businessmen or entrepreneurs are not really the cause of the misery,
distress, environmental deterioration or uprooting of a people from their social and
moral milieu. More often than not, most planners and engineers, rooted in urban
areas of India, are far removed from realities. Hence the lack of sensitivity to the
distress of the displaced.
The rapid economic and industrial development of the country has made “Internal
Refugees” of the tribals in their own homeland. The weaker sections are not only
dispossessed of their traditional lands, they are also almost always deprived of the
benefits of the development process-the irrigated land, electricity and the products
and profits of factories. The development technology that independent India adopted
from the West continues to serve the interests of the rich who want luxury goods,
whereas the poor and their means of sustenance are looked upon only as cheap
labor and raw material for industrial production, for the rich to enjoy all the benefits.
The worst affected are the tribal people of this country.
What we need today is a people’s solution: It becomes imperative to incorporate
development schemes into the tribal ethos. The traditional social structures of
indigenous society need to be strengthened; traditional leadership needs to be
respected; lands and forests earlier belonging to tribal communities, should be
restored and placed under the management of tribal communities. And people
encouraged to come up with plans for their own development.
1993 - A landmark for human rights struggle: In 1982, the Human Rights
Commission had constituted a working group on the Universal Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous People, which, in October 1992 had stated:
“Indigenous people have collective and individual right to own, control and use the
lands and the territories they have traditionally occupied or otherwise used. This
includes the right to full recognition of their own laws and customs, land tenure
systems and institutions for the management of resources, and the right to effective
measures by states to prevent any interference with or encroachment of these
rights.”
- Quoted from Worldwatch, Dec. 1992, Washington D.C., USA.
A .T. Durning in “Guardians of the Land, Indigenous People and the Health of the
Earth” stated: “It is important to note that virtually all the nuclear weapon tests ever
conducted.... have been on the ancestral lands of the indigenous people” (Durning
1992). Tribals and tribal cultures have been disappearing at unprecedented rates in
the Twentieth Century. Brazil, for example, has lost over 85 tribes. One-third of North
American and two-thirds of Australian tribal languages have disappeared. It is
estimated that there are about 6000 cultures in the world and many, many distinct
languages. About 4000 to 5000 are tribal languages. Out of these, 3000 will soon
disappear because they are not passed on to sufficient number of CHILDREN.
Talking about our tribals: Even after so many years of Independence, they are
“overwhelmingly illiterate, abjectly poor and depressingly malnourished and
unhealthy” (1987, “The Myth of the Healthy Tribal”, Social Change). “The tribals are,
in a way, born in debt, live in debt and their CHILDREN are born in debt...”

181
An average tribal lives in nearly sub-human and unhygienic physical conditions. He
lives in a small mud-house room; alongwith his cattle and domestic pets, and cooks
in the corner of the room which has no ventilation. He bathes in a dirty pond, and
drinks water from a well infested with shrubs and dirt... He is addicted to drinking
“Haria”, a liquor made in his home from rice. The CHILDREN are not immunized.
Tribals are very low on the health, nutrition and education indices....
The powerful minority elite is playing the “Development Game” against the
powerless majority of the poor of which the tribals constitute the largest ethnic group.
Many of our development projects, despite huge investments and displacement of
large numbers of people... have dismally failed to achieve their targets... The poor
tribals have lost their land, and the nation has gained nothing....

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CHAPTER 21b
WE, THE INDUSTRIAL REFUGEES AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
ARE CONSTANTLY SUFFERING
“ The tide of human suffering grows even greater especially in the case of refugees.
Theirs is a special kind of suffering. Not only are they forced to suffer famine,
persecution, war and natural disaster, but also the horrific plight of being forced to
keep on the move. They have nowhere which they can call home and often no one is
prepared to listen to their cry for help.”
- Anonymous

“ All works of love are works of PEACE. We do not need bombs and guns to bring
PEACE, we need love and compassion. But we also need that deep union with God,
prayer.”
- Anonymous

Serious situations of unrest are developing in many of the areas selected for the
location of super-thermal power projects, chemical and industrial undertakings and
large dams. All these projects result in the displacement or uprooting of thousands of
families who live in the forest-areas chosen for the location of such projects.
Thousands who are uprooted not only lose their ancestral lands, but also their very
means of livelihood and the identity that they had in their traditional geographical
locations. Their tribal culture and personality are virtually extinguished, and they are
thrown into a society with an Eco and legal system with which they are unfamiliar.
They do not receive adequate compensation or secured homestead sites or
employment. The same displaced families face successive waves of displacement
when land is allotted for new ventures in the same region. They are thus turned into
permanent refugees in the name of development.
Financial compensation should be backed with the provision of skills and resources
so that the compensation can be converted into a base for the acquisition of a new
means of livelihood. Every scheme that involves displacement of large numbers of
people must provide full and effective financial and supportive compensation through
the allotment of land, homestead sites, programs of training in new skills, and
employment in the new industries with full access to the legal rights of permanent
employees, and opportunities for mobility to ancillaries that can develop around
them.
ETHNIC CONFLICT AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: There has been a rise in the
number of ethnic conflicts. The situation of indigenous peoples all over the world is
precarious, especially in circumstances where their habitat is threatened by regional
economic development programs. Many NGOs are working for the protection of the
rights of indigenous people. “Survival International” (note the name of the
organization) is an example of such a group.
THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: What is the plight of the indigenous
tribal people in the forests and hills? Their rights and livelihood in the face of
seriously encroaching large development projects? The issue is one, which has
come to the fore of international attention on the part of aid agencies and
environmentally sensitive NGOs. Most issues involve conflicting interests between

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tribal people and broader national development objectives, including those of special
commercial interests. Too often, the rights of local people have been ignored. They
need to be part of the decision for programs affecting them. And their right to
sustained livelihood should be protected. At the same time, there are often broader
interests in development and environment protection, which also must be
considered. It is a question of appropriate due process and balance.
“The forest is our home, our laboratory, our hospital, our university. It is the source of
the knowledge we need to survive.”
Jose Gonzalvez, Coordinator, Federation of indigenous people of the state of
Bolivar, Venezuela.
Much of South American country is swathed in tropical rainforests e.g. the Amazon
rainforests. The Imataca forest reserve of Venezuela is home to five Indian tribes
and a huge variety of wildlife. For over 30 years, in recognition of its fragility and
environmental importance, Imataca has been a protected reserve.
But once upon a time, Imataca was under threat (including the indigenous people
who live there) from the very government that had been charged with protecting it for
future generations.
The forest, and all the life that depended upon it, was about to be sacrificed for the
potential wealth that lay below the ground-enormous reserves of gold and diamonds.
That is when EARTH ACTION, a global network for the environment, PEACE and
social justice intervened to create a vast global action on Imataca. I do not know the
results of such intervention, yet we can safely assert that global action is very often
futile, when natural factors intervene.

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CHAPTER 22a
Let us gift mattresses and blankets, for orphans in Bangladesh (following “natural”
emergencies), provide eye care for kids in India, especially during emergencies (e.g.
floods, cyclones, earthquakes etc).

P. Sainath in “Everybody Loves A Good Drought”, showed how droughts serve


vested interests. The floods in Malda and Midnapore districts of West Bengal, India,
take a heavy toll every year, and yet, a callous administration chooses to look the
other way. Scores are now refugees in their own land.

Districts remain inundated for months, communication gets totally cut off as roads
and highways get submerged. Corpses have to be cleared away. Towns go without
electricity, clean drinking water and cooking gas. Thousands of people are affected
and many perish due to enteric diseases caused by stagnant water....

The loss in terms of agriculture is great.... Normal medical services at Government


hospitals collapse and doctors and health officials remain scarce. Hospitals become
trash dumps, and quacks fleece the vulnerable poor population....

Proper preventive measures should be taken. Breaches in river embankments could


weaken by mud from their walls; therefore, upkeep of embankments is necessary.
Spurs should be erected and dredging or river reclamation carried out. Flood
management becomes essential. Solid and permanent work should be done on
various sections of the river bank. Relief work is very important.

At the release of the “Human Development Report 2000” by the UNDP, Dr. Brenda
Gael Mc Sweeney, UNDP’s Resident Representative in India (during the Social
Summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, Jamshedpur, India, Dec 2000, I
had the opportunity to speak to her informally) had said that a decent standard of
living, adequate nutrition, health care, education, proper work and protection
against calamities were not just development goals, they were human rights as
well....

High time we all listened to her.

‘.... Recounting the Horrors, Day by Day.... of The Gujarat (India) Quake..... And
after....’(Source: “The Telegraph”, Jan/Feb 2001)

26 Jan. 2001: The quake first strikes....

28 Jan : “The death toll in what is seen as the worst-ever quake to hit the country
since Independence has been put at ‘around 10,000’.... The number of seriously
injured persons has been placed at 15,380.... Officials said that the devastation,
which was centered near Bhuj, could be much more than the current estimates as
thousands of bodies were still buried under the debris.... especially in the Kutch
region which has borne the brunt of the catastrophe....”

29 Jan.: ‘.... The toll could be 20,000. But the task of estimating the number of dead
paled into insignificance as strong after-shocks sent fresh waves of panic crashing
into tens of thousands of hungry and thirsty people.... Villagers injured in the quake
were trekking or piling on to whatever vehicles they could find to get to cities in

185
search of medical help. Some died on the way.... Hospitals were overflowing with the
dead and the barely living....’

30 Jan.: ‘.... Mother Nature has played a cruel joke on us but we have people from
our region looting us in an inhuman way.’

31 Jan.: ‘.... That three-hour-long journey will haunt me forever... Anjar seemed to
have been wiped out, flattened by a demonic blow: We made our way through the
devastation, with the air filled with screams of despair.... At night, we reached
Gandhidham.... We spent the night on the streets, wounded and weary, without food
or warm clothes. But we were all alive, and that’s all that mattered....’

2 Feb.: Urban development minister Jagmohan is trying to bring in a law making it


mandatory for all urban constructions to be planned and certified by structural
engineers. The engineers would have to ensure that houses have been built
according to earthquake safety norms.

3 Feb.: Out of work and hungry, but not eligible for Aid: The forgotten victims: ‘But
they don’t give up hope, this band of urban poor, digging deeper into the debris,
often fighting with each other over the ownership of even the humblest of the
catch.... These are the earthquake’s unofficial victims, those whose houses have
been spared, but not their source of livelihood.... Unlike the upscale multistorey
apartments that came crashing down, the earthquake did not raze any shanty. With
construction work grinding to a halt in the past one week, most of Ahmedabad’s
slum-dwellers and migrant labourers are finding it hard to eke out even a measly
daily existence. Kishore Walji cannot sleep these days, because of hunger. He is too
old to fight for the ‘treasure’ worth Rs. 3 per kg at the scrap dealer’s a few hundred
yards away....’

4 Feb.: The centre decides to set up a permanent national disaster management


committee comprising experts to manage natural calamities as well as a national
committee of political parties....

5 Feb.: ‘Amidst decomposed bodies, rubbles and overpowering stench of rotting


flesh, politicking and bureaucratic wrangles throw relief operations (even in Bhuj and
fringe areas) out of fear.... Post-quake fear psychosis grips Ahmedabad with several
people developing tremor phobia. They fear that the Earth will split wide open any
moment and the killer quake will strike them once again.... Many have witnessed the
deaths of their parents, sibling, relatives, friends and neighbours....

This is a moment of grief and mourning for the whole nation. This devastating quake
has left behind a trail of death and destruction. The worst sufferers are CHILDREN,
seriously injured, lost and even perhaps orphaned. These are our CHILDREN and
they need help....’

HALT FOR A MOMENT!


It came out recently in the newspapers that somewhere in India, CHILDREN at an
orphanage were being exploited. SHOCKING! How can the world progress if
CHILDREN continue to be exploited?

186
– Drought in Orissa (News item dated 6 Feb 2001): ‘More than 3,200 villages in
the three districts of Bolangir, Bargarh and Nuapara (Orissa) have been declared
drought - hit by the government last month. While Bolangir has 1,772 villages
affected by drought, Bargarh has 1,052 drought - hit villages. The spectre of a
famine also looms large there owing to crop failure.... The villagers in Bargarh
have demanded more tubewells to meet the drinking water crisis....’

– Scientists say the rising number of deaths from earthquakes around the world in
recent years is the direct consequence of the “Population Explosion”. More and
more people are moving into quake zones that are often near coasts. The next
25 years might see a few “megacities” hit hard, with 3 million lives lost, they
warn. Experts say that as more people inhabit cities near coasts and quake
belts, they become increasingly vulnerable to both earthquakes and hurricanes.

- Courtesy: The Telegraph, The Times of India .

– Quake in El Salvador: 15, 16 and 17 Jan., 2001: 15 Jan. - More than 234
people were confirmed dead and hundreds were missing in El Salvador and
Guatemala on the 14 Jan., 2001, the day after an earthquake rocked Central
America and Southern Mexico. The Red Cross said that 200 people were injured
and 1,200 were missing in El Salvador alone. There were other scattered deaths
throughout the country. A bus was buried in a landslide and about a dozen
(passengers) was killed.... The US Geological Survey said that the quake’s
epicenter was about 105 km Southeast of San Salvador, off the Pacific coast.
The quake occurred on the 13 Jan. 2001, and was felt across El Salvador,
Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras and as far as Mexico City. A national
emergency was declared. Just days before, Candido Antonio Salinas (60), and
his neighbors had lost a lawsuit to halt deforestation caused by construction
activity on the hill above the quake area. Look at the consequences....(Source:
“The Telegraph”, Early 2001)

The Rising Tide of Disasters

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
the main causes of deaths from natural disasters during 1967-91 were droughts,
cyclones, earthquakes and floods. A “Disaster” may be defined as an event that has
killed at least 10 people, or affected at least 100.

Population growth is forcing people to live in more marginal and dangerous places-
like low-lying flood-prone land or regions within close proximity of active volcanoes,
or quake-prone regions. Population growth, deforestation and over-grazing have
increased the number of droughts and floods.

It is the poor who finally suffer. It is they who occupy steep hillsides, fragile delta
islands and poorly-built slum buildings.

There are many variations internationally. Droughts or floods in Africa do much more
damage than those in North America do. The obvious reason is that poor nations are
less equipped to cope with natural emergencies.

187
The figures for economic damage have been rising. Although most developing
countries have plans of coping with natural disasters (for instance, Bangladesh has
an elaborate warning system for cyclones arriving in the Bay of Bengal), responses
are slow and inadequate, and those particularly vulnerable die before any help can
arrive.

We must realize that disasters are often a combination of nature and man-made
factors. Look at what happened in El Salvador in Jan. 2001. Some say it was caused
by deforestation in turn caused by construction activity, which led to a serious quake
killing over 600 people and injuring many others.

Disasters in developing countries are an integral part of their POVERTY CYCLE.


POVERTY causes disasters. And disasters exacerbate POVERTY. Only
“sustainable human development”- which increases the security of human beings
and of the planet we inhabit - can reduce the frequency and impact of natural
disasters.

- [Source: Human Development Report, 1994, UNDP].

Nothing in nature should be left to chance. From the frightening sight of an erupting
volcano... to the giant Tsunami, nature’s erratic behavior startle us all…

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CHAPTER 22b
WHEN NATURE HAS THE LAST SAY
“MAN CANNOT DEFEAT NATURE,

THE EARTH SOMETIMES BETRAYS OUR TRUST,

NO MATTER WHAT WE DO,

NATURE HAS THE LAST SAY.”

1) It has been reported that due to global warming, Himalayan glaciers have
melted into Natural lakes, threatening the habitat of indigenous peoples.
Entire communities are at risk from natural forces. We shall mention a few.
Relief Work becomes difficult under the circumstances.
2) On one fateful morning in 1997, the slope of the French Alps collapsed. One
member in a team of five expeditioners was killed.
3) In Switzerland and Austria, houses and villages in the heart of the mountains
fall victim to snowslides and avalanches. House after house gets buried, homes
destroyed and loved ones gone. To scientifically combat avalanches, the Swiss
have designed defenses. I understand that there is an Institute for such
research.
4) In 1999, the state of Orissa in India was hit by a devastating cyclone.
Thousands of poor families (who would ordinarily have survived if at all in
deprivation and degradation) were killed!
5) A landslide can be terrifying. They strike when soil is loosened by rain, often in
rock form. In California, there are hundreds of them every year. Coastal
highways are particularly vulnerable. In November 1997, there was a big
landslide in which hundreds of people were killed.
6) Torrential rainfall creates mudslides. In one particular year, in California, people
were rendered homeless and 120 died.
7) In July 1997, in Australia, hills were eroded by ground water.
8) In Latur in the state of Maharashtra in India, there was a massive earthquake in
one particular year. And if I remember correct, it was 1993.
9) In another year, an earthquake ravaged the state of Himachal Pradesh in India.
10) Earthquakes constantly ravage Japan.
11) Bangladesh is constantly ravaged by floods.
There is a lot of unrest in the Earth’s crust.

Similarly, there is a lot of unrest in man’s mind. Terrorism, espionage, sabotages


(including hijackings) and youth unrest exemplifies this.

189
CHAPTER 23a
We have lost our ability to think for ourselves - there cannot be a greater
disaster.

Teach the young people

How to think,

Not what to think.

- Sidney Sugarman

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CHAPTER 23b
A LOT OF UNREST IN MAN’S MIND
“When you want PEACE to pervade your life,

Say, God is here.

Castes and creeds mean nothing,

It does not matter that they are not of my faith.”

- Anonymous

“ We do not need guns and bombs to bring PEACE, we need love and compassion.
Let us radiate the PEACE of God and so light his light and extinguish all hatred and
love of power in the world and in the hearts of all men.”

- Anonymous

With regard to the recent attack on America (on the World Trade Center, the
Pentagon and others, 11 September 2001) my deepest condolences are with the
American people. Let us pray for the attacks’ victims. OM SHANTI! PEACE, PEACE
and only PEACE! BUT IS WARRING THE ANSWER?

YOUTH UNREST AND AGITATIONS:


The stereotyped image of the youth is that they are militant, rebellious, revolutionary,
irrational and immature. True, the youth tend to become angry when they notice the
widening chasm between what the leaders preach and what they practice.
Disappointed and disillusioned by this, the frustrated youth start some agitation to
lodge a social protest. Some politicians start taking an interest in these agitations,
and in some cases, they use the help of anti-social elements to keep these agitations
alive. When these anti-social elements indulge in loot and arson, it is the youth that
come to be blamed for these destructive activities. The frustrated youth, thus,
become more frustrated and the unrest among them further increases.
Agitations are to bring grievance and injustice to the notice of people in power. It is to
shake up, to move, to stir-up, to cause anxiety and to disturb the power-holders. The
various forms of youth agitation are demonstrations, slogan shouting, strikes, hunger
strikes, roadblocks and boycott of examinations.
The militants’ agitation for an independent Kashmir in Jammu and Kashmir state of
India and the tribals’ demand for a Jharkhand state in Bihar in India have also to be
explained in terms of the frustration of the youth in the concerned states. The
Jharkhand party has just come to power (Nov 2000), and a separate Jharkhand state
has been formed in India.
TERRORISM:
Terrorism, which is an organized system of intimidation, is more serious and more
intense. Today, terrorism is perceived as a problem capable of destabilizing not only
national but also international politics. Terrorism in recent times has affected both the
developed and the developing countries. What has made terrorism a significant

191
instrument for achieving desired goals and ends are factors like conviction in the
purity of the “cause “, fanatical loyalty, desire for self-sacrifice, a sense of absolutism
and financial and material support from abroad.
The terms terrorism, insurgency, civil war, revolution, guerrilla war, intimidation and
extremism are most often interchanged and used very loosely. What is common to
all is “violence”…
Terrorism appears in many forms: from planting a crude, home-made bomb, hand
grenade or other explosive in a shopping center, a railway station, a bus-stand and a
bus, to kidnapping and hijacking of planes, to assassination of important
personalities. The main aim of terrorists is to wreak vengeance on those individuals
or on those systems that they regard as obstacles or enemies or oppressors to their
“fanatical” viewpoints.
The goals of terrorists may vary from movement to movement but the main
objectives are the same in all such movements. The overall objectives of terrorism
are
1) To gain popular support (usually, from some strata of the society). Now, this is
important in combating terrorism. The best thing to do is to hold talks with the
terrorists, counsel them because they crave for attention. Most of them come
from deprived backgrounds. There are exceptions though. Talk to them,
discover their weaknesses. Because the terrorists will always have a faith (a
firm conviction). We must try to balance their demands with the general
interests. This method may work,
2) To disrupt and destroy the military and psychological strength of the regime,
and
3) To break internal stability.
The main reasons for terrorism lie in the very nature of modern civilization itself and
are inherent in the modern industrial system.

SUPPORT BASE:
The success of terrorism depends to a large extent upon its support base, which
includes not only the political and social support but also support by money,
weapons and training. Terrorists obtain money from different sources like “donations
and taxes” from people, through bank robberies, by smuggling and selling drugs and
collecting ransom for hostages and hijacked planes. Weapons are often looted from
people or snatched from police stations or purchased from abroad.
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM:
Terrorist activities have been found in different parts of the world. For example,
terroristic activities of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) sought termination of English
control in Ireland and establishment of Ireland’s unification and peoples’ right to
national self- determination (in 1994, the governments of the Republic of Ireland,
Northern Ireland and England began negotiations to resolve the conflict). Similarly,
we have found terrorism in Sri Lanka, Israel, Spain, Germany, Japan, the
Philippines, Canada, Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal and Latin America. Some of

192
the important terrorist groups are the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the RED Army in Japan,
OSAMA BIN LADEN’S AL-QAIDA, the BAQUE in Spain, the RED BRIDGE in Italy,
the Kurds in Iraq, the BLACK SEPTEMBERISTS in Jordan, the MOROS in the
Philippines, the BAADERMEINHOF in Germany, the QUEBECOIS in Canada.
Of late, international terrorism has gained currency. The support to terrorists of one
country can come from individuals and groups sympathetic to their cause, or it can
come from other state governments.
COMBATING TERRORISM:
Terrorism is too serious a problem to be left to politicians alone. General awareness
among the masses and pressures on people are the only way out. The one thing we
have to understand is that terrorism is like a common cold. It runs its own course and
there is need for patience. As I have already said, holding face-to-face talks with
them may result in their moral improvement.
Their bases may be eliminated. The U.S. has global economic interests and is
vulnerable to terrorism. The most potent weapon of America to fight terrorism has
been its economic clout like cutting off trade and technology export. This method
was adopted for Cuba in 1962, and for Libya in 1986, when its leader Col. Gaddafi
supported terrorist movements like those of the IRA of Northern Ireland, or the
terrorist gangs in Latin America. America adopted the same method when it invaded
Cambodia for giving shelter to Vietnam during the Vietnam War…
Very often, the terrorist menace cannot be eliminated either through elimination of
bases or invasion. Besides the police and the military measures, the socio-political
issues have to be tackled. Also, cutting off financing to terrorists may help.
Nevertheless, mechanisms have to be created to prevent acts of terror. Terrorism
and political violence have become the bane of modern society today. It is time that
the prevalent frustration and a sense of deprivation amongst the people, particularly
the youth, be checked. ON THE ONE HAND, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DEAL
WITH TERRORISTS WITH A VERY FIRM HAND AND ON THE OTHER, THE
MINORITIES HAVE TO BE PROTECTED AND THE RIGHT ATMOSPHERE
CREATED FOR THE FUNCTIONING OF A GENUINE DEMOCRACY.
(Source: A book on Social Problems by an Indian Author)
Another related aspect we need to throw light on is crime. Let us examine crime as a
separate issue.

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CHAPTER 24a
Jails and prisons

Are the complement of schools;

So many less as you

Have of the latter,

So many more you

Must have of the former.

-Horace Mann

All the men and women I have faced at that final moment convince me that in what I
have done I have not prevented a single murder.

- Executioner Albert Pierrepoint, criticizing Capital Crime

The gallows is not only a machine of death but a symbol.... of terror, cruelty.... The
common denominator of primitive savagery,....

- Arthur Koestler, Hungarian-born author

All forms of crime, ordinary violence and brutality against women are encouraged on
screen and replicated in real life. India is perhaps the only country where life imitates
debased art. (“The Degeneration of India”)

- Mr. T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election-Commissioner of India

Conditions were often harsh for Mandela and the hundreds of other political
prisoners locked up on the island of Robben (which can be seen from the Table
Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa)... At the end of the working day, he (Mandela)
had to undergo searching of the body (I am not sure as to what extent this is
correct)... They were made to.... sit on the ground and repair old canvas mailbags.

- From Nelson Mandela by Benjamin Pogrund

Let us perform health check-ups for prison inmates (for cancer, HIV, leprosy etc.),
counsel convicts, take vocational training classes.... And more.... This should be an
alternative to a prison....

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CHAPTER 24b
FORGIVE US OUR SIN
“Do not talk of the wickedness of the world and all its sins. Weep that you are bound
to see wickedness yet. Weep that you are bound to see sin everywhere; and if you
are bound to help the world, do not condemn it. Do not weaken it more. For what is
sin, and what is misery, and what are all these but the results of weakness? The
world is made weaker and weaker every day by such teachings.”

-Swami Vivekananda

“Ye are the CHILDREN of God, the sharers of immortal bliss, holy and perfect
beings. Ye divinities on Earth-sinners? It is a sin to call a man so., it is a standing
libel on human nature.”

-Swami Vivekananda

I remember having watched a film “The Accused” in which the leading actress played
by Jodie Foster was sexually assaulted in a bar while bystanders cheered. Similarly,
there was quite some amount of sexual violence in the film “Bandit Queen”. Was
there a need to show sexual violence against women? WHY DOES CINEMA SHOW
VIOLENCE, SMUGGLING, DRUGS, EXTORTION OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE?
CINEMA IS ENTERTAINMENT. HOW CAN SEXUAL VIOLATION (RAPE) OR
DRUGS BE ENTERTAINMENT? Granted, no animal is harmed or no tree is felled in
the making of a film. BUT THE EFFECT IS IMPORTANT. They do show animals
being harmed and trees being felled. What I am trying to say is that watching crime
encourages crime. And that the effect of one’s environment on crime is very
important because if cinema can encourage crime, so can one’s environment.
Glorification of violence and crimes in films and TV definitely accounts for our high
crime rate and lawlessness.
In India, in one hour about 175 cognizable crimes under the IPC (Indian Penal Code)
and 435 crimes under local and special laws are committed. The rising waves of
crime might cause alarm among the public but our police and politicians remain
unruffled about the deteriorating law and order situation.
Sociologists and criminologists have been broadly concerned with locating the
causes of crime and analyzing the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
It is maintained that a balanced policy of liberalization and strictness regarding the
inmates in prisons should be adopted for punishing / treating the offenders through
imprisonment. Knowing that there is no connection between the severity of prison
conditions and incidence of crime, to prevent future crime, why should we not try to
devise programs, which may induce prisoners to turn over a new leaf? LET US
PURSUE MORE HUMANE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS, WHAT WE NEED
TODAY IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO A PRISON. Teaching yoga and meditation to the
prisoners would be helpful.
Why does man commit crime? The desire to commit crime may be an inherited trait.
Man may commit crime for pleasure. He may commit crime when he faces stigma in
society. Man may commit crime when he feels biologically inferior. A defective
personality may commit crime. Associations with and social influences of criminalistic

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norms may result in crime. Economic conditions like POVERTY and richness are
important factors. Crime may be the consequence of application by others of rules
and sanctions to an “offender”. Geographical factors like climate, temperature, and
humidity etc influence the crime rate. A very important factor is rejection of dominant
values and development of delinquent values. A criminal may also develop out of a
man who has an unfavorable self-concept.
The idea is to point out the weakening of motives for conformity to social norms and
the disruption of social relationships and social bonds. The unrest is increasing
almost in all sections of every society. This unrest increases frustrations and strains,
which lead to the violation of legal and social norms. It is, thus, the organization and
the functioning of the existing sub-systems and structures in our society that are
more responsible for the increase in crime. (Source: A Book on Social Problems
by an Indian author)
It is conceivable that with adequate and valid methods, much of the crime rate may
CHANGE. Change can lead to human happiness. A policy of charity in every aspect
of our lives can bring about some change. Let us take a fresh look.

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CHAPTER 25a
Get all you can,

Without hurting your soul,

Your body, or your neighbor.

Save all you can,

Cutting off every needless expense.

GIVE ALL YOU CAN.

- John Wesley

Let us learn from the group “Doctors Without Borders” (under Morten Rostrup) who
provided free medical care to war survivors in Bosnia and Kosovo... Their
humanitarian work brought them the Nobel Prize.

Some novel ideas in fundraising - projects on St. Valentine’s Day raising funds for
community CHILDREN, hot-air balloon festivals for community charities, donating a
cricket bat signed by celebrity cricketers, the bat gets auctioned and proceeds go to
victims of war or disease, auction of works of art, increasing awareness of local
hunger, holding meals (e.g. luncheons, dinners) for community people - proceeds
going to charity, airline sponsorship.

- Courtesy “The Rotarian”, Dec.,’99.

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CHAPTER 25b
LET US GO FUND-RAISING FOR A BETTER WORLD
“We are here today because in the possibility of realizing... a better world, we are
returning to the basic building blocks of our society – the energy which wells up from
the grass roots. We are realizing that in civil society – people and their deep capacity
to associate and work together for the betterment of themselves, their families and
their communities – that will be the engine to propel us into the future.”
– Anonymous
Let us hold innovative fund-raising events, which will offer local bands, games and
rides…and more…

Fundraisers should be an adventure, not a chore. Some of the most popular fund-
raisers include auctions, festivals, sporting events, gala dinners, benefit concerts,
lotteries and sale of various items (eg.art work).

The UK – based “International Fundraising Group (IFRG)” was founded in 1981 to


establish a forum for fundraisers to meet together, exchange ideas and learn from
each other. The result was the first ever International Fundraising workshop held in
the Netherlands in October 1981.

TAP, a program of the Carter Center, was created by former President of the U.S.
Jimmy Carter in October 1991 to help Atlanta’s communities gain access to the
resources they need to solve the problems that are tearing apart families, teenage
pregnancy, kid dropouts (school), juvenile delinquency, crime and violence,
homelessness, drug abuse and unemployment.

The “Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum (PWBLF)” is a business-funded


educational CHARITY registered in the UK and founded in 1990. The forum’s
mission is to promote good corporate citizenship and sustainable development
internationally, as a natural part of its general business practice specifically on the
emerging economies of Eastern and Central Europe, Asia-Pacific, India, Southern
Africa and Latin America.

“COMMUNITY LINKS” is an East London CHARITY founded by local volunteers in


1977, and now, running a range of local and national projects with CHILDREN,
teenagers, parents, pensioners and disabled and elderly people. More than 320
volunteers currently work on projects in more than 40 locations to tackle the
problems of inner cities in the UK. It works with adults, young people, with the nation.

SAGA – Southern African Grant –Makers’ Association, is an association of


organizations, a CHARITY involved in funding development. It is independent and
aims primarily, though not necessarily, to serve grant-makers in Southern Africa.

Let us learn from CHARITY – RAISING and promote charity music, charity fashion,
charity auctions etc. Indigenous (largely, tribal) talent in music and dance coupled
with modern technology can raise funds.

LET US TAKE CHARITY – FASHION FOR EG. TAKE FOR INSTANCE, A SMALL
TRIBAL VILLAGE IN INDIA. IF A GROUP OF DUTCH VISITORS TO THAT

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VILLAGE PROMOTED A FASHION SHOW OR A DANCE IN HOLLAND (OR IN
INDIA) OF THE TRIBALS IN TRIBAL COSTUME, AND THE FUNDS GENERATED
WERE POURED INTO DEVELOPMENT OF THE TRIBAL COMMUNITY, THEN
THE TRIBALS WOULD BENEFIT.

LET the leading musicians of the world come together, or the leading singers of THE
WORLD COME TOGETHER and promote CHARITY MUSIC.

LET SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES PRACTICE CHARITY. By raising funds from


themselves and from local citizens, they can fulfil their objectives…

Let CHARITY AUCTIONS of celebrity clothing, celebrity gears or otherwise be


carried out.

Let us practice CHARITY in every aspect of our lives. Charity will bring us closer to
those in need.

It is time we examined in brief the major problems the world is facing. We are again
beginning with the year 2000. Time to take a fresh look at our goals.

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CHAPTER 26a
Let us lead the battle, against hunger and malnutrition, for literacy, for the promotion
of science and technology in backward nations. Let us deploy energy practically and
reap the advantages of the information age for “those in need”.

1. In our country, more than half the population lives below the POVERTY line
and there is so much social and economic backwardness, the poor are starving
and innocent CHILDREN are being abused, and yet, the country is spending so
much on space research, and there is so much (unnecessary) expenditure on
cricket, entertainment (particularly, cinema) and beauty pageants?

2. I think that while talking of a country’s economy the word “social” is very
important. Because all decisions have to be taken in the context of a particular
society. People are important and every economic decision has to take into
account the welfare of society and its people, particularly the marginalized.

3. From Guidelines to goals for India: In the growth of any country, there is a
need for introspection as to whether all segments of society are gaining... in an
effort to achieve a better quality of life....
Now, this is a very special moment for India, a new government is now in place,
and all eyes are on the Indian economic and social environment.... The
corporate sector seems optimistic.... Industrial output has increased...
However, we are painting too “rosy” a picture, ... Orissa has experienced a
cyclone.... And we find a bleak picture of agriculture.... There is a need to
increase foreign direct investment and infuse foreign technology into
agriculture.... Rising “debt” and an unsustainable scenario.... Pressing social
needs have to be met; about 350 million people are under the POVERTY
line.... We need a full-blown education effort especially primary education,
basic literacy skills, and public health and sanitation efforts.... A “burgeoning”
population, all this and more - challenges, difficulties, uncertainties and
obstacles lie ahead....

4. From “Hunger in a World of Plenty”, The Telegraph, India, 30 Nov. 2000:


Making Education about POVERTY part of the School Curriculum: World Food
Day is celebrated every year on Oct. 16. It aims to heighten public awareness
of the plight of the world’s hungry and malnourished and to encourage people
to take action against hunger... The curriculum includes lessons for three
levels: Elementary, middle and high school. In the future, lessons will be
translated into atleast four languages and taught to students around the globe.
Topics covered would be: What is hunger and malnutrition and who are the
hungry? Why are people hungry and malnourished? What can we do to help
end hunger?
As the World Development Report 2000 / 2001 has pointed out, the world has
deep POVERTY amidst plenty... of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion,
almost half, live on less than two dollars a day, and 1.2 billion - a fifth, live on
less than one dollar a day, with 44 percent living in South Asia....

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In rich countries, fewer than one CHILD in 100 does not reach its fifth birthday,
while in the poorest countries, as many as a fifth of CHILDREN do not. And
while in rich countries, fewer than 5 percent of all CHILDREN under five are
malnourished, in poor countries, as many as 50 percent are. There is obviously
a need for tackling the problem on a war footing....
It is the responsibility of civilization to feed hungry mouths and to pull out
malnourished people from a subhuman existence. As Klaus Von Grebmer
pointed out “The world is a global village. If some houses in that village are
hungry, it is a problem for the village as a whole.” And that is why the
CHILDREN of today should imbibe this idea that fighting against POVERTY is
not charity but a solemn responsibility....
The global market (except the segment dealing with arms) cannot grow to its
fullest potential and capacity unless hunger and absolute deprivation are wiped
out.... These factors have the potential to foment unrest everywhere.
.... Destitution persists even though human conditions have improved more in
the past century than in the rest of history - global wealth, global connections
and technological capabilities have never been greater. But the distribution of
these global gains is extra-ordinarily unequal....
Inequality in income distribution, infant mortality and life expectancy are all
indicators closely related to hunger and malnutrition....
In Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the numbers of poor
people have been rising. In the countries of Europe and Central Asia in
transition to market economies, the number of people living on less than one
dollar a day rose more than twentyfold.
There are success stories as well. In the most advanced state of India, Kerala,
life expectancy is greater than in other places with many times the level of
income. Yet in countries at the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, in Africa, such
as Botswana and Zimbabwe, one in four adults is infected. AIDS orphans will
soon wipe out all the gains in life expectancy since the middle of the 20th
century... Infant mortality rates across the world vary-Sub-Saharan Africa’s is
fifteen times that of high income countries.
Experiences are also vastly different for ethnic minorities and women. Different
regions in countries benefit to very differing extents from growth.... Women
continue to be more disadvantaged than men are. In South Asia, women have
only about half, as many years of education as men, and female enrolment
rates at the secondary level are only 2/3rds the male rates.
“The CHILDREN sitting in schools around the world today are the future
Presidents and PM’s of the world’s tomorrow. Today there is more than enough
food to feed everyone, the cost of food is at its lowest price for years, and yet
millions of people go hungry. So, it is a question of global leadership. By
teaching today’s CHILDREN about hunger we hope to build a generation of
future world leaders committed to ensuring that no one goes hungry in their
world.” So said Lynn Brown, rural technical specialist at the World Bank. One
inevitable conclusion is that the distribution of food or income with which one is
to buy food is seriously flawed....

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The problem can be solved. “Feeding minds, fighting hunger” will sensitize
CHILDREN to the problems of POVERTY, hunger and malnourishment, and
motivate them to get involved... food for thought, Ah!
5. A Report from the People’s Health Assembly: ‘The Telegraph’, 27 Dec.
2000: The money spent by African countries on servicing debt is now four
times the amount they spend on health and education.
H. Mahler, former Director of WHO, a major architect of the ‘Alma Ata
Declaration’ (1978) suggests that strong community participation in healthcare
instead of over- dependence on costly specialists and technologized medical
care to save CHILDREN and mothers, should be the strategy, health systems
should be kept away from the vagaries of markets....
The UN Human Development Report of 1999 stated that the size of the income
accruing to the top 20% of the world’s population living in the rich countries and
that of the bottom 20% living in the Third World had widened from a ratio of 30
in 1960 to 60 in 1990 and further to 74 in 1997.
That is why despite the unprecedented advances in medical technology and
wealth, more than 800 million people in the world lack access to any form of
basic healthcare...
“It is obscene that better-off CHILDREN in some countries are 10 times more
likely to be immunized than poor CHILDREN in that same country. Poor women
die of CHILDbirth at rates more than 100 times that of better-off women. In the
golden land of America 43 million Americans have no access to health
insurance. What else is obscenity?” said James Obrinski of ‘Medecins Sans
Frontieres’ fame....
Much of the borrowed money in most developing countries goes towards
buying arms or is siphoned off to overseas bank accounts.
There are resources, but not for development. Merely an outlay of one percent
of the GNP will be adequate to send all CHILDREN to school in South Asia.
This is less than what is spent on cosmetics in the U.S. or on ice cream in
Europe annually. The problem, says Obrinski, is that we have been too passive
for too long. We have to actively demand health as our birth-right...
6. From “Facts for Life”, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO (Jan 1990): Every week,
a quarter of a million CHILDREN die in the developing world. Many millions
more live on with ill-health and poor growth. A major cause is POVERTY.
Another major cause is that today’s information about protecting the health and
growth of CHILDREN has not yet been put at the majority’s disposal. If all
families were informed, the health of CHILDREN in the developing world could
dramatically improve....
- Timing births: The health of both women and CHILDREN can be
significantly improved by spacing births at least two years apart, by avoiding
pregnancies before the age of 18, and by limiting the total number of
pregnancies to three or less. “Family Planning” helps couples plan the
number of CHILDREN and give them the care they need.
Safe motherhood: All pregnant women should go to a health worker for
pre-natal care and a trained person should assist at every birth. Women and
girls should be well-fed and taken good care of.

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- Breast feeding: For the first few months of a baby’s life, breastmilk alone is
the best possible food and drink. Breastfeeding reduces the chances of
illness and malnutrition.
7. Malnutrition and infection hold back the physical and mental development of
millions of CHILDREN.... Hunger may result from drought, famine, war or
POVERTY. Land reform and investments in food production by and for the poor
can solve this problem.
CHILD growth: CHILDREN under 3 need to eat five or six times a day and
mashed vegetables and small amounts of fats or oils should be added to their
diets. All CHILDREN need foods rich in Vitamin A.. After an illness, a CHILD
needs extra meals. CHILDREN from birth to 3 years should be weighed
regularly, and any lack of gain in weight reported. Talking, playing and showing
love are essential for a CHILD’S physical, mental and emotional growth.
Immunization: Protects against several diseases like TB, Diphtheria,
Whooping cough, Tetanus, Measles, and Polio. CHILDREN should be
vaccinated. But even when the service is available, many infants are not fully
vaccinated due to lack of knowledge. All immunizations should be completed in
the first year of life and a booster given at one and a half years. Every woman
between 15 and 44 should be immunized against tetanus.
Diarrhoea: Causes dehydration, which kills approximately 1 million (10 lakh)
CHILDREN every year in India. It is also a major cause of CHILD malnutrition.
The main causes of Diarrhoea are poor hygiene and lack of clean drinking
water. It is essential to give a dehydrated CHILD plenty of liquids to drink e.g.
breastmilk, buttermilk, lemon strong, rice water, coconut water, weak tea, etc.
or a special drink called “oral rehydration salts (ORS)”. Diarrhoea can be
prevented by breastfeeding, by immunizing all CHILDREN against measles, by
using latrines, by keeping food and water clean, by washing hands before
touching food, and by pest-control.
Egypt’s example: As of mid-1985, over 4,000 clinics throughout Egypt had
started ORT centers to teach mothers how to use the new therapy. In Jan.
1983, the Egyptian government became one of the firsts in the world to pick up
the ORT weapon on a national scale. With a grant of $ 26 M from USAID, the
health ministry launched a program worth $ 50 M. ORT courses have now been
introduced in medical schools and hospitals. In the Alexandria trials, TV
commercials for ORT had been broadcast every night for a month at peak
viewing times. What a beautiful experience!
Coughs and Colds: Can become pneumonia (can be prevented by low cost
drugs), which kills approximately 600,000 CHILDREN each year in India. A
CHILD with a cough or cold should be kept warm –
Hygiene: Many illnesses can be caused by the entry of germs into the mouth.
The community should be encouraged to use latrines, and to wash hands with
soap and water. Thereafter, to keep food and water clean, to boil drinking water
which is not from a safe piped supply. And to burn or bury household refuse.
Malaria: There are about 10 million cases each year in India, most of which
can be prevented by community action and government support. Young
CHILDREN should be protected from mosquito bites, especially at night.

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Communities should destroy mosquito larvae and prevent mosquitoes from
breeding.
AIDS: “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”, is a new global problem. It
kills by damaging the body’s defenses against other diseases. Increasing
numbers of babies are being born with the virus and many millions of
CHILDREN have been orphaned by it. The most effective weapon against its
spread is public education. AIDS can be passed on by sexual intercourse, by
infected blood, and by infected mothers to their unborn and newborn
CHILDREN. Couples should use a condom. Any injection with an unsterilized
needle or syringe is dangerous. By telling our CHILDREN, we can stop the
AIDS virus from spreading to the new generation.

Tuberculosis: The cause of TB is a germ which can spread through the air
when patients cough, spit or breathe close to other people. BCG immunization
protects against it. Serious manifestations of TB in CHILDREN include TB of
the brain (meningitis), which may lead to death, or mental handicap if the
CHILD survives, and TB of the lungs, bones and glands. TB can be cured.

Leprosy: is more common in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and West
Bengal states in India. Leprosy is curable and the disabled should be given
vocational training. Patients must not be kept in isolation but supported by their
families and communities.

Immunization, breast-feeding, oral rehydration and simple measures can


prevent a bulk of CHILD disabilities, communicable and non-communicable
diseases and deaths.

India’s goal for the year 2000 A.D., included

a) Halving infant deaths


b) An average of two CHILDREN per family
c) Halving the number of women who die in CHILDbirth
d) Significantly reducing the incidence of low birth weight and malnutrition
e) Primary education for all CHILDREN and
f) Safe drinking water for all and basic sanitation for 50% in urban areas and
25% in rural areas.
The mother has to assume the role of a frontline health worker; whether the issue
involved is any of the above or preventing CHILDhood disability or enabling
CHILDREN attain their full mental faculties. A CHILD’s well being is closely related
to the health (including factors like nutrition) and socio-economic-educational
development of women. There is a need to harness potential female energy. The
problems of population, food, agriculture and the environment are closely related to
the status of women. The world cannot afford to neglect half the “Resources of
Humanity”. Six killer diseases - measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, TB,
poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis and tetanus or lockjaw devastate poor countries
like India. Major difficulties are in the paucity of 6 ‘M’s - manpower (trained), material,

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money, management, mobility and motivation, and the storage and distribution of
vaccines, plus ignorance, illiteracy and POVERTY.
Malnutrition silently “kills”. Undernutrition and infection make a lethal combination.
Forms include Kwashiorkor and Marasmus, Pellagra, Avitaminosis A (Dr. Alfred
Sommer said, “... Increasing Vitamin A intake may ...be the most practical means for
improving CHILD survival in the developing world.” A large-scale field study in
Indonesia proved this), Beriberi, Scurvy, Rickets, Anemia, Endemic Goiter and
Xerophthalmia.
Respiratory infections (including Pneumonias) like Common Cold, Sore throat or
acute Pharyngitis, Tonsillitis and Bronchiolitis, severe Measles, TB and Anemia also
impair the development of “Little Lives”.
Some other ailments include sexually - transmitted diseases, congenital and genetic
diseases, guineaworm, intestinal parasites (periodic mass deworming was found to
be effective by a research team in Kenya), accidents and burns, allergies, mumps,
dental caries, Chicken-pox, Typhoid fever, vomiting, convulsions, heat exhaustion (in
the tropics), Kala-azar, skin, eye and ear problems, Mental retardation, Hepatitis,
Dengue, endocrine and growth problems and dog bites and Rabies.
Disabilities in CHILDREN include physical, mental retardation, visual disability,
hearing and speech problems, etc.
In light of the above, “Marketing CHILD Survival” becomes very important.
Technologies and information on ORS, vaccines, low-cost life-saving drugs,
pregnancy, breast-feeding, weaning, CHILD spacing, etc. can empower parents,
particularly women, to protect the lives and the health of their CHILDREN…
Behind the blaring headlines of the world’s many conflicts and emergencies, lies a
silent crisis - of underdevelopment, of global POVERTY, of population pressures, of
degradation of the environment. This crisis will not respond to emergency relief. It
requires a long process of sustainable human development....
“Sustainable Human Development” may be defined as development that generates
economic growth as well as distributes its benefits equitably; that regenerates the
environment and that empowers people rather than marginalizing them. It is
development that gives priority to the poor, enlarging their choices and opportunities
and providing for their participation in decisions that affect their lives. It is pro-people,
pro-nature, pro-jobs and pro-women....
Without people-centered development, our key objectives-PEACE, human rights,
democratization, environmental protection, better health care, reduced population
growth, social integration and POVERTY alleviation-cannot be met....
It is cheaper and far more human to act early to address the root causes of human
insecurity rather than its tragic consequences....
The PEACE agenda and the development agenda must finally be integrated.
Without PEACE, there may not be any development. Without development, PEACE
lies threatened.
The world can never be at PEACE unless people have security in their daily lives.
Future conflicts may often be within nations rather than between them - due to
growing social and economic deprivation and disparities. The search for human
security lies in development, not in arms. It is easy to lose perspective in today’s

205
global uncertainty. As one crisis succeeds another, policy agenda often focus on
immediate issues-not the important ones....
It is time for humanity to restore its perspective and redesign its agenda....
(The following article is based on a United Nations Report)
A new concept of Human Security: For too long, the concept of human security
has been confined to conflict between states and threats to a country’s borders, and
countries have resorted to arms to protect themselves.
For a large number of people today, insecurity arises from worries about daily life.
Do they have the time to worry about world “security” problems? Jobs, income,
health, environment, international migration, POVERTY, social conflict, political
repression, drugs, crime and homelessness are concerns dogging most people...
As far back as June 1945, the U.S. Secretary of State reported the following to his
government on the results of the San Francisco Conference:
‘The Battle of PEACE has to be fought on two fronts. The first is the security front
where victory spells freedom from fear. The second is the economic and social front
where victory means freedom from want. Only victory on both fronts can assure the
world of an enduring PEACE....’
Let us redefine security:
 Human security is relevant to people everywhere, in rich nations and in
poor. The threats may vary - hunger, ignorance, illiteracy and disease in
poor nations, and drugs, pornography and crime in rich nations - some are
common threats like unemployment and environmental disasters - but all
these are real and growing....
 Famines, ethnic conflicts, social disintegration, terrorism, pollution, drug
trafficking and cyber-pornography are affecting the entire globe....
 It is less costly and more humane to act early. Short-term humanitarian
assistance can never replace long-term development support....
An essential part of preventive diplomacy and preventive development is to
formulate a set of human security indicators, and an early warning system to identify
some countries already in a state of crisis - thereby helping them avoid reaching a
crisis point. To address common global threats, a “global human security fund”
should be set up. For example, by levying fees on polluting emissions.
A new design of development cooperation: What is needed today is a more
positive relationship between nations.

First, foreign assistance must be linked to commonly agreed policy goals -


POVERTY reduction, productive employment and sustainable human development;
Second, a certain proportion of foreign assistance (say, a part of donor countries’
GNP) should be channeled to the poorest nations as a “global social safety net”,
to be earmarked for basics (basic education, primary health care, etc.);
Third, all flows - trade, investment, technology and labor flows should be included;

206
Fourth, the rich nations should pay the poor nations for certain services rendered -
instituting environmental controls, regulating narcotics production and trafficking,
controlling communicable diseases, destroying nuclear weapons;
Fifth, we should search for more international funding and global taxation may
become imperative;
Finally, now that we have entered the 21st century, a new form of global governance
is needed....
Developing countries have considerable scope for changing their budget priorities:

i) By reducing their military spending

ii) By privatizing their loss-making public enterprises and

iii) By giving up some low-priority development projects.


It may be safely asserted that human development is the most powerful
contraceptive and human development models the most non-polluting development
paradigms.
Poor nations should not try to imitate the production and consumption patterns of
rich nations. They may not be entirely possible despite advances in technology or
entirely desirable.... Because they would require much more consumption of fossil
fuels and mineral wealth, and requirements would grow again as the world
population doubles....
The lifestyles of the North will clearly have to change. It (the North) has roughly one-
fifth of the global population and four-fifths of its income, and it consumes 70% of the
world’s energy, 75% of its metals and 85% of its wood. If the Eco-sphere were fully
priced, not free, such consumption patterns could not continue.
.... Sustainable human development puts a price on natural resources, which are
scarce today and tomorrow, thereby framing a policy of scarce asset management...
One important area of asset management is non-renewable energy, proper pricing of
which can lead to the adoption of new technologies and patterns of production which
can greatly help in reducing energy input per unit of output and in curtailing
environmentally damaging emissions…
Sustainable development is not that the present level and pattern of development
should be sustained for future generations, the inequities of today being so great that
if the above is done, similar inequities would be perpetuated in future. Sustainable
human development puts people at the center of development. It means that
everyone should have equal access to development opportunities now and in the
future.
Individuals’ capabilities depend on many circumstances beyond their control. For
instance, a CHILD who is not sent to school, is not taught any skills or is not given
much support - might find that the cards are heavily stacked against him.
A girl who faces discrimination early in life (either as low nutrition, lack of schooling
or physical abuse) may suffer lifelong scars, which may also affect her offspring. A
similar fate awaits the life claims of a black CHILD in the slums of the United States
or South Africa.

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This is where public policy and community organizations gain importance.
Unfortunately, some states may choose to spend more on soldiers than on teachers,
on costly urban hospitals rather than on primary health care, on elitist groups rather
than on the marginalised poor. Public policies are often skewed unfavorably towards
the more fortunate....

Our Changing World

 Infant mortality rates have declined - from 107 per 1,000 live births in 1970
to 60 in 1995;
 About 60 percent of the poor live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa,
which together account for 39 percent of the developing world’s people but
only 14% of its aggregate GDP;
 POVERTY is partly about failing to invest in people. In developing countries
nearly 1 in 3 adults is illiterate. In South Asia, 256 million, and in Sub-
Saharan Africa, 87 million women are illiterate. Better-educated people tend
to be healthier, and the neglect of education takes its toll on human life. Of
every 1,000 newborn babies in developing countries, 88 will not reach their
5th birthday;
 Energy efficiency rises with income;
 Of the world’s 130 million sq. kilometers of land, a mere 10 percent is used
for crops, pastures, and gardens;
 Most low-income countries remain predominantly agricultural. But East
Asia’s rapidly growing economies have experienced a dramatic fall in their
share of labor force in agriculture - Malaysia from 54 to 27 percent, Korea
from 49 to 18 percent;
 The world economy is rapidly integrating and many developing countries
are leading the way;
 Developing economies are now important markets for the industrial
countries;
 Many developing countries have succeeded in reducing POVERTY, a few
by as much as 50 percent (World Bank 1990);
 And yet, infant mortality remains above 90 per 1,000 live births in Sub-
Saharan Africa and 70 in South Asia, compared with 40 for East Asia. And
more than 1.3 billion people are living on less than $ 1 a day, and another 2
billion are only slightly better off. Painful disparities exist across regions and
countries... and the picture indeed appears bleak....
- Source: Human Development 1997 Indicators
 Why does human capital matter? It matters because the poor’s most
important asset is their labor. The challenge lies in creating an enabling
environment and to mobilize resources for human capital investments.
Human capital increase can raise the living standards of the poor. Health
care and good nutrition reduces illness and deaths and improves

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productivity of labor. Literacy and numeracy widen horizons, making it easier
to learn new work skills, and ensuring full participation in social and
economic life. Education can stimulate growth, open economic opportunities
to more people, thereby helping reduce income inequalities....
Better education and health enable more effective family planning and better
health of the mother and her CHILD.

The poor benefit most from basic education-rates of return are higher for
primary education than for secondary. Governments spend little on
instructional materials, even though they have a positive effect on student
achievement in developing countries.

Because most students in post-primary education come from better-off


families, more should be spent on primary education to increase the access
of the poor to education. It has been observed that despite increased
expenditures on education in recent years, enrolment rates are still low in
many countries. This also has gender dimensions, reflecting mainly social
norms.... One important result of this imbalance is that almost two-thirds of
the world’s illiterate adults - 565 million - are women.
Girls’ education matters, as social returns to investments in female
education are much greater than for males....

 Ten developing countries with two-thirds of the world’s poor (Bangladesh,


Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines,
Vietnam) 1989/92:
– Total poor (in millions) – 855
– Poor in these countries as a % of total world poor – 65.9

 (i) Balance sheet of human development - developing countries :-

Progress Deprivation
Life Expectancy
Average is now 63 years-17 years more  14 million CHILDREN die every
than in 1960.In 26 developing countries, year before they reach the age of
it is above 70 years. five.
Health
 

 Two-thirds of the people have ready  Nearly 1.5 billion people lack
access to health services. access to health services.
 Access to safe water has increased  1.3 billion people still lack access to
in the past 20 years by more than safe water.
two-thirds.
 Public expenditure on health as a  2.3 billion people lack access to
proportion of GNP increased by sanitation.
nearly 50% in the past 30 years.
 In sub-Saharan Africa, one adult in
40 is HIV-infected.

209
 Food and Nutrition
 Daily calorie supply is now about  Over 100 million people were
110% of the overall requirement. affected by famine in 1990.
  More than a quarter of the world’s
people does not get enough food,
and nearly one billion go hungry.
Education
. Adult literacy has increased by more  Over 300 million CHILDREN are
than one-third since 1970. out of primary and secondary
school.
 Nearly three-quarters of CHILDREN  Nearly one billion adults are
are enrolled in school. illiterate, nearly 600 million of them
women.
Income
 More than 2% of GDP is spent on  1.2 billion people still barely survive
social security benefits. - in absolute POVERTY.
 Employee earnings grew some 3%  About half the people in Sub-
annually in the 1980s, greater than Saharan Africa are below the
that in industrial countries. POVERTY line.
CHILDREN
 The mortality rate of young  Nearly one million CHILDREN in
CHILDREN has been halved in the Sub-Saharan Africa are infected
past 30 years. with HIV.
 The immunization rate for one-year-  180 million young CHILDREN are
old CHILDREN has increased from still malnourished.
one-quarter to more than three-  Infant mortality figures in the
quarters during the past 10 years. poorest nations are 115 per 1000
live births.
Women
 The male female gaps in primary  Female representation in
education have decreased by half in Parliament is only 14% that of
the past 20 to 30 years, and in males.
literacy by one-third in the past 20  Females receive on average only
years. half the higher education of males.

 (ii) Balance Sheet of human development-industrial countries:-

Progress Deprivation
Life Expectancy and Health
 Average life expectancy is 75 years.  One in three adults smokes.
 There is one doctor for every 460  Nearly five people in every 1,000
people. are seriously injured in road
accidents.

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 Two-thirds of the people are eligible  The cost of in-patient care has
for public health insurance and increased by two-thirds since 1980.
nearly three quarters of the health
bills are paid by public insurance.
  Some 300,000 cases of AIDS have
been reported to date.
Education
 The proportion of the population  One-third of adults has not
going on to university has increased completed secondary education.
from less than one-quarter in 1965 to
more than one-third today.
 There are more than 80 scientists  For every 100 teachers, there are
and technicians for every 1,000 97 soldiers.
people.
Income and Employment
 Average income has increased three  The rate of unemployment among
and a half times in the past 30 years. youth is 13% and rising.
 Social security benefits average  The wealthiest 20% of the people
nearly 11% of GDP, and 1.3% of receive on average seven times the
GDP is spent on labor market income of the poorest 20%.
programs.
 More than one-quarter of the labor
force is unionized.
Women
 At the secondary level, female  Women’s wages are still on
school enrolment is higher than average only two-thirds those of
male. At the tertiary level, it is about men, and their unemployment rate
equal. is consistently higher.
 Women’s participation in the labor  Each year, one woman in 2,000 is
force is 78% of men’s. reported raped.
Social Fabric
 Nearly one person in two has a TV,  One in every 500 people is in Jail.
one in three reads a newspaper and
eight in ten visit a museum at least
once a year.
 The average homicide rate is four
per 100,000.
 The annual divorce rate for people
over 25 is nearly 5%.

211
Environment
 Since 1965, production has become  The greenhouse index is four times
six times less energy-intensive. that of the developing world.
 Some 60% of people are served by  42 kilograms of air pollutants are
Water-treatment facilities. emitted annually per 100 people.
 Industrial and other countries have  Nearly 10 metric tons of hazardous
agreed to phase out major CFCs and special waste is generated
(chlorofluorocarbons) by the year annually per sq. kilometer.
2000.

- Source: World Development Indicators, 1997

 Figures across the globe

a) Population:

Total Population Aged


Millions 60 and above
% of Total
1995 2010 1995 2010
Algeria 28 36 6 7
Argentina 35 40 13 14
Australia 18 20 15 18
Austria 8 8 20 24
Bangladesh 120 150 5 6
Brazil 159 190 7 9
Cameroon 13 20 5 5
Canada 30 32 16 20
China 1200 1347 10 12
Denmark 5 5 19 23
Ethiopia 56 86 4 4
France 58 60 20 23
Ghana 17 25 5 5
Hong Kong 6 6 14 19
*India 929 1127 8 9
Japan 125 128 20 29
Kenya 27 37 4 4
Netherlands 15 16 18 23
Pakistan 130 190 5 5
South Africa 41 55 7 8

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Sweden 9 9 22 25
United Kingdom 59 60 21 23
United States 263 297 16 19
Zambia 9 12 4 3
Zimbabwe 11 14 4 5

b) POVERTY:

National POVERTY Line International POVERTY


Line
Survey Year National % Survey Population
Year below $ 1 a
day %
Algeria 1998 1.6
Argentina 1991 25.5
Australia
Austria
Bangladesh 1991-92 47.5
Brazil 1990 17.4 1989 28.7
Cameroon 1984 40.0
Canada
China 1990 8.6 1993 29.4
Denmark
Ethiopia 1981-82 33.8
France
Ghana 1992 31.4
Hong Kong
*India 1992 52.5
Japan
Kenya 1992 42.0 1992 50.2
Netherlands
Pakistan 1991 34.0 1991 11.6
South Africa 1993 23.7
Sweden
UK
US
Zambia 1993 86.0 1993 84.6
Zimbabwe 1990-91 25.5 1990-91 41.0

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c) Education:

Primary Primary School Expected


Duration of Years of
School Pupil-Teacher
Primary Schooling
Starting Ratio
Education 1992
Age Pupils:Teacher
(Years)
(Years) 1993 M F
Algeria 6 6 27 11 9
Argentina 6 7 16 13 14
Australia 6 6 17 13 14
Austria 6 4 12 15 14
Bangladesh 6 5 63
Brazil 7 8 23
Cameroon 6 6 48
Canada 6 6 16 17 18
China 7 5 22
Denmark 7 6 10 15 15
Ethiopia 7 6 30
France 6 5 19 14 15
Ghana 6 6 28
Hong Kong 6 6 27
*India 6 5 64
Japan 6 6 19
Kenya 6 8 31
Netherlands 6 6 16 16 15
Pakistan 5 5 45
South Africa 6 7 27 12 12
Sweden 7 6 10 14 14
UK 5 6 20 15 15
US 6 6 14 16 16
Zambia 7 7 44
Zimbabwe 7 7

d) Health:

I) Strengthening public health programs: Public health programs typically


serve needs that cannot be met by private or market-based activities. Their
objective is to prevent disease or injury and to provide information on self-cure
and the significance of seeking care.

214
Governments face difficult choices in the use of public money devoted to
health. Six particularly cost-effective public health activities include: Providing
population - based services, for instance, immunization and mass screening for
widespread diseases; improving diet and nutrition; providing family planning
and maternal health care; reducing the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and other
drugs; improving housing and external environments, including mitigating
occupational hazards; and preventing AIDS.
Government action in many areas of public health has already paid off in
developing countries. Immunization saves an estimated 3 million lives a year
and diarrhoea control more than 1 million. Contraceptive use has helped
women space or avoid pregnancies. But governments need to expand their
efforts, especially in public health initiatives, such as CHILD malnutrition,
tobacco use, and AIDS. The last two are high-risk factors in developing
countries and are expected to be among the main causes of death and
disability in the next few decades.
CHILD malnutrition: Either directly or in association with such diseases as
measles, diarrhoea, or respiratory diseases, malnutrition accounts for about
one-fourth of deaths among CHILDREN under age 5. WHO estimates that
about one-third of CHILDREN in developing countries are malnourished.
Chronic malnutrition is mainly a consequence of POVERTY, therefore
governments should ensure food distribution, especially during periods of
seasonal variability, and control infectious diseases. There is also a need to
encourage healthier eating by providing information on diet - improvement.
ii) Cost-effectiveness of public health interventions and essential clinical
services in low-income economies, 1990:

Total Global Annual Cost per


Disease Burden Capita
Program
Averted $
%
 Care for sick CHILDREN 14 1.6
 Immunization 6 0.5
 Prenatal and delivery care 4 3.8
 Family planning 3 0.9
 AIDS prevention 2 1.7
 Treatment of sexually transmitted 1 0.2
diseases
 Short-course chemotherapy for 1 0.6
TB
 School Health 0.1 0.3
 Discouraging tobacco and alcohol 0.1 0.3
use

- Source: World Bank 1993

215
iii) Prevalence of CHILD malnutrition, 1985, 1990, and 1995 percentage of
CHILDREN under 5:

Region 1985 1990 1995

 Asia 41.7 36.8 37.3

 Latin America and The Caribbean 10.5 9.3 7.7

 Middle East and North Africa 14.2 12.1 12.4

 Sub-Saharan Africa 29.2 29.7 31.2

- Source: WHO Estimates; Data refer to 93 Countries

iv) AIDS: Has killed about 6 million people and infected 28 million (WHO 1996).
More than 80 percent of those infected in 1990 lived in developing countries; by
2000 this share is expected to increase to 95 percent. AIDS is the largest cause
of death in many African cities, and it is likely to become a major cause of death
in Sub-Saharan Africa and in India and other Asian countries unless action is
taken now. A combination of strategies is required to check the spread of AIDS,
most important being the provision of information on how to avoid infection and
promotion of condom use, which has proved successful in Uganda and Zaire
(World Bank 1993).

- Source: World Development Indicators, 1997

v) Reproductive Risk: A Worldwide Assessment of Women’s Sexual and


maternal health: 1995 report on progress towards world stabilization:
Population Action International:
a) Trends in women’s health: Around the world, women’s overall health is
improving. More and more women are educating themselves, marrying
later, and using contraception and having smaller families, thereby enjoying
better reproductive health. And yet, about 1.3 million women still die each
year of reproductive-health related causes.
Many biological, social and cultural factors tell upon women’s health,
particularly, the low status of women in many societies, female genital
mutilation in Africa, CHILD marriage in Asia and Africa, and food taboos in
many countries contributing to poor nutrition of women in pregnancy....
STDs and women’s health: Each year, an estimated 250 million men and
women contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) apart from HIV/AIDS.
STDs are more common in poor than in rich countries, and rates of
infection highest in Africa. STD is most prevalent among sex workers and
others with multiple sex partners... Hepatitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and
Chlamydia are other STDs. Cervical Cancer may be linked to a sexually
transmitted virus. STDs account for a significant share of death and
disease in poor countries. The economic impact may range from the direct
costs of medical care and the indirect costs of lost productivity due to
illness...

216
b) Reproductive risk indicators:
Early CHILDrearing: In both rich and poor countries, early teenage girls
are physically immature to reproduce. Early CHILD bearing can jeopardize
their educational and employment futures;
Use of family planning: Many Asian and Latin American countries have
made significant strides in expanding access to family planning;
Abortion policies: Abortion is “safe” when properly performed by trained
health personnel. Yet, in many countries, abortion remains legally
restricted, leading to unsafe abortion, a major cause of maternal deaths,
injuries and sickness globally;
Nutritional Anemia in pregnancy: is common where malnutrition is
widespread. Anemia may lead to death by hemorrhage but can be easily
treated with oral iron supplements. We need improvements in nutritional
status; diets and access to prenatal care;
Access to health care in pregnancy and CHILDbirth: is essential. In
most industrialized countries, most pregnant women receive prenatal care
and give birth in the presence of skilled medical personnel;
HIV/AIDS among women: is a major threat to women particularly in Sub-
Saharan Africa. In most other regions, HIV primarily affects homosexual
men, sex workers, drug users, etc. Women may contract AIDS from
“irresponsible” partners;
Infertility: is a stigma in many societies and women in these societies may
be abandoned;
Risk of death in CHILDbearing: Half a million women die each year from
pregnancy-related complications, most in developing countries.
c) Reproductive health in the former Soviet Republics: The health status
of women is mixed. Political changes have led to economic problems,
thereby undermining the quality and coverage of health services. Food
shortages and economic difficulties (reflecting malnutrition) have been
leading to the prevalence of anemia.
d) Female Genital Mutilation: A harmful tradition in Africa: FGM (or,
female circumcision) is practiced primarily in Africa, for beliefs such as
preservation of virginity and enhancement of beauty. It also often
celebrates the attainment of womanhood. Circumcision may lead to
bleeding, infection, shock, and even death. In the long run, effects such as
scarring, CHILDbirth complications, infection, infertility, psychological
trauma and painful menstruation and intercourse may result.
In many poor countries, limited financial resources, health facilities and
trained personnel will render provision of health services difficult. Countries
with limited resources should identify and support a minimum package of
services, based on priority needs and potential health impact.
vi) Three main determinants of health status are:
 Public sanitation, climate and the availability of medical facilities;

217
 Knowledge and understanding of hygiene and nutrition by the common
people;
 People’s purchasing power.
vii) Community Involvement: is defined as “a process whereby individuals,
families and communities assume responsibility for their own health and
welfare and develop the capacity to contribute to the community’s
development.”
Preventive measures and information - about birth spacing, safe
motherhood, newborn care, breast-feeding, CHILD growth and
development, immunization, hygiene and disease can enable most
families improve their health.
Nutrition Literacy for Health: The nutritional status of a nation is closely related to
food adequacy and distribution, POVERTY levels, status of women, rate of
population and access to health, education, (safe) drinking water, environmental and
social sanitation and hygiene and other social services... The poor suffer not only
from malnutrition of calories but also that of proteins and micronutrients such as iron,
iodine, vitamin A, and other minerals and vitamins...
A typical community development program should include nutrition education
through school gardens, kitchen gardens, backyard poultry etc. to create awareness
among the community as to
i) How to achieve adequate nutrition with available means; and
ii) To inform the poor of existing nutrition services.
Nutrition Education can be imparted through live demonstrations, lectures and
discussions, films, slides and exhibitions. An ideal package should include
i. Significance of nutrition;`
ii. Improvement of diet within a low cost;
iii. Some facts about food;
iv. Needs of different age groups;
v. Nutrition of mothers and breastfeeding as well as other aspects of CHILD
care;
vi. Preparation of infant foods;
vii. Nutrition of young CHILDREN;
viii. Diarrhoea management;
ix. Significance of immunization;
x. A package on hygiene and sanitation;
xi. Conserving nutrients;
xii. Food preservation; and
xiii. Existing services.

218
Special nutrition programs and school mid-day meals can be adopted.
In this lesson, grassroots workers and NGOs have to play a vital role.
The draft of the “Platform for Action”, a blueprint for women’s advancement in
countries around the world identifies 11 (eleven) “critical areas of concern” for
the world’s women, namely,

i. The burden of POVERTY;

ii. Educational opportunities;

iii. Healthcare services;

iv. Violence against women;

v. Effects of conflict;

vi. Participation in economic structures and policies and the productive


process;

vii. Power sharing and decision-making;

viii. Advancement of women;

ix. Women’s human rights;

x. Mass media to promote women’s contribution; and

xi. Women’s contribution in managing natural resources and the


environment.
‘.... Being a father benefits a man - a man can rear himself as he rears his
CHILDREN; he can understand and, if necessary, forgive his parents as he
becomes one; and he can pass on what he has learned about being a man among
his peers and an equal partner to a woman.... Moving beyond the men’s movement
towards a new definition of masculinity.’
- From “Man Enough - Fathers, Sons, and the Search for Masculinity”
- Frank Pittman, M.D.
Albert Einstein once predicted “We shall require a substantially new manner of
thinking if mankind is to survive.” From his prediction, it seems to me that we
need a transition in thinking - from nuclear security to human security.
For most people, insecurity arises more from worries about daily life than from the
fear of a cataclysmic world event. Will there be enough to eat? Will they remain
employed? Will they be secure against crime? Will they be discriminated against by
reason of their gender, religion or ethnic origin?
Finally, “Human security” is a CHILD who did not die, a disease that did not
spread, an ethnic tension that did not explode in violence, a dissident who was not
silenced. Human security is now no longer a concern with weapons - it is a concern
with human life and dignity.

219
What we must remember is that
 Human security is a “universal” concern. There are many threats that are
relevant to all people-unemployment, drugs, crime, pollution and human rights
violations, although their intensity may vary from place to place;
 The components of human security are “interdependent” i.e. consequences
of events such as famine, disease, pollution, drug trafficking, terrorism and
ethnic disputes spread to other nations;
 Human security is easier to ensure through early prevention (upstream)
than later intervention (down-stream). For instance, even a few billion dollars
invested in primary health care and family planning education could have
helped contain the spread of HIV/AIDS when its costs were about $ 240 billion
during the 1980s;
 Human security is “people-centered”. It is concerned with people, like how
much access people have to market and social opportunities.
Human security can be lost through a slow, silent process, or through an
abrupt, loud emergency. The loss can be man made - due to wrong policy
choices, or arising from the forces of nature, or can be a combination of both -
as when environmental degradation causes a natural disaster, followed by
human insecurity.
“Human Security” is not the same as “Human Development” - which is a
process of widening the range of people’s choices. On the other hand, human
security means that choices can be exercised safely and freely, and that
today’s opportunities are not lost tomorrow.
When human development fails, a backlog of human deprivation can arise -
POVERTY, hunger, disease, and disparities (or, when people see the basis of
their livelihood erode - such as their access to water) which can lead to
violence and conflict.
How do people see human security?
 Shoe-mender in Thailand - “When we have enough for the CHILDREN to eat,
we are happy and we feel secure.”
 Fourth-Grade schoolgirl in Ghana - “I shall feel secure when I know I can walk
the streets at night without being raped.”
 Public administrator in Cameroon - “Security for me means that my job and
position are safe and I can continue to provide for the needs of my family and
also have something for investment and friends.”
 Woman in Paraguay - “I feel secure because I feel fulfilled and have confidence
in myself. I also feel secure because God is great and watches over me.”
 Man in Ecuador - “What makes you feel insecure above all is violence and
delinquency - as well as insecurity with respect to the police. Basic services are
also an important part of security.”
- Source: UNDP, 1994

220
Security to people in rich nations means security from crime and drugs, HIV/AIDS,
soil degradation, pollution, while to people in poor nations, it means freedom from
hunger, disease and POVERTY as well as the problems confronting industrial
countries.
Security from physical violence is perhaps the most vital. Physical violence can
take various forms:
 Threats from the state (physical torture);
 Threats from other states (war);
 Threats from other groups of people (ethnic tension);
 Threats from individuals or gangs against other gangs (crime, street violence);
 Crimes against women (rape, dowry, domestic violence);
 Threats against CHILDREN who are both vulnerable and dependent (CHILD
abuse);
 Threats to self (suicide, drug abuse).
In many societies, the risks are now greater than ever before.
Women are, in no society, treated at par with men. They are the last to eat at home,
the last to be educated, are often the least-paid on work, and throughout their lives,
the victims of (“sexist”) gender-stereotyping and abuse.
CHILDREN, who should be the most protected in any society, are always being
abused. In developing countries, many CHILDREN are compelled by POVERTY to
undertake heavy work at a young age - jeopardizing their health and education. In
Brazil, more than 200,000 CHILDREN (as of 1994-95) grow up on the streets. The
combined number of CHILD prostitutes (?) in Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Philippines
would be something like 500,000 (1994-95).
The United Nations declared 1993 the “Year of Indigenous People(s)” to show just
how vulnerable aboriginal people are. During the 1970s drought, the one million
Tuareg Saharan nomads found it difficult to move their herds to distant water holes,
and as many as 125,000 people starved to death. And violence is something
indigenous people have always to put up with. In Canada, an indigenous person is
six times more likely to be murdered than other Canadians.
So, what did Rigoberta Menchu, winner of the 1992 Nobel PEACE prize, have
to say? ‘.... We believe in the wisdom of our ancestors and wise people who passed
on to us their strength and taught us the art of language - enabling us to reaffirm the
validity of our thousand-year-old history and the justice of our struggle.
My cause was not born out of something good, it was born out of wretchedness and
bitterness. It has been radicalized by the POVERTY in which my people live. It has
been radicalized by the malnutrition which I, as an Indian, have seen and
experienced. And by the exploitation and discrimination which I have felt in the flesh.
And by the oppression which.... shows no respect for our way of life, the way we
are....

221
The International Year of Indigenous People enabled us to... bear witness to the
emptiness and the painful situation of misery, marginalization and humiliation in
which we continue to live....
The International Decade for Indigenous People is one more step towards building
new relationships between states and indigenous peoples on the basis of mutual
respect....’
When human security is under threat anywhere, it can affect people everywhere.
National borders can no longer hold famines, ethnic conflicts, social disintegration,
terrorism, pollution, unchecked population growth, drug trafficking and economic
disparities and one person can carry a deadly disease - such as HIV/AIDS - to any
corner of the world. Can a nation isolate itself from the rest of the world?
The best thing to do, from the point of view of human security, is to undertake
preventive action. Soldiers trying to fight crisis cannot replace early socio-
economic reform. Short-term humanitarian assistance cannot replace long-
term development support.
Some useful indicators of national insecurity would be food insecurity, job and
income insecurity, human rights violations, ethnic or religious conflicts, inequity and
military spending. Combining national and global indicators would highlight the
coincidence of national and global insecurities as with high unemployment and
heavy international migration.
We must recognize that the reasons for conflict and war today are often rooted in
POVERTY, social injustice and degradation of the environment. The need of the
hour is to adopt innovative development initiatives, like credit for the poor. This would
go a long way in preventing insecurity.

222
CHAPTER 26b
FROM GUIDELINES TO GOALS
The following goals provide major elements for a common strategy for the entire
world.
POVERTY: – More than one billion people in developing countries are living in
conditions of absolute POVERTY (with a per capita income less than US$ 370 per
year). The Goal is - in sub-Saharan Africa, to hold the number of poor at the present
level until population growth can be brought under control; – elsewhere, to reduce
the number of poor by four hundred million –
POPULATION: – Reduction of the global fertility rate so that the world’s population
will not exceed the UN Median projections. (By the year 2025, a total population of
8.5 Billion rather than the high level projection of 9.4 Billion)
– By the year 2000, an increase in contraception prevalence in developing
countries, so as to reach at least 56 percent of women of reproductive age
(i.e., from 326 million user couples to 535 million user couples).
THE ENVIRONMENT: – The Rio Conference succeeded in formulating principles
and implementation measures for the big environment problem. The Rio
Declaration, Agenda 21, the Forest Principles and the Bio Diversity Convention
embody general principles for action to protect the environment and lay the basis
for specific goals and plans of action. Only the Convention on Climate Change sets
out a specific goal: the reduction of greenhouse gases to “earlier levels” by the year
2000. In addition, through UNICEF and WHO, two specific goals have been
established, universal access to safe drinking water, and to sanitary means of
excreta disposal.
HEALTH: – By the year 2000, within the broad goal of universal access to primary
health care, specific goals include: to reduce infant mortality rate by one-third (or
atleast to 50 per thousand); and to reduce mortality rate of CHILDREN under five by
one-third (or atleast to 70 per thousand).
NUTRITION: – The International Conference on Nutrition (Rome, Dec’ 92) adopted a
World Declaration and plan of action. Three goals for achievement by the year 2000
were set: –
– To end famine and famine – related deaths;
– To end starvation and nutritional deficiency diseases in communities
affected by natural or man-made disasters;
– To eliminate iodine and vitamin A deficiencies.
EDUCATION: – The long-term goal adopted at The World Conference on Education
for All (1990) is to meet the basic learning needs of all. The intermediate goals
include the universal access to, and completion of primary education by the year
2000.
DEVELOPMENT: THE BIG GAME; PEACE, SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT: –
The savage conflicts erupting across the face of the globe today cannot be attributed
solely to social and economic inequity but POVERTY AND ITS ATTENDANT ILLS
DO PROVIDE FERTILE GROUND FOR VIOLENCE. Painful disparities in how
people live, among and within nations generate plenty of fissionable material.

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INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY REST AS MUCH ON HUMAN WELL-
BEING AS ON LAW AND ORDER. This could happen only if there is a radical
change in the international political climate, which would release and redirect
enormous energy and resources. On that Day, the goals of security and the goals of
development would converge into one.
THE STATUS OF WOMEN: – The underlying goal is a major increase in women’s
participation in development. More specific goals, to be reached by the year 2000,
are: –
– To reduce maternal mortality by 50 percent,
– To reduce adult illiteracy, especially among women, by 50 percent , and
– To ensure universal access by girls to primary education.
After all, how can we neglect the female species? Aren’t they the CREATORS
OF SOCIETY?

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CHAPTER 27a
-‘We are focusing on a model.... which reduces living women into wombs, ovaries,
hormones to be managed, into a machine - like mechanism, dissecting body from
mind and spirit, focusing on fertility as a biological bodily process only, separating
living women from life with men, from life in POVERTY, from life with its multiple
social relations and power dynamics....
The strong opposition from fundamentalists against women’s self determination in
matters of procreation and sexuality stems from deep seated woman-hatred, but is
mostly disguised in arguments expressing concern about family values and foetal
life...’
-Loes Keysers and Judith Richter, date or event not specified
-“Veiled Times’ are coming to an end.... Things are changing at a rapid pace...
Women in Iran are somewhat in a better position... You may be surprised to know
that in Iran 55 percent of college and university students are women.... In my film...
the story is of a Muslim CHILD befriending the Christian padre and comforting him in
his deathbed... In the villages and cities of Iran, Jews, Zoroastrians, Christians, and
Muslims live in striking harmony. Our film talks of Mary or Maryam. She is
omnipresent. Irrespective of culture and religion she towers as a mother figure
transcending all apparent divides.”
-Fereshteh Taerpoor, noted lady film producer from Iran.
-‘We settled into a happy, crowded family.... Nelson liked doing the family shopping
and I was more than happy for him to do so. He enjoyed bathing the babies in the
evenings and there were occasions when he took over the cooking from us women.’
- Evelyn, Nelson Mandela’s first wife
-‘Even the Declaration’s opening sentence “All men are created equal”, caused
problems. The delegate from India pointed out that women should also be included
and another UN committee lobbied for the word “People” to be used instead of
“men”. The final compromise was “human beings”...’
- From J. William T. Youngs, “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Personal And Public Life”
-Eleanor (Roosevelt) received criticism for particular stands... Her highly publicized
travels drew out critics who were disturbed by the spectacle of a woman making a
mark in the world... ‘If you would stay home and make a home for your husband, it
would be OK... Keep Franklin company (as a real good woman should do) and tend
to your knitting...’
- From J. William T. Youngs, “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Personal And Public Life”
-Rape is not just a crime, it is a slur on the face (name) of humanity, and it arises
from the system itself, is that not shocking?
-Before World War I, Suffragettes campaigned for women to have the right to vote....
At that time no woman expected either to work or to vote and never to play a full role
in society.
- Anonymous

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-If they are not carrying the Y chromosome, filmmakers can forget a career in
directing action films (Mimi Leder has, however, already made a breakthrough).
Action Cinema with female leads are, however, coming forth: Lara Croft; Charlie’s
Angels; V.I. Warshawski; Buffy, The Vampire Slayer; Cynthia Rothrock; Cynthia
Khan; Barbwire (starring Pamela Anderson); Angelina Jolie; Drew Barrymore/Lucy
Liu/Cameron Diaz; Kathleen Turner; Michelle Yeoh; Supergirl; Catwoman; Batgirl,
(comic strips); “Bad Girls”; Sheena; etc.
-The media has reported that in some of the poorest villages of Orissa, India, the
position of women is such that their husbands do not give them anything to eat. I do
not know how much of this is true but if it is true, it is very shocking to note that this is
how some parts of India work.
-What is the 21st Century woman? What are we talking about? Are we talking about
those lean, thin women who are dieting for the upcoming beauty pageant, or, are we
talking about those lean, thin women who know not a word of numeracy or literacy
and who have to walk miles and miles in parched heat to fetch drinking water?
-Rise, ye women folk, “Bobbitise” (after Laurena Bobbit) every potential molester, or
build up your muscles, or learn self-defense and/or carry arms (if it comes to that),
but fight!
-We have seen a gradual erosion of human values in the system. Our moral fiber
has weakened. The heaviest burden has fallen on women (especially, younger
women) and CHILDREN, in terms of sexuality, reproductive rights and security.
Women and CHILDREN are particularly vulnerable on issues such as rape and
sexual abuse (in particular, CHILD abuse). Let us not feel vulnerable, let us look into
ourselves (introspect) and find out ways and means of solving issues, particularly,
security. Let us not feel helpless. Together, we can promote (heavy) sport (for
women and girl CHILDREN), self-defense (martial art), work to cleanse cinema, ban
pornography, guide delinquents and antisocials, and work to erase stereotyped
images of women as projected by the media. I am not saying there is anything wrong
with participating in a beauty pageant or walking down a ramp, but excess of
anything is bad, as is happening all over the world. And there may be a need to
sacrifice initially for a period of time, during which we would be trying to cleanse the
system. In the end, we have to realize that a man’s body is as provocative as that of
a woman, and that, by talking of morality and values, women are being injudiciously
targeted (punished?)
-O! Ye! Women folk, remember Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in a “Battle of
the Sexes” match in tennis, say, all for unisexual sport!!!
-Women are giving birth in POVERTY, can there be a greater disaster than this?
-‘Fight as a man doth, fight like a man’ - from (bent on revenge for her slain father)
‘Cat Ballou’ starring Jane Fonda (from Wild West Cinema).
-In unequal power structures like Indian Society, men still hold the key to social
equality.... Educating them (men)... would mean being able to.... among other things,
curb delinquent behavior (example-sex crime)...

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-‘Food for Thought’ for the ‘New Man’- theoretically, given the right hormonal
treatment, men could be capable of producing breast milk and suckling their young.
What about 9 months for men??
- From ‘Why Corner’, The Telegraph, India, 13th Nov., ’2000.
-A ‘Plan of Action’ to nab ‘Potential’ eve-teasers and rapists: A secret mission:
young, smart women take strolls down a lonely stretch or thumb a lift from strangers
to attract attention (from Road Romeos). And in the process, nearly a dozen of them
(Romeos) land behind bars. These women are not ordinary women, but experts in
martial arts, yoga, etc., ‘undercover cops’, members of teams of female police
operatives. They roam alone, or in twos. A jeep (or, a convertible) follows from a safe
distance. These women do not protest or reveal their identities. This method has
already been adopted in the city of Calcutta in India.
-‘Baby girls are not welcome, but used for procreation’: ‘In her home the woman is
the least privileged when she is born. There is no rejoicing. She is considered an
economic liability. Whereas the birth of one girl may be considered as bad luck, a
second one means disaster and a third girl is seen as a catastrophe. As a rural
CHILD she is neglected, undernourished and overworked. She grows up to bear and
care for CHILDREN.’
-Dr. Sadiqua N. Jafarey, from National Health, Pakistan, Oct.-Dec., ’94.
At this moment, things may be changing in Pakistan.
-Women in Algeria live in terror: A (lady) student, properly attired in appropriate
dress, who wished to attend an evening lecture on campus... was whipped brutally
with a leather belt. ...Also, forbidding women to wear unconventional clothing....
Angeline Achterberg, an anthropologist, who lived in Algeria for eight years, was
and probably is still working for the Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples. We
hope, that, at this moment, things have changed in Algeria.
-On the women’s movement, “As working women, we belong to a broader
movement. Our profile combines women’s issues with class issues, which we
consider basic to cast a movement that also includes social justice as a goal.”
- Graciela Retamoso, Feminist and trade unionist, honoring Maria Abella
(1863-1926), writer, teacher and pioneer feminist (Uruguay)
-‘There are no data, no trials have been performed in Pakistan.’
- From Depo Provera introduced in Pakistan, National Health Report, Pakistan,
Date not specified.
-‘In order for pregnancy to stop being a threat to women’s lives, motherhood must be
voluntary.... Society must take responsibility.... for providing social support....’
- Martha Rosenberg
-Family Planning in itself is not enough, especially when women have walked ten
miles to a clinic to find that they cannot be treated for various reproductive problems
(e.g. tract infections).

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-Can we have more women on the roads - (lady) civilians, lady cops, lady cab
drivers, lady bus conductors, ladies working at the gas stations etc? Believe me…
there is always safety in numbers... from violence etc.
-When men start giving birth (i.e. if they do), issues pertaining to women’s
reproductive and sexual rights will probably drop into oblivion!
-At a very crucial period in their lives... women (particularly, working or poor Third
World women) get bogged down with conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding and
parental responsibility... and worse still, later... with menopause....
-For us coming from the Third World, reproductive rights don’t form the central issue
in the lives of millions of women in our countries... The burning issues are social and
economic problems....
- A member of the Third World Network
-She argued that the pattern of sex roles was imposed by society and not due to any
inborn or biological factors.... And she became one of the inspirations of the Feminist
Movement.
- From Margaret Mead - Michael Pollard
-As a young woman strongly concerned with the safety and security of women,
young girls and girl (and for that matter, boy) CHILDREN, I cannot tolerate a system
in which we face the perils of being abused, mutilated (with acid, for instance),
molested or raped every single day, every single minute and for that matter, every
single second? Let us plunge into action to work to erase such enormous hatred of
the “XX” species and to ensure full security and respectability to it.... Enough is
enough…
-Let us have a hospital on wheels (train) devoted exclusively to women (particularly,
rural women) - Menses, women’s problems, pain-alleviation or pain relief in labor –
acupuncture, acupressure (I am not much aware of the role of epidurals and semi-
epidurals) manned (womanned!) by women.
-“Today has seen ‘The Celebration of a victory for Feminism’. If a woman is allowed
to teach advanced studies to both sexes, where afterwards will be the pretended
superiority of man? I tell you, the time is near when women will become human
beings.”
- “Le Journal”, on Marie Curie’s first lecture at the Sorbonne, Paris, 06/11/1906.
She would have been pleased to see women scientists now working alongside men
and accepted on an equal footing.
“.... Marie’s story is not just one of brilliant scientific achievement. It is also the very
human story of her passionate conviction that an individual’s work can help
mankind...”
- Margaret Thatcher
-In the world as a whole, women do most of the agricultural work, although they earn
only one-tenth of the income. Many cultures assume that women will do the most
back-breaking work and receive poor pay for it. Margaret Mead’s questioning of
assumptions like this and assumptions about the roles of men and women in the
Western world - was an influence in extending the scope of women’s education and
the part played by men in CHILD rearing and CHILD care.

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-Religious congregations across the world are still largely male-dominated. Hindu
priests are by and large male. From a survey of the literature on this subject, I have
noted with interest some facts about women and worship. Basic questions as to why
should women be kept from entering places of worship (as during their menses)
remain unanswered still now. I mean, God has not created these barriers. Men have
made them. Look at the Catholic - Protestant, whatever going on in Ireland. Rape
and abortion are serious issues and the Papacy is opposed to family planning, in an
age in which birth figures across the world are likely to soar and many millions of
CHILDREN are likely to remain hungry, deformed or undernourished?
-Important questions confronting us:
If we went back to the Dark Ages, would the Laws of the Jungle (or, Laws of Nature)
govern inter-sexual behavior?
So, I can burn my brassiere, but can I move about on the street?
So, I can move about with men, but will I be accepted as an entity in my own right?
So, will I be allowed to pray during my menses?
So, I am a modern woman, has my sexuality been freed?
So, I am working full-time. But will he help me wash, clean and cook?
So, I do want to dart to an age in which I can wear what I want to. But am I not at a
greater risk of crime?
So, I have nine mouths to feed-my husband, my seven daughters and myself. He
wants a son. I can’t take it any more. I am exhausted. I am prepared to adopt birth
control methods. I have never heard of men using these methods. Can you help me?
I am a sex worker. So, will the government do anything to educate my CHILDREN,
or give me an alternative means of living?
So, can you answer my questions?
WHAT DID OTHER WOMEN TELL ME?
They said, girl, women are powerless, because they can get pregnant. Women are
powerless because they can conceive. It is a beautiful gift of God; this ability to
conceive and give birth, it is a right given to women only. But in a highly perverted
society, in a society in which there is an inequitable social structure, in a society in a
state of transition, many other issues come to the forefront and power relations
between men and women remain lopsided. In such a society, deep perversions arise
and members of the species get the right to harm or exploit each other.
My mother said labor is a very painful process, and I understand that I gave her
much pain (I should say “Trauma”) when I was born. I have often felt guilty about
this. But it is not your fault, she said. The labor of love brought you into the world. I
loved your father and you were born. With time, I grew up. I watched “The Blue
Lagoon” with her. When I got my first menses, I was not scared. However, I still did
not feel like the Complete Woman. I wanted to self-actualize…

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I concluded that there is something called “Sex”, and that this thing is largely
responsible for much of the imbalance in the gender power structure…
Actually, the sexuality that has been freed is male sexuality. Men are still controlling
the world. Sex, reproduction, crime (e.g. rape) and hunger are very important issues
and most of these issues affect women across the globe. We live in a perverted
society and power relations between men and women are still lopsided. A society
can progress only if its women progress and lopsided progress across the globe can
have serious repercussions…
The human race has been gifted the ability to speak and express itself. Trees
cannot. Dogs and cats cannot. Both constructive and destructive behaviors are in the
hands of men and women. Promoting a more equitable power structure (and this
goes for all castes, creeds and faiths) will help restore harmony to the world, allow
for more constructive behavior and greatly reduce or even alleviate destructive
behavior…
Is the English Dictionary to blame? It may seem so. Most of our current thinking on
these issues largely conforms to our stereotyped notions of “Masculine” and
“Feminine”. “Food for Thought” really?
Examining another perspective, THE MALE EGO: is something with which
practically every woman has to cope. It started with God Himself. Tracing the history
of mankind, we come to the Garden of Aden. Recent research tells us that Eve
preceded Adam. Both Adam and Eve tasted the “Forbidden Apple”, but Eve was
punished for the “sin” she had committed. And, now, women all over the world are
suffering-as victims of a traditional or conservative or sexist society. Different parts of
the world are in different stages of progress, but in no part of the world have women
been truly liberated. And it seems God created MANkind. As if, there are no powerful
(female) Goddesses, Ma Durga, Ma Kali (Hindu religion) and the Virgin Mother?
Many societies still remain prudish, despite huge faith in a female power. The
Goddess Durga (Hindu deity) is an embodiment of female power. She represents the
victory of Good over Evil. No man could defeat the mighty “Asuras” (‘Dark’ beings of
ancient Indian mythology). It was a lady who prevailed over the ‘Darker’ forces of
nature.
I often wonder how WE WOMEN come into the world at all. Female foeticide, sex-
selection and lack of adequate nourishment take away large numbers of girl-
CHILDREN every year. God created mankind (man and his kind).
Women fall out of the blue skies.
-According to me, “SEXISM” represents that “they” (men) do not expect-“us”
(women) to be able to do the same as them, what with our female genitalia in a
female body, and consequent discrimination.
-Women belonging to the Nomadic Sansi community in Rajasthan (India) …are
subjected to …crude virginity tests…The centuries-old custom of “Kukari Ki
Rasam”(thread ritual) is not just used to torture women…Impure brides are beaten to
reveal the names of their “lovers”…Virginity tests are not covered under the Indian
Penal Code (IPC) and as such cannot be considered a crime…Although Indian
women have made enormous inroads in a range of fields…violence against them is
not uncommon…Other tests (of virginity) are the “Paani Ki Dheej” (purity by water) or

230
Agnipariksha (trial by fire)…A victim…proved her virginity by holding her breath
under water…As part of the trial by fire, a bride is made to walk with a piece of red-
hot iron in her hands…Women whose palms get burnt are considered impure…But,
the government says it is powerless since few Sansi women dare go public with the
problem…Shocking!!!
- From ‘The Telegraph’ (India), Sunday, 17 December 2000
-There is frightening evidence that some women today might as well be living three
hundred years ago. In 1987, there was information that women in Mozambique were
being tried as witches and executed. In some countries, women can still be stoned
for committing adultery.
-“Have girls in Africa been given less of a chance than boys to profit from educational
progress? Yes. Women in Africa have always suffered from male supremacist
attitudes and customs; and they have continued to suffer from them since
independence…Gross inequalities between men and women have generally
persisted. But some progress has been made against them, and continues to be
made. Not only have girls and young women found new educational opportunities:
adult women have also joined in the drive for education, attending literacy classes
and various forms of vocational training, while a wider range of jobs has become
available for women in towns. Beyond this, too, women have begun to join together
in self-defence so as to claim, and sometimes get, a better status in society.”
- From “Modern Africa”, 2nd Edn, Basil Davidson, 1989
-In the remote villages of North Bihar (India), women are now working in a largely
male bastion, as “Share-croppers” in the fields. They do all the strenuous work-from
sowing, watering to transplanting rice and other food crops and (themselves)
supervising the work…Most share-croppers are either landless laborers or small
peasants taking care of the farming business of the better-off farmers…(These)
women share-croppers are however, exploited. They get a meager wage of Rs.30-
40/- per day…
However, the very fact that women have stepped out of their houses and are working
in the fields, supervising their own work is a major step forward…Only a decade or
two earlier, involving women would have been impossible…
Call it “A Giant Leap towards Feminization of POVERTY”.
-From ‘The Telegraph’, India, 22 Feb, 1999: “9 Months for Men”(London):
Advances in medical technology mean men could now bear CHILDREN, said one of
Britain’s fertility experts.
Lord Winston, head of a leading fertility clinic, said modern techniques can be used
to implant an embryo in a man’s abdomen, allowing him to carry it to full term and
give birth by Caesarean section. He said there is a risk of bleeding from the placenta
and hormone treatment could leave the man with larger breasts.
-‘ It is only when women and girls gain their place as strong and equal members of
society that violence against them will be viewed as a shocking aberration, rather
than as an invisible norm…’

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-Prof. Charlotte Bunch, Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership,
Rutgers University, United States-
-“…Women already have work.
They already grow most of the developing world’s food, market most of its crops,
fetch most of its water, collect most of its fuel, feed most of its animals, weed most of
its fields.
And when their work outside the home is done, they light the Third World’s fires,
cook its meals, clean its compounds, wash its clothes, shop for its needs, and look
after its old and its ill.
And they bear and care for its CHILDREN.
The multiple burdens of womanhood are too many.
…The time has come, in all countries, for men to share more fully in that most
difficult and important of all tasks – protecting the lives and the health and the growth
of their CHILDREN.”
-From “Facts for Life”, UNICEF, WHO and UNESCO, India, Jan 1990.
Who are we waiting for?
-Reports from a recent SAARC People’s Summit:
Unbridled globalization, according to some people, is eroding people’s livelihood,
driving the marginalized across the borders of one nation to another.
There may be a “critical connection” between food security and trafficking in women
and CHILDREN. Lack of the former makes women and CHILDREN vulnerable.
According to Ubinig, a Bangladeshi NGO, “The use to which the trafficked persons
are put depends on the exploitative global trading system and its supply and demand
trends.”
The speakers said the lure of profit could lie in the sale to brothels, adoption homes,
camel jockeys, forced marriage and domestic and bonded labor.
Now, that the poor and the marginalized have been thrown on the sidelines of the
economy, there are no easy solutions…But should we concede defeat?
-From “Fraulein Fighters, Achtung!”, The Telegraph, 3 Jan, 2001:
In a landmark move, the German Military today opened its ranks for women wanting
to join the combat forces. Female volunteers will no longer be confined to the
German Military's medical and musical units.
-Countries that have made remarkable social progress have done so primarily
through the empowerment of women, and this in turn has had tremendous impact in
terms of literacy, health and economic well being of families.
-“It is justice …that is wanting in the world”, wrote Mary Wollstonecraft, the
pioneering Feminist, in “A Vindication of The Rights of Woman”, published in 1792.
In the same year, Thomas Paine published the second part of the “Rights of Man”.
Both were concerned with giving every man and every woman–power over their lives
and opportunities to live according to their own values and aspirations.

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-In a place called Khunti in Jharkhand region of India, women have got together to
protect thousands of acres of forests from being destroyed, as the lives of tribals
depend on forests, water and land. The women belonging to this region started work
in 1993, and by the year 2000, these women had brought greenery to about 630
acres of land. Neither forest officials nor local villagers are allowed to cut down trees,
and any infringement is subject to fine, the amount of which goes into the women’s
fund. After the rains, the forests are cleaned and leaves, bushes etc., distributed
among the villagers.
-Illiterate “Mallah” women belonging to Muzzaffarpur District (Bihar, India) got
together to solve the problem of unemployment in the community. With the help of a
self-help group, these women got a 350-acre pond cleaned, took a license for fish
rearing from the district administration and trained in pisciculture, besides availing
themselves of a loan from the National Fund for Women. The menfolk, who had left
for other states in search of employment, came back. The womenfolk gave them
work. Today, these families are smiling… a unique model, ah!
-In a historic verdict given by Justice Vasudev Panigrahi in a case relating to
divorcee Mrs. Shakeela Parveen, the Calcutta (India) High Court ruled that a
divorced Muslim lady is entitled to a “living allowance” upto her second marriage.
Hope for divorcee Muslim women!
-From a simple, middle-class Muslim family in Allahabad, UP, India, Maria Zubairi
has risen to the position of India’s first Muslim lady pilot. She was trained at the
Indira Gandhi National Flying Academy in Rai Bareilly, UP, India. Call it, flying away
to a place where one’s dreams can play!
-The Supreme Court (in India) has ruled that if a widowed daughter has no means of
living, then she can ask for a “living allowance” from her parents.
-Sweden has passed a new law, which makes “sex trade” a punishable offence.
Persons visiting sex workers will be punished, not the women sexworkers ‘per se’.
Women’s organizations have welcomed this law.
-AIDS and Women: The National AIDS Control Organization and UNAIDS recently
published a report on HIV+ve women. According to the report, one out of every
hundred persons in India is HIV+ve. Most new patients are below twenty-five years
of age, of which approximately half are women, most of whom are of CHILD bearing
age. Women are highly vulnerable to AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Major reasons are POVERTY, illiteracy, sex exploitation and rape. Many men have
multiple sex relations. This can affect women. It is sad that even today, women in
India have to sell their bodies to feed their families. Apart from unsafe sex, the HIV
virus may spread through blood transfusions. Approximately 87.6 percent pregnant
women suffer from anaemia and need blood. If a pregnant woman carried the AIDS
virus, her baby could be born with AIDS. Not only this, HIV infected women are left
to fight death alone. Societies, doctors and families shun them. To remove ignorance
and misconceptions about the disease, the government should start spreading
information in schools, colleges, slum areas and remote rural and tribal hamlets…
-A recent UNICEF report raises concern about the sad situation of CHILDREN in
India. Called “World’s CHILDREN’s”, this report links CHILD mortality to female
illiteracy. Out of 85.5 crore world illiterate, two thirds are women. India’s position is
45th on the world CHILD mortality scale and 2nd on the South Asia Scale (after

233
Nepal). India spends only 3.7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on
education as compared to the 6.1 percent that is actually to be spent. The report
says that 1/3 rd illiterate are in India alone, and if nothing is done to redress the
situation, then by the end of the next decade, India will be the world’s most illiterate
nation.
-In the first week of May 2000, a delegation of about 50 to 60 Pakistani women made
a “Solidarity Visit” to India. This delegation included Sayeda, Sadiya Hassan Bukhari
– human rights workers, Mahwish Hussain-Journalist, Farzana Parveen-Professor at
Islamabad University, Aaliya Mallick, Ambreen Rehman and Rubina Shahil, Lawyers.
Most of them reiterated that although the two countries are separate, women
belonging to them have common problems, and that a lot of work on women is being
done in Pakistan…
(What follow are extracts from a book on Community Development, ‘Outreach’,
Dec 1998)
“Recall a typical village situation in any of the states in Northern or Central India. The
woman is in an advanced stage of pregnancy. She is going to be a mother for the
fourth time in nine years and her youngest CHILD is just a year old. In fact, she did
not want this pregnancy and did not know how to avoid it. She is pale and tires
easily, yet she works at home and continues to help out in the fields to supplement
her husband’s meager income as a landless agricultural worker. There is no one to
help her. But once she is in labor, the people around call in the Dai (traditional birth
attendant). The woman starts bleeding but the Dai is unable to cope with the
situation. The woman needs to be taken where maternity care is available. This
happens to be the district headquarters about 40 kilometers away. The health sub-
center is nearer but does not have the necessary facility. Neighbors are ready to
accompany her but transportation is difficult and the roads are bad. Along with the
unborn CHILD, the mother faces grave risks…”
In developing countries, maternal mortality accounts for the largest or near largest
proportion of deaths among women in their prime years.
- Major Health Interventions:
For Women :
Iron folic acid tablets for controlling anaemia among adolescent girls and women in
reproductive age
Registration of all pregnancies and three pre-natal and three post-natal checkups by
Public Health Centres (PHCs)
Reference to PHC/Community Health Centre for complicated pregnancies /deliveries
Vaccine against tetanus for pregnant women
Promotion of institutional deliveries or at least by trained birth attendants
Availability of contraceptives and facilities for permanent methods
Control of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI)/Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).
For CHILDREN :

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Immunization of CHILDREN for six vaccine preventable diseases
Iron and vitamin A to CHILDREN for preventing anaemia and blindness
Promoting Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) to prevent deaths due to dehydration
caused by diarrhoea
Promoting treatment of acute respiratory infections among CHILDREN
Provision of supplies and services (CHILD health) uniformly all over the country
Eradication of neo-natal tetanus and reduction of measles
Essential obstetric care at all PHCs and emergency obstetric care for attending to
complicated pregnancies
Clinics for control of RTI/STI
Facilities for medical termination of pregnancy at all PHCs
Strengthening of CHILD health services in urban slums and in rural and tribal areas
Intensifying of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities
Training of CHILD health service providers and managers.
-Indian mythology is full of references to “Women Power”. There is Kali, the Goddess
of time, and Durga, the Goddess of Battle Power. There have been rulers like Rani
Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Razia Sultana who have led the country fearlessly in
battle. But they hardly reflect the Indian reality. The Indian woman, whether Hindu,
Muslim, Sikh or Christian, is primarily restricted to her role as nurturer. And although
practices like “Sati” have stopped, there is still an alarming tendency to sweep up on
a pedestal the woman who sacrifices herself for her husband. But like anywhere else
in the world, the idea of woman as the second sex is changing in India as well. As
age-old conventions redefine traditions of the twentieth century, as women’s literacy
curves up gently but firmly, as the rate of female infanticide dips lower each year;
women of India find a new footing in the country of Kali and Sati. India is a
patriarchal society, in which, the girl CHILD (in rural areas) has never been the apple
of the parents’ eyes. They have been denied the pleasures of their CHILDhood,
burdened with household chores and more often than not married off at the earliest
opportunity. As values change and more women pick up careers, the ground reality
shifts as well. For except in certain pockets of the vast country, where matriarchal
and matrilineal societies lend self-respect to women, women’s emancipation is a
tough task. Not just because of denial of opportunities, but because of the clamps of
fossilized values. Given the right education and opportunities, Indian women have
sparkled with brilliance - whether as creative souls, diligent workers or politicians.
And now, there is a shift in perception, from the much-acclaimed charisma of a few
exceptions to the enormous will power of a larger mass of women. Today, India is
not just the country that was led by a lady Premier for decades, it is a country where
more than 30% of its elected representatives at the village level are women. Mother
India is finally taking full control of her life.
- Anonymous

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-To women about their body: “For God’s sake can’t you forget that you are a girl or
a boy and try to become a human being?”
What attitude should a girl take towards her monthly periods?
: The attitude you take towards something quite natural and unavoidable. Give it as
little importance as possible and go on with your usual life, without changing
anything because of it... It is a simple natural phenomenon.... It is not a disease and
cannot be the cause of any weakness or real discomfort.
Should a girl participate in her normal program of physical education during her
periods?
: Certainly if she is accustomed to physical exercise, she must not stop because of
that. If one keeps the habit of leading one’s normal life always, very soon one does
not even notice the presence of the menses.
Do you think there should be different types of exercises for boys and girls? Will a
girl bring harm on her genital organs by practicing the so-called manly sports?
: In all cases, as well for boys as for girls, the exercises must be graded according to
the strength and the capacity of each one. If a weak student tries at once to do hard
and heavy exercises, he may suffer.... But with a wise and progressive training, girls
as well as boys can participate in all kinds of sports, and thus increase their strength
and health.
To become strong and healthy can never bring harm to a body, even if it is a
woman’s body!
Will a girl’s appearance change and become muscular like a muscular man’s and
make her look ugly if she practices vigorous exercises?
: Weakness and fragility may look attractive in the view of a perverted mind, but it is
not the truth of nature nor the truth of the spirit.
If you have ever looked at the photos of the women gymnasts you will know what
perfectly beautiful bodies they have; and nobody can deny that they are muscular!
Will the practice of vigorous types of exercises bring difficulties in CHILD birth if the
girls want to marry and have CHILDREN afterwards? On the contrary, women who
trained to strong exercises and have a muscular body go through the ordeal of
CHILD-formation and CHILD-birth much more easily and painlessly...
What roles should man and woman play in our new way of life? What shall be the
relation between them?
: Why make at all a distinction between them? They are all equally human beings,
trying to become fit instruments for the divine work, above sex, caste, creed and
nationality, all CHILDREN of the same infinite Mother and aspirants to the one
eternal Godhead.
- The Mother, Pondicherry, India

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CHAPTER 27b
WOMAN IS THE CREATOR OF SOCIETY
This section is dedicated to the memory of those 14 women engineering students
who were gunned down by a man for being “Feminists”, in the Montreal (Canada)
massacre (Dec 9,1989) and to the International Women’s Day (March 8)…

“There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is
improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.”
– Swami Vivekananda
“Women must be in a position to solve their own problems in their own way. No one
can or ought to do this for them.”
– Swami Vivekananda
“I know that the race that produced Sita (of Ramayana, the Epic) – even if it only
dreamt of her – has a reverence for woman that is unmatched on Earth.”
– Swami Vivekananda
THE MODERN WATER BABIES: –To deliver or not to deliver under water is the
dilemma: – The controversy is erupting again in the Western world. Should modern
mothers deliver babies under water or go back to the safety and security of the
delivery-bed in the conventional maternity ward? Let us examine the question in the
light of one such experience.
Eia was born at the Black Sea. No, not at a Black Sea resort. She was born in the
sea. Yes, in the sea. When she was born, she was affectionately blanketed by the
warm waves of the sea from head to foot, just like a mother would wrap her baby in
the warmth and motherhood of her own pulsating body.
Eia’s mother was Katya Bagryansky and her father Vladimir Bagryansky. They had
decided to have their baby born at sea when the entire Western world was swept by
the wave of modern water babies, CHILDREN born under water.
The baby was sound asleep all night. Only she was not in her cot, she was in the
sea, the Black Sea. It was just the very beginning. Sleeping in the warm lap of the
Black Sea the few hours old Eia awoke. And as the baby awoke, the entire family
Katya, Vladimir and Eia herself, took their first swim together in the Black Sea.
Eia is today over twelve years old, alive and kicking and literally a born swimmer.
She has had to suffer very few conventional CHILDREN’s maladies, diseases and
infections. She is also part of the history of the dear departed Soviet Union, which
broke up into several new democratic republics after Eia was born. The year Eia was
born as many as 700 other babies were born under water in the then Soviet Union,
both at sea and at home. Mothers who went for water–baby deliveries, delivered little
boys and girls at sea, the rivers, swimming pools or specially created “Delivery
Tubs”. Why can’t we have water–births in the Third World? We have ample water–
bodies in the villages. As for slum-women (for all women) “delivery – tubs” could be
created in the hospitals. Special technicians could be brought in from the Soviet
Union (now the CIS) or the UK.

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Soviet Union was not the first country in the world to launch the campaign for “Water
– Babies”. Thousands of babies had been born at several other seas, rivers and
lakes in the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Scandinavia. Later
reports showed that the cult of water babies spread to several other countries too,
advocated, supported and supervised by several Avant Garde Gynaecologists.
Babies are still being born under water, delivered by modern mothers, by choice.
The argument of the water baby crowd is that underwater birth procedures enable
women to avoid birth injuries and great pain. They also point out that it helps the
baby change over naturally and easily from an intrauterine, aquatic existence to life
as a land dweller.
The chances of birth injuries to a baby in an underwater delivery are much less than
the bed-delivery on land.
As far back as 1969, several specialists around the world had begun to advocate the
concept of birth under water for human beings on the following premises:
– From weightlessness it passes to weightlessness, where it does not have to
resist enormous loads and where the conditions of life are three or four times
more economical for an infant –
– It is pointed out that water – birth CHILDREN begin to sit, stand, and walk much
sooner than their land-born brothers and sisters and of course, they are fine
swimmers –
– Birth in water takes the baby from the customary aquatic environment of his
mother’s womb to an identical aquatic environment.
MEG SOUTHERN in her discussion of LABOR AS A SEXUAL EVENT and in her
role as a student midwife has written (and this is very important, because most
deliveries in the rural and slum areas take place with the help of midwives, most
have no access to hospitals): –
“Since I was a student midwife, I have assumed that labor is a sexual event, but
recently I have been discussing, usually in the context of the debate about male
midwives, and it has become evident that others do not see labor in this way. So I
have begun to question what I really mean when I make this assertion.
My first experience of birth was of hearing my mother tell me how I was born. Her
story was of pain; humiliation and a final need for surgery. Then I saw a number of
television programs about birth. This was in the mid 1970s. I found these images of
birth exciting and moving, but it was the emergence of the baby, which touched me.
So I had no preconception of labor as a sexual act when I came to witness my first
birth as a student midwife.
It was an entirely typical hospital birth of the time-the woman, disinhibited by
pethidine, lay in the lithotomy position, pubis completely shaved, being
enthusiastically exhorted to push with every contraction. In between contractions,
she begged for her legs to be taken down from the stirrups (they were not, it was
unthinkable). As the baby came closer to delivery her cries became more intense,
and, after the birth, changed with dramatic speed to gasping, relieved acceptance as
she repeated, ‘Oh Baby, Oh my baby’. The rhythm of her response to the
contractions and the sudden release and change seemed orgasmic to me, though I
accept that they may not have felt like that to the woman. But some women have
reported feeling sexual arousal in labor, and Ina May Gaskin famously encourages

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women and their partners to ‘smooch’ to augment labor, advice reiterated by
Caroline Flint. I have personal experience as midwife to a woman who, late in
second stage, was begging the student midwife to masturbate her.
PREVIOUS SEXUAL EXPERIENCES OF A WOMAN (ANY WOMAN) ARE VERY
IMPORTANT. Because if labor does not directly evoke sexual feeling in the woman,
the process of CHILD-bearing must surely indirectly evoke sex. How are babies
conceived? And how are they born? The reproductive organs are sexual organs and
I do not believe that women can expose themselves and open up to give birth
without making this connection.
The hormones of CHILD birth are sex hormones. Oxytocin, which we know is
produced in response to nipple stimulation, causes the uterus to contract in orgasm
as well as in labor and later in after pains.
The impact that this inevitable evocation of the sexual will have for women in labor
will vary depending on her personal sexual experience. Some women’s experience
of sex will have been invasive and traumatic as a result of sexual violation, incest or
some other sexual abuse.
In general, women’s relationship with their sexuality is more complex than that of
men for a combination of reasons – physical, psychological and social – it is
comparatively common for women not to experience orgasm during sexual activity.
Women’s experience of sexuality is influenced by a male dominated society through
social norms which inhibit women, for instance, by encouraging girls to be quiet and
passive, and allowing images which exploit the female body to sell products.
Women’s experiences in labor often further underline this distancing from their
bodies. They are expected to give birth away from their own territory and surrounded
by people, who, however caring, remain strangers. For a sensitized woman, the
whole of labor, and particularly procedures such as vaginal examination, application
of foetal monitor requiring immobility, and the sensations of birth, will evoke pain and
trauma. Therefore, any woman would need safety and privacy.” It was heard at a
Feminist convention: ‘I do not have to give birth to a CHILD from my uterus to love it.
Do I? There are so many CHILDREN around. What’s stopping me from loving
them?’
But giving birth is not the same as having a smear test. It is the beginning of what is
probably the strongest relationship in any society – that of mother and CHILD.
I remember having watched a beautiful television series: ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine
Woman’: a lady doctor in a rural environment (played by Jane Seymour) in which
there is this very touching image of a lady doctor attending a cow giving birth. Male
attendants aided the doctor. The emergence of the calf touched me. Such is the
close, ‘touching’ bond between a mother and her CHILD that it crosses all barriers,
including time.
So, what is a mother like? A famous primatologist has offered the definition of
a mother: –
Sarah Blaffer Hrdy of the University of California at Davis writes: ‘Everybody
knows what a good mother is. She is a lot like apple pie: firm on the outside, but soft,
sweet, warm and bland within. A good mother gets pleasure from the comfort and
pleasure of others. A good mother gets pleasure from being sliced, diced and eaten
alive.

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Yet, while everybody knows what a good mother is, and everybody wants one,
nobody seems to know where to find her – and with reason. That good Mother gives
infinitely and unstintingly.’
If we examine the relationship between nonhuman mothers across phyla, we find
such complexity, beauty and ferocity in the bond between a mother and her young. It
is a bond between two individuals who need each other and are closely related, but
who are not clones and so do not always see eye to eye, or breast to mouth for that
matter (Hrdy).
Hrdy has examined the bond from a Darwinian perspective. She talks about the
extraordinary demands of human mothering. ‘Most primate mothers can rear their
infants on their own, but human mothers cannot. They need help, and throughout
history and prehistory they have gotten it forever and however and from whomever
they can-from mothers, grand mothers, brothers, aunts, cousins, from one man, or
more than one man.’
“New research,” Hrdy says, “has revealed the prevalence of a practice called
‘partible paternity’ – the idea that a baby is a patchwork quilt of the various men a
woman sleeps with during pregnancy. Found among the traditional peoples of
Lowland Amazonia, Eastern and Southern Africa, New Guinea and elsewhere,
‘partible paternity’ and customs like it turn out to be of advantage to women and their
offspring. If a woman’s primary husband dies or deserts her; the other second – tier
mates are expected to help protect and provide for her CHILDREN. As one young
Zambian woman is quoted as saying; ‘Why put all your eggs in one basket?”
There is also a brutal side to human motherhood. A woman must be a true political
animal. She must be calculating, sometimes ruthlessly so. Hrdy delves into the
subject of infanticide (and this is very important) revealing the practice to be a sorry
staple of humanity’s efforts to plan and manage their families.
If a baby is born feeble, or handicapped, or the wrong sex, or too soon after the last
CHILD, the parents may choose to kill, abandon or neglect it, rather than struggle to
rear it against all odds and thus put their other CHILDREN’s futures at risk.
Sometimes they drop the CHILD in a river. Many cultures postpone until several
days or weeks after an infant’s birth official rituals like baptism, circumcision and
naming ceremonies, perhaps in recognition that not every newborn is destined to be
reared.
It has also been proved that the female animal is an active player rather than a
passive one in evolution. As Hrdy sees it, “A woman’s career ambition is not a thing
apart from her nurturing, maternal feelings, or an expression of ‘Masculinity’, or the
delusional products of contemporary feminism, as some have suggested. Instead,
ambitiousness can be a reflection of the fact that among many species, the more
powerful and politically dominant the individual, the greater is her or his reproductive
success.” Hrdy cites the example of Flo, the famous chimp studied by Dr. Jane
Goodall.
“Today,’ she says, ‘many women don’t know what to do with their zeal to succeed.
On the one hand, they no longer need men to support them, nor will they necessarily
manage to achieve high status and its trappings on their partner’s salary alone.
Moreover, many women have noticed that a reliance on male income can leave
them and their CHILDREN impoverished. And so, human mothers today may wish
for standing, accomplishment and clout of their own, which is easier fantasized than
realized.”

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‘It seems to me that the circumstances of modern life put women in a bind, because
jobs, status and resource defense occur in separate domains from CHILD-rearing.
The conflict is not between maternal feelings and ambitiousness, but between the
needs of a human infant for constant, attentive, extended care; and the fact that a
woman’s ambitions must be played out in workplaces with no tolerance for
CHILDREN.
An infant’s needs can be met in day care, but that surrogate care must be far better
than what we have managed, on average, to offer. What we need in our day care
centers are well-paid and highly respected “AS-IF” mothers, who can be either male
or female, so long as they are stable, conscientious and treat the CHILDREN like
their closest kin.’
“We are worrying about global warming, the destruction of the rain forest, the ozone
layer. But nobody is worrying about the future of Homo sapiens in terms of women,
CHILDREN and day care issues. We really should. If we care about the future of the
human race, and the future of the planet, this is the place to start,” Hrdy says.
As always, mother knows best.
Now, let us alleviate some problems of the would-be mother. Pregnant women enjoy
REIKI treatments, because they help to alleviate some of the minor and major
complaints of pregnancy such as morning sickness in the first trimester, and later,
lower back pain. REIKI (A Japanese concept of a universal life force appropriate to
healing, an all-enveloping energy of body, soul and spirit) also helps to soothe
women as the emotions begin to fluctuate due to the large amount of hormones
being released in the system. The infant itself appears to enjoy REIKI. The authoress
writes ‘During the time my sister was pregnant, the treatments seemed to energize
her body, as the infant’s feet would start to kick and little elbows would poke out.
Also, the baby would tend to change positions more often during treatments, while
there was still enough free space to move. We used REIKI on my sister during the
entire birth process, and treated my niece directly after birth’.
The following BODY / MIND THERAPIES will help women: REIKI, Bioenergetics,
ACUPRESSURE, Magnetic Yoga, MEDITATION and Awareness methods like Zen,
mind control and relaxation response, massage, free movement, and above all,
MARTIAL ARTS, SPORTS, YOGA and EURYTHMICS.
Talking of Martial Arts, women should learn SELF-DEFENCE (we are talking of
women who have the opportunity and the resources), and act as a TEAM when it
comes to protecting themselves IN PUBLIC. As for women who do not have the
resources, arrangements should be made. Also, let us vouch for “UNISEXUAL
SPORT” which can make a vast difference to inter-sexual behavior and to the rate of
sex-related crime.
A word on Louise Hay’s affirmations. Louise Hay is an American lady who
explained every illness (Cancer, Depression, Period Pain, Abdominal Cramps,
Accidents, Drug Addictions, Ageing problems, Alcoholism, Animal Bites, Respiration,
Infections, Vertigo, Fat, Suicide, in fact, everything), and the mental and physical
causes for all illness and the metaphysical way to overcome them.
Miss Hay tells us that female problems (Fibroid tumors, leukorrhea, menses pain,
pregnancy ailments) result from ‘denial of the self-rejecting femininity, rejection of the
feminine principle’. A new thought pattern would be:

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‘I REJOICE IN MY FEMALENESS.
I LOVE BEING A WOMAN.
I LOVE MY BODY.
I FEEL POWERFUL.’
The word ‘powerful’ reminds me that women outlaws who team up with men, inspite
of their claims to be hapless, emerge as tough-minded and smart. However, when
both men and women kill, the latter are seen as martyrs to love (like Bonnie Parker
of Bonnie & Clyde fame).
Actually, women have fought for decades to make it clear that they are rational,
independent decision – makers. As cultural mores shift, women’s involvement in
public affairs will shift as well.
SO WHO’S NOT AFRAID OF THE NEW WOMANPOWER?
We are seeing the global emergence of the new woman power. It is not important as
to who was the first but it is important that Indira Gandhi in India, Margaret Thatcher
in Britain, Golda Meir in Israel, Gro Harlem Brundtland in Norway and Sirimavo
Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka all made distinct impact on the country and the society
they lived in. Sri Lanka, an island nation, is also the first country in the world to have,
through elections, a woman prime minister and a woman president. This is also a
first in the political history of the world and the history of woman power. In
Bangladesh, the leaders of both the ruling and the opposition parties are women,
Khaleda Zia and Hasina Wajid. In Myanmar (Burma), we saw the emergence of the
valiant Aung San Suu Kyi. In Pakistan, ex Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto also
emerged as a powerful leader. IRONICALLY, THE UNITED STATES HAS NEVER
HAD A WOMAN LEADER. WOMEN ARE PROBABLY SEEN AS INCOMPETENT
TO RUN A COUNTRY AS POWERFUL AND AS VAST AS AMERICA. HOW
UNFORTUNATE A FACT THIS IS.
We are seeing the emerging scenario of womanpower and women in politics. While
some political analysts are disturbed at the emergence of “Economic Colonialism”,
“Information Imperialism” (and in this age!) and “ Market Morality” in the last few
years, there are also those who are dismayed at the “Anti – Feminism” even in the
major political parties throughout the world. Can they escape the verdict of the
Feminist votes at the polls?
There is now talk of FEMINISATION OF THE FORESTS. Mostafa Tolba, former
Director, UNEP has said: ‘ If there must be a war, let the weapons be your healing
hands, the hands of the world’s women in defense of the environment. Let your call
to battle be a song for the Earth.’
Almost one-third of poor women are directly or indirectly involved in forestry or
forestry-related work in the unorganized sector of our economy. And yet, forestry
remains mainly a male domain. It seems to me that almost entirely the forestry
sector should be reverted to the unorganized women through their cooperatives or
groups.
As a follow up to the Earth Summit in 1992, a special group was constituted to invite
and promote a global commission on forests. The efforts of the groups were fruitful
and in 1994 an independent World Commission on Forests and Sustainable

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Development was established. Dr. M. S. Swaminathan and Dr. Kamla Chowdhary
served as its members from India. (I am not sure as to whether they still continue).
In many parts of Africa, women are more closely tied to the resources in their
environment than men are. Yet, this link has not often been noted, even by
environmentalists that women use the environment. In many parts of Africa, it is their
traditional role to collect firewood. They also have knowledge about medicinal plants
and building materials. Women in many countries of the world do the major share of
agricultural work. To highlight this link between gender and environment, a workshop
was help in Kampala, Uganda in the year 1999. The workshop recognized the vital
role that women play in the conservation of the environment and affirmed the need
for full participation of women at all levels of policy-making and implementation.
Actually, in an area in which there is widespread POVERTY, illiteracy and poor
social infrastructure, efforts should be made to LINK WOMEN, WATER AND WORK.
Organizations should involve those women as its members, who can be actively
reached through income generation, dairying, the artisan support program, salt
farming and social security programs and any program should try to build on local
skills and resources. Such programs will regenerate both local economy and
ecology. Such activities will offer women opportunities to generate an income on
sustainable basis, to empower themselves, to revive and recover local Eco-assets
and to benefit from special services and development programs of the government.
Also, women have assured income, food and social security i.e. full employment,
and self reliance i.e. individually and collectively, economically, and in terms of
making their own decisions.
Banaskantha, in the north of Gujarat State of India, is known for its deserts and
POVERTY. It ranks highest in the rate of illiteracy and poor social infrastructure.
Since 1988, “Self – Employed Women’s Association” (SEWA) has been working in
90 villages. Women, water and work have been linked successfully. This is a
beautiful experience.
All I have to say is “why should the government get involved in planting trees?
Forestry, at least nursery and plantation must be handed-over to rural women. The
government must only place an order and make part-payment in advance to
women’s groups and co-operatives.”
Let us shift our focus to WOMEN IN THE SLUMS. As an Indian, it is my moral duty
to bring this to the attention of policy-makers. That, despite the cacophony the
government and the media make about the high profile life and status of women in
our country, the conditions of the women living in the slums of the major cities
remain miserable and pathetic. While magazines and newspapers are full of success
stories of women who made their way to the top in political and social life, the murky
story of women who fight for food, shelter and better living conditions, is often
neglected.
Women have a natural urge to do creative work, which can be nurtured by education
and good upbringing from CHILDhood. But there are women who are uneducated
and staying in slums, working for their livelihood and the only earning member of the
family.
The conditions in which the people in the slums live are shocking. There is
overcrowding. Water is scarce. You can find empty utensils everywhere near the
taps. The worst is the narrow path leading inside and outside the slum settlements.

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There is no second way to come out. If a fire catches the huts, all the people living in
the settlements would be burnt and there would be no way to escape. The so-called
schools have one room. A teacher comes everyday but only for an hour. This is the
general condition of the people living in the slums. But the condition of women living
in the slums is more miserable. Generally, it is seen that the men work outside and
their wives, mothers or sisters take care of the house. But here the case is different.
The men play cards and very often beat their wives.
The majority of women from the slums work to run their families. They feed their
kids, look after their houses and get liquor for their husbands out of compulsion.
Some of the women work at building construction sites, some are maids in the
nearby houses and a few of them are rag pickers. They can’t afford to buy clothes for
themselves.
Resettlement colonies will really help the slum people. Non-formal education for
slum CHILDREN should be started and proper schools should be opened. Water
should be made available to slum areas. For the homeless, “night shelters” should
be provided at potential sites for providing facilities for night stay along with
provisions for blankets, jute mattresses and cotton carpets. Training programs for
skill upgradation should be organized in night shelters.
The strategy should be to provide:
- Minimum basic essential civic amenities in slums for environmental improvement

- Shelter to the shelterless-
- Housing and developed plots to economically weaker sections on affordable
prices-
- Infrastructure of low cost productive, durable, and income generating assets for
stable source of income to slum dwellers and economically weaker sections –
Besides, the prevailing conditions in the slums need to be improved.
Is the society or organization that always talks about improving the conditions of the
poor, not responsible for the prevailing state of women? (Source: An article on the
subject, in a magazine)
Talking about the conditions of women worldwide, let us recognize that women
greatly contribute to the well being of society by means of productive, reproductive
and community work. Not in vain,
women provide one-third of the official work force
two-thirds of the total number of work hours in the world
and produce 44% of food….
AND YET,
BELIEVE IT OR NOT,
EARN ONLY ONE-TENTH OF TOTAL WORLDWIDE INCOME.
The work and determination of Feminist researchers and organizations to make this
reality visible has begun bearing its fruit.

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Women are needed because they manage and guarantee survival, a predicament in
which a growing segment of the population find themselves.
What I have to say is that there is a need to place people at the center of
development; but the policy-making processes of international financial institutions
are actually going on in the opposite direction. Instead of a development model
based on addressing needs and creating internally balanced societies, as well as in
relation with nature, the trend is towards imposed multiplication of needs and
unlimited growth of monetary economy.
Talking of money, women from all over the world are “imported”. Women in some
parts of India are offered as “Devadasis” (Maids to GOD) to temples. In one
particular village, village women have to offer themselves to male members of the
village after puberty. In Nepal, until recently, parents or rich people who could
purchase them from very poor and socially disadvantaged families offered young
girls to the temples. The practice is very similar to the tradition of offering animals
such as bulls or goats to temples in the name of religion. These temple girls would
grow up with the temple animals, and eventually become prostitutes.
In certain parts of Nepal, the accepted profession of the Badi Caste group is
prostitution. Whole new generations of “Fatherless CHILDREN” in that caste group
continue the profession. Both these practices are now illegal; the former is declining
fast, whereas the latter is being adapted to modern forms of urban prostitution.
A large majority of foreign women forced to work as prostitutes in Japan are Thai
and Filipino. The rest are from other neighboring countries, and some come from
Latin America, Africa and Northern countries.
The Asian women’s shelter ‘HELP’ based in Tokyo offers some relief to the women
who manage to escape the sex trade, often possessing nothing but the clothes they
wear. HELP offers translation services, and often is successful in helping women
return to their home country.
SEX WORKERS: EMPOWERING OR EXPLOITATIVE? Women doing sex work in
brothels are often referred to as a “Vulnerable Population”. It is not, however, that the
women themselves are vulnerable, but their working conditions leave them
unprotected from exploitation and abuse. The realities of their lives are such that
they are not able to choose when to eat, bathe, sleep or work. They cannot choose
to whom they wish to sell sex or where they will go when they are ill. The brothel
owners make these decisions; along with decisions regarding their health care,
wages, hours and methods they use for prevention of pregnancy and STDs.
Women are still suffering, for instance, Talibs in Afghanistan had imposed severe
restrictions on women: – “Talibs” in Afghanistan (Islamic teachers and their students)
used to control large parts of the country including four or five provinces.
While many people may have felt safe and at peace with the Talibs in power, others
had feared the country would be controlled by a severe regime with little respect for
women’s rights. In the areas controlled by the Talibs, girls were banned from school,
female teachers were fired, and school directors were being advised to restyle the
curricula in order to re- establish the “Madrassahs”, religious colleges. The Talibs
were canceling all training for midwives, contending that women should not work.
Furthermore, they would urge male doctors to deny any treatment to their female

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patients; in a city like Kandahar, extremely severe restrictions would be imposed on
women.
Other restrictions imposed on women included sanctions on going out alone; they
were to be accompanied by a man, and even then, they were required to be veiled.
Women, who challenged these restrictions, have been known to be tortured by
fanatic Talibs.
The restrictions for women’s going out were relaxed: provided they would wear a
“Burga” or “Burkha”, they would be allowed to walk on the streets again. Also, nurses
and midwives would be allowed to work again in the hospitals.
On the one hand, Talibs were imposing restrictions on their women; on the other
hand, there is growing public concern in many countries about the potential adverse
and disastrous effects of genetic engineering. This was discussed at an international
conference on “Redefining the Life Sciences” held at Penang, Malaysia and
organized by the Third World Network. The sale of genetically engineered foods
points the way to widespread commercialization and rapid expansion of genetic
engineering in agriculture. This will result in the creation of a large number of alien
organisms with great potential for unexpected and harmful consequences.
“We have to appeal to the scientific community, health professionals and workers,
religious leaders, environmentalists, public interest groups, trade unions, political
leaders, and people everywhere to join the movement. We must ensure the right of
present and future generations to a natural and healthy environment.”
Generations are going on, and there are many gender lessons to be learned. In
AFRICA for instance, gender-–prescribed behaviors have been devastating for the
sexual and reproductive health of girls and women. Sexuality has become a
dangerous – rather than empowering terrain for girls and women.
VIOLENCE: Gender-based violence affects female health through direct
infringements on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, and by
undermining their ability to exercise these rights in the long run. A young woman
participating in a Kenyan youth program stated that “Sexual Assault” and CHILD
abuse have almost become accepted as a normal part of life. Until there are strong
and action–oriented responses by schools, other social institutions and government,
such incidents are implicitly encouraged, will continue to happen, and will continue to
undermine the benefits of education for African girls and women. The male species
has not guaranteed protection to its female counterparts. The female of every other
species protects itself, so, why can’t the female of the human species fight by itself?
BIRTH CONTROL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS : Men’s attitudes and objections
are often cited by women as the primary reason for not using, or terminating use of,
contraceptives. In almost all African countries, this lack of reproductive control is
compounded by restrictive legislation on abortion and a lack of family planning
services for young or unmarried women. Because girls and women are unable to
control the circumstances under which they have sex, sexual encounters often result
in unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. Many Kenyan girls drop out of school
each year due to pregnancy. Higher proportions of teenagers, compared to adults
have been found among abortion cases in Kenyan hospitals.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES, INCLUDING HIV : A large number of
women in Africa are infected with HIV. Still, most African men refuse to wear

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condoms consistently or at all. Social endorsement of male sexual aggression also
places women (who are often monogamous) at risk of their partner’s sexual risk-
taking. Younger and younger girls are targeted for sex by older men, who believe
young girls are free of, or cure, infection. In one Nigerian clinic, 21% of female clients
were under the age of 15. In these difficult economic times, many schoolgirls are
forced to exchange sex with ‘Sugar Daddies’ to pay for school fees, uniforms and
books.
HARMFUL PRACTICES: In many cultures, women’s bodies are viewed as dirty or
polluting, and female sexuality is perceived as threatening and requiring societal
control. These notions about women’s bodies are associated with specific physical
practices that are harmful to women. Worldwide, approximately 6000 girls each day
undergo genital mutilation. Most of them are in Africa. In West and Southern Africa,
many women are taught as girls to remove all discharge from their vaginas to make
themselves “dry and clean” – to enhance male sexual pleasure. These practices
endanger women’s health, and compromise women’s sexual pleasure and control.
ASSUMED HETEROSEXUALITY: In Africa, the dominant assumption of
heterosexuality has played a key role in restricting women’s sexuality, by limiting its
expression to the realm of reproduction.
It has been suggested that African women should break the silence, and challenge
the assumptions surrounding their sexuality.
We must work with our own governments, relevant regional and international
agencies, non-governmental and community organizations and with each other to
create and implement a broad agenda for women’s sexual and reproductive health
and rights including
– Engaging women and men, and adolescents in their sexual and reproductive
decision making and responsibilities;
– Developing alliances across regions, sectors, communities and individual
beliefs, to strengthen our movement and ensure respect for both diversity and
basic international standards on human rights and social development.
Finally, in all our struggles and negotiations, we must never forget that sexuality can
and should be an intensely pleasurable and empowering part of human life. Making
this the reality for all women should be our goal.
This goal has to some extent been achieved in BANGLADESH, one of the poorest
countries of the world. The land is rich. Its natural abundance is described in the
national anthem “My Bengal of Gold”, as follows:
“In spring, Oh mother mine, the fragrance from your mango groves make me wild
with joy-Ah, what a thrill! In autumn, Oh mother mine, in the heavily – laden Paddy
fields, I have seen spread all over – sweet smiles! Ah, what beauty, what shades,
what affection and what tenderness! What a quilt you have spread at the feet of the
Banyan trees and along the banks of rivers! ”
The impoverished country’s number one problem is the population problem. The
country has failed to provide the basic human needs including food, clothes, shelter,
medical care and education to the constantly increasing population.
The population began to rapidly grow in the 1950s. Such sharp population increase
was too heavy for the new country that got independent after the “War of Liberation”

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fought in 1971. The government “attached priority to population control equal to that
given to food production” in the First Five Year Plan (1973-78) and called for “the
necessity of immediate adoption of drastic steps to slow down the population
growth”. Looking back at those days, the then Executive Director of the FPAB (The
Family Planning Association of Bangladesh) wrote, “Nowhere in the world has
desired fertility reduction been achieved with high illiteracy, high incidence of infant
and CHILD mortality, women secluded with no empowerment, endemic hunger
(POVERTY), religiosity with rigid culture and almost stagnating socio-economic
development as in Bangladesh.”
One of the major factors for the steady economic development is women’s
empowerment, for e.g., through the improvement in educational level. The
contraceptive prevalence rate has gone up. The total fertility rate has dropped to
quite a low level. More and more developing countries are expected to follow
Bangladesh as a model.
In the past, Bangladesh has also emerged as donor. Together with other successful
developing countries, Bangladesh has formed the “Partners in Population and
Development”, an organization which aims at promoting cooperation in the field of
family planning. This (donors’ experience and technologies) will greatly help reduce
the number of mothers in many developing countries who are dying of unplanned
pregnancy and CHILD-birth, to say nothing of those suffering from diseases resulting
from them.
All this has happened because a silent women’s revolution has taken place in
Bangladesh. BECAUSE WOMEN ARE NOT WEAK. THEY ARE STRONG ENOUGH
TO LIBERATE THE WORLD.
Bhagwan Shri Sai Baba (Indian spiritual leader) has written on womanhood: “Instruct
the women of the village in the basic principles of CHILD health, CHILD care and
CHILD training. Do not consider any act of service as demeaning…”
“When women are true, brave, kind and compassionate, the world can have an era
of PEACE and joy!” Time now to do away with negative stereotypes projected by the
media and instead focus on positive images of women.
“Woman is not meant to surpass man nor to be trampled under his feet. She should
stand as his equal.”
“PEOPLE CALL WOMEN WEAK. DO NOT BELIEVE IT. Mothers should foster in
their CHILDREN, love for truth, righteousness and tell them stories about the lives of
greatmen and women.”
WOMEN ARE NOT WEAK AT ALL IN TERMS OF STRENGTH OR ABILITY.
Women give birth; sometimes to as many as ten or more CHILDREN, breast-feed
them. This saps their strength in a major way. In good nourishment lies the answer.
What about Third World Women? And what are men bragging about? Their
“strength”? We have innumerable examples of the strength displayed by women in
the world. As against the three potencies attributed to men, women are said to have
seven potencies according to the Gita! I am quoting Indian mythology: Can you call
as weak Savithri who made the Lord of Death restore life to her husband? Can
Anasuya who transformed the divine Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, into three
babies and played with them, be called weak? Sumithra was a great lady who
stopped the sun from rising; her husband was predestined to die the next morning.
Could she be termed as weak?

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There are many such heroic women in recorded history. Joan of Arc (the brave
French peasant girl) and Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi in India come to my mind. Though
physically women may appear weak, in reality, they are full of strength. As the
embodiment of the three “Gunas”(virtues), women are endowed with exceptional
strength. Even in the spiritual field, women display their boundless capacity.
We are talking about the species called woman. I am dismayed at the alarming rise
in violence against this species. Our liberal attitudes are to blame. We have become
preoccupied with sex and violence. POVERTY and unemployment may also frustrate
males to the point of committing sex-related crime. It hurts me to think that this is
happening all over the planet (a little girl of six was sexually harassed after
participating in a beauty contest for CHILDREN. This happened in America).
Men do not guarantee us (women) protection. We have to make secure women all
over the world. To achieve full security, ‘Women of the World’ – yes, women from
each continent have to come together.
I dream of a day when an equivalent of ‘Official Knighthood’ will be conferred on
women, with titles such as Madam, Madame or Mademoiselle. This may seem
ridiculous to you, but only women can liberate the planet – men, other women,
CHILDREN, flora and fauna and insects and animals. It upsets me that both men
and women are becoming preoccupied with sex, and are neglecting problems of the
planet. Women give birth – and only women are powerful enough to liberate the
planet.
Rape (sexual assault) is a virtual impossibility, and no man can ever physically or
emotionally overpower a woman against her consent. Yes, let us believe that way,
and sexual assault (rape) will be erased from the face of this planet.
In India, sexual violation (rape) is worse than murder. Victims have to live like a living
corpse. Victims have to face tremendous social stigma. Some women are reported
to have been thrown out of hospitals when in labor because they could not sign their
names. A top (international) super model from Somalia had to go through the rituals
of infibulation.
At times, the word ‘Sex’ with its different connotations disgusts me. Sex is not a sin.
But a dirty word. Love is better, a touch can convey more than a thousand words.
But touch has been abused. It has come out in the form of rape (Sexual violation),
CHILD sexual abuse, male rape (Breaking the last Taboo), Virginity (a big issue),
Voyeurism, Bestiality, Sex work, Pornography (crude, including animals), Nudity
(which is pure by itself), Abortion (a big issue), Strip joints, Provocative dressing and
so on.
Religion, Sex and Women are big issues – Abortion, Family Planning, Women’s
rights and women’s freedom. Well, babies do come from heaven-couples conceive
when the mother of Lord Jesus blesses them. What upsets me is that women all
over the world have been suppressed for centuries. It begun with Adam and Eve,
Eve ate the forbidden apple – and God punished woman. The war is not yet over –
and there are other issues (which largely affect women) waiting to be solved –
POVERTY, contraception, literacy and so on.
Let us work to inspire women, (especially slum and rural women), to work as a chain
and to fight violence as a team. Women who travel in cars do not need survival

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strategies on the road – and money and education are powerful. “Well, I, with my
education and cars, prefer to walk across the street storing my survival strategies in
my pocket” (anonymous).
“Anyway, the point is, everything has got commercialized, commodified,
sensationalized. Bodies, sex, everything is selling, and believe me – the economies
of scale are operating in the case of food (hunger, Third World malnutrition), health
(fertility, religion, disease, maternal and CHILD mortality) and sex (porn mags / porn
cinema, beauty contests, cosmetic surgery, silicon breast implants, eating disorders
and even ‘unwanted hair’). I know of someone whose breasts had to be removed. Is
that not pain enough for a woman?”
Let us discuss some other issues. Let us start with lovely Diana, Lady Diana, our
beloved Princess who is no more. God takes away those He loves or treats as
special. And she was special to us. Women all over the world wept for Diana. She
DID NOT DESERVE the kind of death she got. The media chased her and well, the
rest is “Spiritual”. Because death took her to God. God takes away special people
because they (Lady Diana, Karen Carpenter) deserve God and not men and women.
It was lovely seeing Diana come to Calcutta to meet Mother Teresa, work with the
Red Cross in Africa. There was so much “Spiritual” beauty in her. She kept smiling
despite everything. She protects us from the heavens. There will not be another
Karen Carpenter. At a very young age, she succumbed to Anorexia Nervosa. The
media has glamorized every little thing-brute aggression like rape, (ideal) bodies,
Mania, Private lives, Wealth, Power, Abuse of power.
STARTING WITH ADAM AND EVE, WOMEN HAVE BEEN SUPPRESSED FOR
CENTURIES. THEY WERE, ARE AND WILL HOWEVER, KNIT FOR THEIR TINY
TOTS, OUT OF AFFECTION. AND MEN SHOULD START KNITTING AS WELL –
OUT OF AFFECTION, YES, TINY TOTS COME WHEN PAPA LOVES MAMA.
When love is not present, the term used would be rape. Well, society is our biggest
drawback. So an HIV + “Victim” cannot express himself (or herself) freely, a rape
victim can not express himself / herself freely. Going to rape, we could make a video
on “Reverse-rape”, make a black and white video in which a group of black men
were shown violating a white woman, and a group of white women violating a black
man and he would be shown NOT enjoying his experience and the video would be
silent. We could study racism, sexism, ‘Reverse – racism’, redefine rape as “Forced
Sex” defeating the concept that men are more powerful compared to women, prove
that the male body is as provocative as the female body.
Did you know that women in India (largely) do not pray during their menses? Or, for
that matter cook? Anyway, that is a separate issue. What we must know is that
Indian women are still suffering. From the suffragettes to the modern day, they suffer
through the joint family system, Sati, Lausa, Purdah, religion, also through
POVERTY, illiteracy, malnutrition, hunger, Devadasi temple culture, brothels,
domestic roles, pressure of job; etc. How far have we progressed on the issue of
sharing of domestic roles? On the issue of women being confined to the kitchen?
“Sex is Power”, said actress Raquel Welch. But, missionaries deny themselves.
Nuns, Jesuits, Monks, Priests and Priestesses (the purest species on Earth) abstain.
Believe me, when God created men and women, he thought of creation. “It is evident
that every emission of semen in such a way that generation cannot follow, is contrary
to the good of men, and if this is done deliberately, it must be a sin”, said Thomas

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Aquinas. All decisions come from God. So as to say, Pregnancy, Contraception,
Sexual Violation, Sexual Abuse, Sex itself, Abortion, Breast-feeding, Raising
CHILDREN, Everything comes from God.
Nuns are getting sexually violated in India, why? Is it because they are Christian or is
it because they are women? I feel so happy that some nuns are learning self-
defense. (Come to think of it, no one will touch a woman who is in a Hejab or try to
lift it)
Now, we are coming to issues – that clothing is not a big issue. A word for all
women, believe me, clothe yourself sufficiently so that you are able to protect
yourself from violation, unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Wear your attitude,
clothing that suits your temperament, climate, makes you feel comfortable, and in
which you (refers to all women) can fight and protect yourself. All women need
complete sex education, including “survival strategies”. Someone trained in self-
defense will never say that a woman is vulnerable. The female body has been
commercialized to such an extent that excessive dependence on beauty (the beauty
industry) will kill women in terms of increased violence, etc.
In spiritual terms, love connotations should be used. Biological connotations should
be avoided. Together, we (refers to a man and a woman) will create. Every creation
is beautiful – A Shy Orchid, A CHILD, A Flower, A Plant, A Cat, The Seas, The Fish.
No creation of God should be abused.
What is life without pain, any woman would say. Birth itself is painful. When I gave
pain to my mother when I was born, why cannot I, another woman, withstand pain?
Marriage carries a social connotation, and divorce? When parents divorce, what will
happen to the “Little” (nee next) generation?
How do you think POOR THIRD WORLD WOMEN (Indian, Bangladeshi, African
Women) cope with heavy work like having to lift bricks, walk for miles during their
menses? (Largely) through natural therapy (like herbs, barks of trees). And because
of exercise, believe me, rural Third World women would probably be in labor for just
about an hour or so. It, therefore, becomes important to train girl CHILDREN in self –
defense, good sport and games right from birth.
About rural Third World women and labor, a good place to give birth would be a
“natural” environment, in the vicinity of a temple or church, close to a tree (for
privacy), using a positive or comfortable posture (squat), or change, but enjoying
their pain. In the Third World, God blesses rural women. They are powerful sexually,
as in a typical rural environment, men are not expected to cooperate or participate in
the birth process. Ideally, for rural women, there could be an attendant. The setting
would be a village atmosphere (the countryside), with sounds of water, and if a water
baby specialist were present, or other pain-relief methods were applied (Reiki,
acupressure, acupuncture), then it would be a perfect birth. Believe me, music, color,
a natural environment – pink roses, the blue sky, the sounds of water, the sounds of
nature would help release of your love (love of your would be creation), would help
you release, push further until you have released your creation, an innocent flower
who knows not what lies ahead of him/her.
The talk of birth reminds me that an international Feminist (name withheld) was right
when she said that the “whole woman” does not exist. In my opinion, women would
cease to exist if it were not for the continuation of the species. Sex becomes
important only for the purpose of creation, and we know that many women look for

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companionships in other women. Human beings operate on the principle of
hedonism, and in circumstances under which sex is not possible, stroking and
massage can provide pleasure. In contemporary Third World societies, much of
(marital) sex is forced, and highly sexual village and slum women operate under the
“time – clock birth machine” syndrome imposed by a patriarchal society.
No society is truly liberated, not even Western society, and more attention should be
given to the MALE CHILD in terms of “Real Education” – SEX education becomes
important for WOMEN, and MORAL education or REAL education for men (to
prevent delinquent behavior). Because the power-structure is still inequitable, it
should be difficult to get inside a man, and promoting greater interaction between the
sexes may help us analyze inter – sexual behavior.
My question is: Are stereotyped beauty pageants and cosmetic surgery social ills?
These contests create stereotyped images of women, as young girls across the
globe get busy not eating properly, leading to eating disorders. We should promote
“fat” contests or “short” contests (in a lighter perspective).
A leading Indian lady advocate has said that rape (sexual violation) is a near –
impossibility. And so it is. No man can ever physically overpower a woman; she can
always defend herself. Knowledge of martial art helps. The English dictionary is to
blame for having created images in our minds of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. The
media should encourage positive images of women: women in (positive) power,
women in action (e.g. combat), women in humane and compassionate forms and
women in traditional male occupations (like bus and truck drivers, workers at gas
stations). We have to fight CHILD and adult sexual abuse as a team, fight against
sexism in the media, sexist advertising and sexism in public. Stereotypes are
forcing women to become weaker and weaker, and men stronger and stronger
and physical disparities are increasing.
Much of what is going on in any country is because of conservative attitudes and a
patriarchal society, and when women are refusing to conform, families are breaking
down.
Only women have common sense enough to prevent such things from happening.
Because women are powerful. Ideally, women are less corrupt (or less likely to be),
are more humane and compassionate, and for once, their inhibitions prevent them
from causing damage to the human race. Women will never cause damage to the
human race. However, there is danger that the female race in India may be wiped
out.
Yes, will our women be a threatened species in the new century?
“People insist on regarding history as a river flowing peaceably through flat
countryside, racing wildly in hilly terrain and here and there tumbling over a waterfall.
And what if its bed was not hollowed out in advance? And what if it is unable to
reach the sea and loses itself in the desert?”
- Amin Maalouf, The First Century after Beatrice
“There is no time like the future for discussing the past, and since times past and
present are all said to coexist in the future, the year 2000 could be an ideal year
taking a stock of things – demographically.
A frightening fact stands out as we scan the records: in 1901 women numbered 997
to every 1000 men in India. Today we are down to 929 women per 1000 men. There

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are parts of India, moreover, where women number less than 800 to 1000 males. By
the time the results of the 2001 census are declared, the ratio of females to males
will have gone down alarmingly further. And so, it cannot be treated merely as a
phenomenon.
Nature has decreed that an equal number of both sexes are around, and since the
female CHILD is congenitally hardier, a marginally higher number of male
CHILDREN shall be born to maintain a balance in numbers.
Likewise, demographic figures the world over show that the number of female
survivors is higher. Our country is a notable exception to this natural law.
Research has revealed that the reason behind this glaring deficiency in the number
of females lies, not in fewer of them being born in India, but in a systematic neglect
of women and the girl CHILD as worthless human beings.
Ironically, the focus is more on preventing births than helping girls survive. A great
deal of fuss is made over the fact that we have touched the billion heads’ mark, and
several of our leaders display a Malthusian paranoia.
The trend is alarming enough for one to apprehend the imposition of a one CHILD
per family, China – fashion. If that does happen, one may be sure the son – hungry
Indian society will turn even more eagerly towards ‘Scientific’ Sex – determination
tests in order to abort the unwanted female foetus. And the government, which now
bans such selective abortions, may choose to lift the ban, or simply look the other
way. Logic would be, if fewer girls meant small families it was better to let people
have their way. If a number of abortions meant a family settling for a single boy
CHILD, it was infinitely better than a woman going in for multiple pregnancies for that
coveted male heir.”
-The Telegraph, regret date not noted
I fear that if these trends are not reversed, they could unleash fearsome social
upheavals in the foreseeable future, which would lead to an unprecedented rise in
crimes against women and self – destructive war mongering by men. Women and
population increase are, therefore, very important issues. Another important issue is
feeding the growing world population.

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CHAPTER 28a
“ While it is true that human history has always known POVERTY and famines, we
have never before experienced the massive doubling and redoubling of our numbers
which has occurred during our lifetime. It took all of human history to reach a global
population of one billion in 1804. It took only 12 years to go from 5 billion to the 6
billion mark. If fertility stays at its present level, the human population will exceed 50
billion by the next century - if the Earth could possibly support that many people.

We should realize that our exploration and exploitation of the world’s natural wealth
has already located and consumed those resources easiest to recover and utilize.
For the last few years, the amount of arable agricultural lands have declined due to
desertification and erosion. There is no denying that we are running out of natural
resources. How will we manage when there are twice as many people?

There is still enough time to attain world population stability through means that
respect human freedom and dignity.”

- Carl R. Gilmore, Rotarian, Illinois, USA (Dec’,99)

So, what are we waiting for?

“If the Governments cannot agree to feed the world, they cannot agree about
anything.”

- Boyd Orr

As population increases, so does materialism.

And it becomes all the more, that the poor and the wretched of the Earth

Find it difficult to survive.

(In this vast ocean of materialism)

‘Increasing population growth in the world is the result of past economic and social
policies that caused POVERTY, ignorance and unemployment. It is not the poor who
are provoking the global population problem.’

- Anonymous

It is not true that there is insufficient food to go round. The grain produced, if properly
distributed, would give every human being ample protein and more than 3000
calories a day. But a third of the grain produced is fed to animals...

- John Ferguson, from “Not them but us”

Again, man’s materialism (probably fattening for meat?)

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CHAPTER 28b
CAN WE FEED THE FUTURE WORLD POPULATION?
“One man’s freedom from hunger and want is neither a true nor a secular freedom
until all men are free from hunger and want.”
- Dr. Binay R. Sen (former Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO)).
Food supply will escalate as the total world population climbs past 6 billion. One
particularly notable report examines whether the world’s farmers will be able to keep
pace.
Authors Dr. William Bender and Dr. Margaret Smith report that agricultural
production has grown at an extraordinary pace over the last few decades, which
allowed per capita food supply to increase despite unprecedented population growth.
But Dr. Bender, a food security expert and Dr. Smith, an agronomist, also state that
PRODUCING ENOUGH FOOD FOR THE FUTURE POPULATION WILL REQUIRE
CONCERTED EFFORTS BY BOTH THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE SECTORS
TO INCREASE AGRICULTURAL YIELDS WHILE AVOIDING DAMAGE TO THE
ENVIRONMENT.
POVERTY IS THE MAJOR CAUSE OF HUNGER THROUGHOUT THE WORLD:
Food is not distributed equally throughout the world, within countries, or even within
households. The unequal distribution of food within and among countries means that
840 million people worldwide, including 200 million CHILDREN, will go hungry today.
POVERTY, NATURAL DISASTERS, POLITICAL VIOLENCE, AND GEOPOLITICAL
FACTORS PREVENT AT LEAST ONE-SEVENTH OF THE WORLD FROM
GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT. Although the number and the share of people
suffering from malnourishment have fallen over the past few decades, the task of
ending world hunger remains formidable.
EARTH PRODUCES ENOUGH FOOD FOR NEARLY ALL THE PEOPLE ALIVE
TODAY:
In fact, if everyone adopted a vegetarian diet and no food were wasted, current
production would theoretically feed 10 billion people, more than the projected
population for the year 2050.
FOOD AND POPULATION ARE OUT OF BALANCE:
Many low-income countries do not grow enough food to feed their residents, and
cannot afford to import enough food to make up the difference. Some 43% of the
population in sub-Saharan Africa and 22% of the population in South Asia are
malnourished, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Millions more consume the minimum number of calories, but fail to get the necessary
protein and essential vitamins and minerals to lead a healthy life.
INCREASED FOOD PRODUCTION AND RISING INCOMES HAVE REDUCED
THE INCIDENCE OF MALNUTRITION WORLDWIDE:
In 1969-70, more than one-third of the developing-world population-about 918
million people - were classified as “food-energy deficient”. By 1990, the number had
fallen to 840 million or one in five people in the developing world. However, both the

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absolute number and percentage of people suffering from severe malnutrition
increased in sub-Saharan Africa.
PROSPECTS FOR MEETING FUTURE FOOD NEEDS:
Population growth is the single largest determinant of future food needs. The
projected populations of countries and regions make specific forecasts of food
demand uncertain. However, it is clear that the world’s poorest regions will need to
produce enough food to feed double the current population by the middle of the 21st
century. Whether this will be possible depends in part on the following factors:
INCREASING YIELDS:
Biotechnology holds promise for increasing yields, but may not be available to poor
regions because of the expense of developing new plant breeds. Agronomists have
estimated maximum potential rice yields to be twice that of recent record-high yields.
COMBATING LAND DEGRADATION:
Factors such as desertification, deforestation and the like are potential threats to the
livelihoods of rural populations and to the future food supply.
SLOWING EROSION:
Erosion can have devastating impacts on the environment and agricultural
productivity, and can cost farmers a lot of money. The US Soil Conservation Service
estimates that almost half of U.S. arable land is excessively eroded.
MAINTAINING ADEQUATE IRRIGATION:
Factors such as Population growth, industrialization, water pollution and the like will
all reduce the amount of water available for agriculture. By 2020, 35 countries are
expected to be classified as “ water-scarce” – up from 20 in the mid – 1990s.
IMPROVING FERTILIZER USE:
As of 1993, developing countries (excluding China) were using about 37 million tons
of fertilizers a year; a four-fold increase over the amount used about 20 years ago.
Fertilizers will play a crucial role in increasing future food supplies, but barriers to
their use and the environmental impact of their misuse must be addressed.
FUNDING RESEARCH:
Much of the needed food increase is expected to come from agricultural research
and new technology. Private and public support will be crucial for continued
expansion of the world’s food supply.
ENACTING PROGRESSIVE AGRICULTURAL POLICIES:

Government policy can affect agricultural production and the food supply through
price subsidies, trade policy and investments in agricultural research.
“The lives of half of the world’s population are directly affected by agriculture”, say
Dr.Bender and Dr.Smith. “They will profit or lose depending upon the actions
adopted by governments and national and international agencies to further
agricultural development.”
Talking about national and international agencies (NGOs), they have a vital role to
play in sustainable development.

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CHAPTER 29a
Few professions can be as satisfying and as abundant as “Development”. However,
there are many ways in which each one of us can get involved. But nothing
compares with actually jumping into the thick of working for humankind.
Development is an attitude that should come from within, and minds have to be
opened before funds are allocated, bridges built and check dams are constructed.
Development is
- Bringing a smile to a CHILD’s face;
- Teaching the village woman to read and write;
- Helping the farmer use technical equipment in the field;
- And so much more.
For a development plan to sustain, it must belong to the people.
NGO’s AND WOMEN: NGO’s have a vital role to play in enhancing the status of
women. They can always provide marketing skills, enterprise development, and
leadership and management skills to women.
NGO’s are at various stages of growth and development. In the 1st category, are
NGO’s with effective programs but need help in achieving sustainability, and
strengthening institutional growth and development. In category 2, are those NGO’s
who have some experience but need assistance to increase their efficiency,
effectiveness, and accountability. In category 3, are NGO’s in infant stage who need
the capacity to plan, manage, and implement programs. Thus, NGO’s need different
kinds of assistance to increase their capacity to play a leadership role, manage their
activities efficiently and effectively, improve their accountability and plan to achieve
sustainability over a period of time in consonance with their mission.
It is very important to enhance the capacities of voluntary organizations for women,
which operate at national and grassroots levels, and are concerned with POVERTY
alleviation (POVERTY’s woman?), health (centuries of neglect??), population (time-
clock birth machines imposed by patriarchal societies???) and women in
development (do women really have a say????)
The Vietnamese economy has been opened up and restructured (“Doi Moi”, the
“Process of Renovation”) and now, more than ever before, there are so many
possibilities for women to come forward in the task of nation - building. The market
economy has created many job-opportunities for women. Under these
circumstances, the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) has assumed the role of a
national mass movement for Vietnamese Women. Its structure represents a powerful
network extending from the Central to the grassroots level. Good for their women!
Women in Cambodia have been isolated for decades altogether. NGO’s have to
intensify their work in credit and small business, primary health care, water
management, irrigation, social science research and others.

The challenge for women NGO’s is to develop self-reliance, restoring confidence in


women, and mobilizing community resources and participation.

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There are quite a few NGO’s in Nepal working on women’s issues such as women’s
rights, equality, education, health, nutrition, economic empowerment, etc. Many of
these programs are, however, small, micro-level, and limited efforts. There is a need
to have a forum on women. It is important that we link efforts among various
organizations at different levels, particularly, between grassroots experiences and
policy/advocacy groups. A very crucial issue is to mobilize women and to encourage
them to be self-reliant using their own resources and those of the government.

The political commitment of Indonesia in integrating women in national development


is clearly stated in its state policy, the “Pancasila” and its 1945 Constitution. Law and
developing policies have also supported gender equality. There are hardly any
formal barriers to obstruct Indonesian women from taking part in the social, cultural,
political, technological sectors. There are many women’s and voluntary organizations
in Indonesia. The spirit of voluntarism is very strong in Indonesia, and this should be
capitalized on. Conditions have to be created for volunteers to have life-long careers
with NGO’s.

In the Philippines, Social development NGO’s started off in the 1950s and, grew in
the 1980s particularly after the People’s Power Revolution of 1986.

The passing of gender-equality provisions in the new Constitution (1986) marked a


turning point in the growth of the Filipino women’s movement, when women from
different political and class origins could unite. Gender advocacy has now moved
beyond the center.

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CHAPTER 29b
NGO’S-ROLE TO PLAY-A TYPICAL APPROACH
NGO VISION:
“A Society, where the communities are able to self determine their choices and
translate them into a set of self-reliant and sustainable activities with their survival
needs, aspirations and dignity.”
NGO MISSION:
“To excel as an enabling institution for the development of the deprived so as to
improve the quality of their life through participatory action, research initiatives,
training programs and to enhance the capacities of the people ensuring
sustainability.”
NGO VALUES:
CONSCIENCE: the set of organizational conscientious standards for common
action, shared interpretation and uniform behavior.
CULTURE – BASED DEVELOPMENT: Designing and implementing changes and
approaches which have roots in indigenous culture and manifest its respect for
intuitive knowledge and wisdom of its program people (beneficiaries); and are,
therefore, more likely to be readily accepted and sustained.
SELF – RELIANCE:
Working for change, with a view to enhancing capacities and competencies of its
program- people (beneficiaries) such that they will later initiate and bring about
changes to further improve quality of their own lives without reliance on it (the NGO).
SUSTAINABILITY:
Fostering improvement, for its project – people, which will continue in the long term,
independent of the NGO and be ecologically compatible.
LEARNING:
Consolidating and enhancing organizational learning based on experiences of its
own people, from its own activities and programs and making such learning as a
major source for sustained organizational dynamism.
PARTICIPATION OF PROGRAM PEOPLE:
Active participation of program – people in all stages of programs: problem
identification, program design, implementation and evaluation.
EFFECTIVENESS:
Producing the desired result.
“For non-governmental organizations, their priorities and work involve organizing the
poor and the marginalized groups to counter systematic exploitation and injustice,
uniting them to fight for their rights, sensitizing the ‘system’ to the harm being
inflicted on the natural environment, and demonstrating environment – friendly,
people focused, resource-conserving and culturally rooted alternatives through
different projects. The operational base could be a village, a tribal belt or a city and
the principal area of focus could be POVERTY, the environment, women, slums,

259
employment, health, education or community organization. For those concerned with
the suffering of the poor and the destructive side effects of ‘development’, there are
very pressing problems of survival and development crying for attention.
Consider the situation in India: The population planning program is in disarray;
over 300 million people live below the POVERTY line and the POVERTY alleviation
effort founders on many fronts: the stagnant economy refuses to budge despite
doses of reforms; priorities in investing in human resource development are so
absurd that, there are secessionist threats in Kashmir and elsewhere, also “Satis
(bride burning)” in Rajasthan, dowry deaths in Gujarat, recurrent atrocities on
Harijans (‘CHILDREN of God’), on going dispossession of tribals and sustained
destruction of the environment.
For the small number of urban NGO’s, working in slums and in other low-income
settlements, issues of urban violence and conflict are pressing, as is the intimidating
reality of the city’s vulnerability. Working in slums, they have seen the ugly face of
urbanization, the dehumanizing living and working conditions for a great majority of
citizens. NGO’s have been forced to see their work with the poor in a different
perspective. They will have to place their welfare efforts in the broader context of the
city’s overall well-being.
New questions have been thrown up: Is there a relationship between the settlement
pattern and nature of violence? Are there lessons to be learnt on the nature of the
social mix in our urban settlements? What are the lessons for urban planners and
city administrators? NGO’s have a major role to play as watch dogs.
But they are few in number and limited in strength. The issues they have attempted
to address and the challenges they have tried to meet have always been formidable.
It appears that, at least in the short run, an even rougher time is ahead of them.”
- Anonymous
While NGO’s have a tough time ahead of them, “voices” are crying out.

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CHAPTER 30a
From the book “The Degeneration of India” by T.N. Seshan, former Chief
Election Commissioner of India: “Our granaries are overflowing with surplus wheat
and rice but millions of our countrymen and women still go to bed hungry every night.
Our nation is home to the poorest and the most wretched people on Earth, and, at
the same time, the most venal and wealthy. Our rivers are full of water and marine
life but they are being destroyed by overuse and pollution. Our mineral and energy
resources are vast but we lack the basic ability to harness them adequately or
distribute them equitably. Our traditional textiles are world-renowned for their
excellence but are neglected by industry which sees more profit in the export of
cotton and domestic sales of clothes made from imported chemicals, as a result, the
traditions are dying, while most Indians still make do with a single set of clothes. Our
population is growing at a pace that destroys all efforts at industrial and agricultural
development, social change and economic transformation. Our nation is now home
to the largest population of illiterates in the world.”
Added to these, there is an increasing tendency among the rural poor to migrate to
urban industries in search of jobs and livelihood. Basic civic needs like piped water is
still a pipe-dream for millions. Women carrying water from miles away, especially in
Rajasthan State, present a pathetic picture. There is discrimination between men
and women who lack equal opportunity for education and employment.
Only 1 out of every 100 girls makes it to the XII Std. The onslaught of industries and
the resultant urbanization has claimed the forest cover disturbing the natural balance
in ecology. The benefits of the marvels of medical science have yet to reach the
millions. Nuns are getting molested, a mosque was demolished, and missionaries
have been burnt alive. The picture indeed presents a “paradox”. And this demands
periodic re-orientation of national plans and programs to meet the changing
exigencies.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost
No matter how widely you have traveled, you haven’t seen (or heard) the world
If you have failed to look into the human hearts that inhabit it.
- Donald C. Peattie
We know just how many cricket matches we’ve won against Pakistan (relations with
our neighbor?), but the Government of India (actually, we the people) does not have
a figure for the number of people who are facing the brunt of POVERTY and social
backwardness.
“We remain convinced that a living grass-roots democracy is indispensable to
progress. We are just as much convinced that this democracy can be promoted and
protected only by the force of mass participation... And this, I emphasize, has to
mean one or other form of “people’s power”: of the active and voluntary participation
of ordinary people in the control of their society…”

261
- Olivio Pires of Cape Verde, a highly experienced nationalist of the younger
African generation of the 1980s.

These ideas have moved around Africa with interesting results. They have appeared
in one form or another in a number of countries, for example, in Madagascar, with its
experiments in “Fokolona”, self-governing rural communities; in Burkina Faso
(formerly Upper Volta) until the murder of its leading figure, Thomas Sankara, in
1987; and, very successfully, in Cape Verde....

Has this trend to “people’s power” pointed to the road to Africa’s escape from military
dictatorship, and various miseries of bad Government? What would the last ten
years of the Twentieth Century have to say about this?

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CHAPTER 30b
VOICES FROM THE GRASSROOTS
THE COPENHAGEN DECLARATION ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT STATED:
(And we are using INDIA as the baseline):
“The elimination of hunger and malnutrition, the provision of food security, education,
employment and livelihood, primary health care services including reproductive
health care, safe drinking water and sanitation and adequate shelter, and
participation in social and cultural life.”
IN 1995, THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD COMMITTED THEMSELVES
SOLEMNLY AND PUBLICLY, TO ERADICATE POVERTY AND TO ACHIEVE
EQUALITY BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN. Now it is no longer acceptable as a fact
of life that half of humanity is denied the full enjoyment of their rights because of its
gender or that one out of five human beings is condemned to a life of deprivation.
Thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accredited to the World
Summit on Social Development (Copenhagen) and the fourth World Conference of
Women (Beijing) brought to the international negotiating process the VOICES of the
citizens and communities that the world leaders were already hearing from at home.
From BANGLADESH we heard the voice of the Finance Minister: ‘Throughout the
term of our government, we focused topmost priority to the alleviation of POVERTY.
POVERTY constitutes the denial of a basic human right, the right to realize one’s
true worth and potential. POVERTY is not only of hunger, but of health, of nutrition,
of knowledge, and of opportunities. Our enhanced investments on education, health,
family welfare and other social services are directed towards the alleviation of
POVERTY in the broadest sense.’
Some representatives of the poor also shared some concerns. Mohammed Sohel of
Mohakhali, Dhaka (Bangladesh) said: “The CHILDREN in Bangladesh are the most
unfortunate. They cannot go up. Nearly half of the Dhaka dwellers are poor. They do
not have shelter, clothes and medical facilities. The government wants us to save.
But how can we do this? The poor can hardly meet these needs. We do not have our
representatives and the representatives of the rich will not speak for us. We want to
surprise the urban elite by bringing forward the wretched of the Earth from rural
areas and slums and making them speak one after another on the rostrum without
any hesitation about their rights and dreams.”
Citizens in BRAZIL have their dreams, yet Brazil remains one of the more
impoverished nations. The “Citizens’ Action against Hunger” (better known as the “
Hunger Campaign”) said: “ We want to make visible an agenda for the eradication of
POVERTY in an extremely unfavorable context.” The characteristic feature of
“Citizens’ Action” is essentially the political treatment of POVERTY and hunger. Its
greatest contribution has been to call attention to the problems of POVERTY and
make these issues visible on the national political agenda.
Even now, POVERTY remains high on the agenda of Brazilian citizens.
The most common question is: What do you think of first when you think of Brazil?
The common answer is: hunger and POVERTY. Yet this visibility has not carried
over, into each of the fields of national public policies.

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To measure POVERTY, A “POVERTY CLOCK” must be installed that each minute
tells us how many more persons get added to the number of the world’s poor.
ETHIOPIA is one of the poorest countries of the world. Here, a particular strategy
called the “Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI)” has been adopted.
This strategy uses agriculture as a springboard for the development of other
sections. POVERTY eradication has been made central to this plan. The core of the
strategy is to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population to famine: It has been
stated thus “The objective is to ensure food and income security, enhance and re-
orient social sector spending to favor the poor, and rehabilitate the country’s
infrastructure.”
Talking of rehabilitation, a report has been brought out on social exclusion and
POVERTY in the EUROPEAN UNION, which talks about elderly people, people with
disability, women and migrants and ethnic minorities. It says: “Some older people
remain relatively neglected by the existing welfare systems. The aging of the elderly
population has an important consequence; increasing numbers of old people
requiring long-term social care, which in many countries is underdeveloped. People
with disabilities are at considerable risk of becoming excluded. In general, schemes
for them appear to be ineffective. Women are a population group at considerable risk
of being on low incomes. Migrant workers and ethnic minorities within the EU
countries also suffer from a lack of rights – depending primarily upon their
nationality.”
In the case of GHANA, poorer households said: “The money costs of schooling are
not trivial, and these costs dissuade us from sending our CHILDREN to school. At-
least two-thirds of private expenditures related to school attendance (e.g. labour,
materials to construct school buildings) are devoted to items besides school
contribution, textbooks and school supplies. These expenses are not trivial for us.”
The specialist Rosemary Thorp made an assessment of socio-economic reform in
PERU: “There are some problems, with a dependence on external agencies. Policy-
making may become passive and dependent on the recommendations of foreign
agencies. However, there is a limit as to how far or how much it is desirable for Peru
to increase its level of external indebtedness with loans for social development.”
Social development is an ongoing process and POVERTY is a curse. POVERTY in
sub-Saharan Africa is a well-recorded phenomenon. UGANDA is no exception to its
ravages. However, Uganda’s own past history complicates the situation. As Brett
aptly described “By 1986, twenty-five years of political repression and economic
mismanagement had turned Uganda from a relatively prosperous and well-
administered country to the land of Darkness and Death” (Brett, 1993). It has been
further stated (Oct 16, 1995) that “UGANDA be transformed from peasant to an
entrepreneurial society: the two main elements in this process are the complete
liberalization of the economy and the introduction of universal and compulsory
education.”
Generally, in ZAMBIA, very few CHILDREN have access to various levels of
education. Data compiled by Unicef in the past depicts the situation as follows “While
ZAMBIA once achieved universal primary education, now (1995-96), only 56% of 7-
13 year olds are in primary school. Nearly 700,000 CHILDREN are not, and only
44% of primary school aged CHILDREN actually complete grade seven. As is to be

264
expected, adult illiteracy rates are high and rising. One third of the adults are illiterate
and two-thirds of these (66%) are women.” (Source: “Social Watch”, 1997-98)
It is true that there are different countries, different problems, different peoples and
different languages. But it is also true that there is only one Sun, one Moon, one tide,
one Mother Earth and above all, one Religion: the religion of UNIVERSAL PEACE
AND HARMONY.
So, let us all pray, talk, dream and breathe the RELIGION OF UNIVERSAL PEACE.

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CHAPTER 31a
“Love is the greatest

force in the world

and the word of God

the most powerful truth on Earth!”

The development of a kind heart (a feeling of closeness for all human beings)... is for
anyone who considers himself or herself, above all, a member of the human family
and who sees things from this larger and longer perspective.

- The Dalai Lama, from “A Human Approach to World PEACE”

The religion of the future

will be a cosmic religion.

It should transcend a personal God

and avoid dogmas and theology.

It should be based on a

religious sense arising from

the experience of all things

natural and spiritual as a

meaningful unity.

- Albert Einstein

Let us cultivate a tolerance for other religions, tolerance for different views within a
religion, tolerance for people with no religion, so long as all have a “good heart”.

- The Dalai Lama, addressing CHILDREN from both the Catholic and
Protestant Communities of Northern Ireland, date not specified.

One of the most important things is compassion. You cannot buy it in one of New
York’s big shops. You cannot produce it by machine. But by inner development, yes.

- Anonymous

Today we so interdependent.... that without an understanding and belief that we


really are part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to
our very existence - let alone bring about PEACE and happiness.

- From “A Human Approach to World PEACE”

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CHAPTER 31b
MESSAGE OF PEACE COMING FROM RELIGION
“IN THE PAST 20 YEARS, MAN HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS SKILL AT ENABLING
LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE TO SURVIVE WHO WOULD NOT HAVE
SURVIVED IN THE PAST – BUT TO SURVIVE IN POVERTY, IN IGNORANCE, IN
SICKNESS, OFTEN IN DEGRADATION (QUALITY OF LIFE). TOGETHER WE
HAVE SURVIVED AS ONE HUMAN FAMILY.”
- Anonymous
“We all know that unity can solve difficulties which it is impossible to solve otherwise.
It does not behove any of us, therefore, that we should refuse ourselves the
blessings of unity.”
“Friends, by God’s Grace, you are now educated; and it is time you cleared your
hearts of all hatreds, and advanced in mutual love; it is wise that unkindness gave
way to sympathy.”
“At present, when passions of hatred between communities are leading to violence
and serious problems, there is a vital need for disseminating the ideas of PEACE
and unity and for acting upon them.”
MESSAGE OF PEACE
“My God Almighty! My guide beloved! Guide us into the path by which thy truthful
and sincere servants find thee, and save us from the ways of those who seek only to
gratify their passions of revenge or hatred, or their greed for the things of the world!”
“And now, Friends, notwithstanding hundreds of differences, let us believe in God as
the Creator and Master of the world. Moreover, our cause is common not only
because we are all human beings, but also because, we are inhabitants of one and
the same world, therefore, we are related as neighbours, to one another. It is but
proper, therefore, that we should live as true and sincere friends, and sympathize
and act as though we were parts of one whole, and limbs of one body.”
BROAD SYMPATHY
“That religion is no religion which does not inculcate broad sympathy, nor does that
man deserve to be called man who does not have a sympathetic soul within him.
God has not withheld HIS bounty from any people. The powers and faculties which
HE bestowed on the ancient peoples of India, have also been bestowed on the
Arabs, the Persians, the Syrians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Europeans and the
Americans. For all, the Earth of God serves as a floor, and for the sake of all, the
sun, the moon, and the stars give their light, and perform such other functions as
God has charged them with. All of them derive benefit from the Air, Water, Fire,
Earth, and other things created by God. And all of them use the produce of the
Earth, its corn, its herbs, its flowers and its fruits. These liberal ways of God teach us
that we also should do good to all mankind and should not have a cramped outlook,
or a confined sympathy.”
EXCESSIVE EXCLUSIVENESS
“God has not ignored any people or country from the distribution of HIS spiritual
bounty. For, just as Almighty God has been providing for the physical necessities of

267
every country, so also has HE been provident for the spiritual sustenance of every
country.”
PEACE IS NEEDED
“Let us talk PEACE at a time when PEACE IS URGENTLY NEEDED. DISASTER
AFTER DISASTER HAS COME INTO THE WORLD. WE HAVE HAD
EARTHQUAKES AND FAMINES AND THE PLAGUE HAS NOT YET LEFT US.
Almighty God has decided that if the world does not repent of its evil ways and does
not forsake them all, DISASTERS, YET MORE TERRIBLE SHALL VISIT OUR
GLOBE, and one disaster will not have left before another will have appeared, AND
AT LENGTH MANKIND, OUT OF HELPLESSNESS, WILL BEGIN TO ASK WHAT
IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”
This is not a prophecy or an astrological prediction. This is a gut feeling, as I look at
the cloudy skies, the mammoth mountains and the turbulent sea-waves…This is
what I see when I close my eyes, I feel the touch of the Lord, like something
stretching my soul!!!
Beware, therefore, my dear friends and take care before the time arrives.

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CHAPTER 32a

To play Great Music (Vision),


You must keep your eyes
On a distant star (Mission).
- Yehudi Menuhin
Kudos! A la Genome!!!
The human genetic code has been mapped successfully. This means new medicines
and cures for currently fatal diseases, most of which largely devastate the Third
World.
‘Science is a search for knowledge, a search for truth. Let it also become a search
for justice....’
I do not regret
having braved public opinion,
When I knew it was wrong
And was sure
It would be merciless
- Horace Greely
Keep up the Fighting Spirit!!!

Act, before a meteorite wrecks the Earth!!!


Once Space travel becomes common, we can deal with the growing population of
the Earth and also deadly epidemics as well as massive world starvation.
- Anonymous
Let us intensify research on agriculture, forests, ocean sciences, planetary,
meteorological and seismological sciences, and all this for the future of our “beloved”
planet!
Modern Information Technology should be harnessed to create awareness about
population growth.
The Internet and PEACE and POVERTY... “Net-aid”... helps in bringing people
(human capital) together through voice and video... connecting people with
technology.... discussion of world issues.... Ultimately, not Internet, but people, civil
society, government and business.... are to play a major role…..The Internet can be
applied to health and immunization, education, food security and debt-relief…2/3
poor in Asia…How many have access to the internet? Out of 800 Million in Africa,
only about 2 .6 Million??
“Operations Research” (OR) is now recognized as an effective mechanism to
improve program effectiveness and quality of care. What OR does, is, as in
PERT/CPM, it provides strategic options, thus making available a selection of
strategies with the potential for high performance.

269
OR can be applied to human resources management, delivery of services, optimum
time utilization, management information system (MIS) and upscaling of innovations
to programs.
“Kaizen” is a very interesting concept that comes to us from Japan. The term
means “incremental improvement”. For example, an achievement has been made,
that is, some slum CHILDREN are already going to school. Thereafter, we stabilize
and hold the gain and go to the next step. Analyze the causes of success or failure
(school dropouts). We “Plan, develop, collect and analyze” (PDCA Cycle). The
problem could be local, national or international. For instance, if teaching CHILDREN
is the problem, we make an action plan, analyze the data, i.e. how much
improvement has been made, are some CHILDREN improving, or coming to school
regularly? Everything can be improved by the “Kaizen” method. In Japanese
industry, they make small “Kaizens” of work schedule and... watch ... is this not a
wonderful concept?
Implanting Silicon Chips inside the human body, linking technology to human
intelligence? Putting robots to work in developing countries? (Yes, and no,
unemployment) Androids with emotions? Futuristic?

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CHAPTER 32b
SAVE OUR WORLD, YOU AND I ARE NOT POWERLESS
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free...”
– Emma Lazatrus, “The New Colossus”
I mentioned Carl Sagan (Late Astronomer and Founder of Planetary Society) in the
1st CHAPTER. This is what he had to say about the future: “…We are likely to
receive our first messages from the drummers of the neighboring galactic valleys –
from civilizations only somewhat in our future…”
His words bring certain questions to mind:
In the future, will we,
– Live on Mars?
– Discover another universe?
– Travel to the stars?
– Find ourselves distributed between (say) Mars and Earth?
– Meet the Extra-Terrestrial (ET)?
– Will we take vacations in space?
– BE CRUSHED BY AN ASTEROID???
This represents an almost frightful proposition. THE FIRST STEP SHOULD BE TO
INTENSIFY PLANETARY (VOLCANOES, EARTHQUAKES, CYCLONES) AND
ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH.
LET US ACT before a meteorite wrecks the Earth. As we move into the 21st century
and beyond, our first priority should be to SAVE OUR PLANET FROM ULTIMATE
DESTRUCTION.
OUR NEXT PRIORITY SHOULD BE TO WORK ON THE PROBLEMS THE
INHABITANTS OF THIS PLANET-MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN (CHILDREN
PARTICULARLY, BECAUSE WHICH CLASS IS SUFFERING, OUR CHILDREN
(OUR FUTURE)), ANIMALS, FLORA AND FAUNA; ETC, FACE.
A DIRE FUTURE IS PREDICTED FOR THE YEAR 2025: 8.3 Billion people,
increased carbon emissions, mega-cities in the developing world with energy, food
and water shortages. These trends demand a comprehensive global approach... not
band–aid strategies!
GOD HAS NOT MADE YOU AND ME POWERLESS: DIVINE PROVIDENCE LINKS
US TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
Therefore, let us build up, in course of time, a global society for human rights and
sustainable development – for greater thrust towards basic food security, self
reliance, economic growth, BRINGING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CLOSER
TO HUMANITY, health, education and employment for all in developing countries.
Let us go towards optimum taxing of the rich and exemption of the poor.

271
LET US GIVE INCENTIVES FOR POPULATION CONTROL; BUILD UP A SOCIAL
CONSENSUS AGAINST CURRENT PATTERNS (TRENDS, ALARMING!) OF
MATERIAL CONSUMPTION.
Let us build new cities for the poor and the underprivileged, by building new towns,
somewhat removed from the central cities (but without causing any destruction to the
immediate environment). This way, planners redistribute population and preserve the
center of the main city as the place of economic activities. We must keep space
between houses, because of its effect on the Quality of Life. Lack of space may
diminish the benefits of prosperity (e.g. Morality) in many countries.
THE CORPORATE SECTOR SHOULD BE BROUGHT CLOSER TO HUMANITY,
(FOR INSTANCE, BY SPONSORING THE EDUCATION OF THE PEOPLE OF
NEARBY VILLAGES AND SLUMS). LET US HOPE WE ARE ABLE TO BRING ALL
SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY CLOSE TO HUMANITY.
Because human needs of the countries of the world have never been more urgent.
At the same time, we have to address such global problems as Migration and
Refugees, Narcotics, AIDS, Trade in Arms and Terrorism. These are problems which
affect the security and well being of citizens of all nations, and which are linked to
problems of under – development.
The question of SUSTAINING THE EARTH arises-governments of developing
countries agree that the ultimate problem is POVERTY and a degraded way of life,
and that the Earth must be developed and natural systems may suffer – “until the
minimum essentials for a healthy life are provided.”
We have also to tackle (the causes of) Environmental degradation on a world scale.
Earlier, they all agreed that among all the global risks, the prevention of full nuclear
war deserved maximum attention. Happily, that risk has receded. TODAY, THE
THREAT OF (POSSIBLE) GLOBAL CLIMATE WARMING HAS BEEN SEEN BY
MANY GROUPS AS OF OVERSHADOWING IMPORTANCE TO THE WORLD
COMMUNITY.
Others argue that of far greater significance are THE RELENTLESS RAPID PACE
OF POPULATION GROWTH IN LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES AND THE
VORACIOUS APPETITE FOR MATERIAL CONSUMPTION IN HIGH-INCOME,
AND FOR THAT MATTER (WITH LIBERALIZATION COMING IN), IN SOME LOW-
INCOME COUNTRIES. The likely consequences of world population growth from the
present 5.5 billion to perhaps 10 billion in 2040, and of estimates of the effects of
continuing POVERTY are matters for serious consideration. Also, THERE HAVE
BEEN PREDICTIONS THAT THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE EARTH IS AT
STAKE.
These confrontations and debates on what is at risk and how they should be handled
are far from resolved.
The 1992 Rio Conference (Earth Summit) defined the reciprocal nature of
environment and development with the objectives and agenda for sustainability in
the future. It is clear that we must all redouble our efforts to come to terms with
problems posed by growth in numbers and consumption appetites, for THE EARTH
IS THE ONE WORLD HOME FOR ONE HUMAN (AND OTHER SPECIES) FAMILY.

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In the millions of years of the Earth’s evolutionary process, we have some lessons to
learn, from the methods in the nature’s way. Those gigantic animals like the
Dinosaur and a host of other species did not survive and in course of time
succumbed to nature’s way of extinction. But thousands of insects and countless tiny
creatures have withstood the test of time. Propelled by their instincts, they have lived
together, gathered food collectively and fought enemies in flocks. Thereby, we see-
that, the secret of survival lies in collective strength and inherent ability to adapt to
changing conditions.
Among the living, through a long process of trial and error, and ups and downs, MAN
has evolved to incredible heights, leaving the entire animal kingdom far behind him
and has become the “MONARCH OF THE PLANET–EARTH”. And
“DEVELOPMENT–A CONTINUOUS QUEST FOR HUMAN (AND OTHER
SPECIES) HAPPINESS” has come to assume a much greater significance than
ever before, widening its sphere to encompass every aspect of our lives, not only
confined to a nation or a country but influencing the entire world. DEVELOPMENT
HAS GRADUALLY BECOME THE SUBJECT OF CONCERN FOR PEOPLE ALL
OVER THE WORLD.
Development has become a major concern for all Governments. People are required
to contribute to this exercise by the system of taxes and the exchequer earned by
the Government is employed to initiate and fund the various developmental
programs for continued and sustained benefit to its people.
All developmental programs center on the main objective of creating wealth to
remove POVERTY and its ills. To achieve this, the available resources of men,
machines and materials are to be utilized with optimum results. IN AN
INTERDEPENDENT WORLD, MUTUAL TRUST AND GOODWILL FLOW
AUTOMATICALLY.
What, then, is good development?
REMEMBER, WE CAN (COLLECTIVELY) ACT BEFORE A METEORITE WRECKS
THE EARTH, YOU AND I ARE NOT POWERLESS, TOGETHER, YOU AND I CAN
MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
1) A good developmental program must address itself to all sections of the society
and seek to reduce and remove the chasm of discrimination or social imbalance
that may exist between rich and poor, weak and strong, men and women, over
consumerism and under consumerism and so on. LET US HELP SHIFT
DEVELOPMENT ATTENTION AWAY FROM ECONOMIC GROWTH AS THE
MAIN INDEX OF PROGRESS, TO LOOK MORE CLOSELY TO WHAT IS
HAPPENING TO THE POOR IN TERMS OF EQUITY AND INCOME-
2) All programs must be guided by VISION and foresight and have a SCIENTIFIC
TEMPER and be realistic –
3) The results of development must radiate in all directions –
4) The entire humankind must have access to scientific invention and discovery to
derive benefit from their applications –
5) IN A WORLD DRAMATICALLY SHRUNKEN BY IMPROVED
COMMUNICATION, all nations must exchange ideas and views for their
common good. Problems of any nation are to be shared by other nations. And
there should be global synergy in all our social and economic exercises-

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6) TO BE AMENABLE TO CHANGE is yet another pre-requisite for development –
7) From time to time all developmental plans must be examined in the light of the
results and reoriented to suit changing times and social and economic
conditions –
8) AND, FINALLY, FOR DEVELOPMENTAL PLANS TO SUSTAIN, THEY MUST
BELONG TO THE PEOPLE AND EVERY CITIZEN MUST WORK IN A
PARTICIPATING SPIRIT.
I would like to reproduce the MOST OFT-QUOTED POEM OF GURUDEV
RABINDRANATH TAGORE THAT SEEKS TO CONVEY THE VERY ESSENCE OF
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT:

Where the mind is without fear


and the Head is held high;
where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
Into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
Has not lost its way into dreary
Desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, My Father,
Let my country awake.

COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD WILL AWAKE,


WHEN THE SUN RISES AS USUAL THE NEXT DAY (21ST CENTURY AND
BEYOND),
BUT THE NEXT DAY SHOULD BE A BETTER DAY,
We know that scientific investigation in the form of agriculture (food), health
(disease) and hunger, education and literacy (POVERTY) will have more impact on
the future of the globe than anything else.

((Here’s hoping scientific research and investigation on disease, agriculture, nature


or the environment and application (of such research) get intensified))

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THE SUN MUST SHINE ON A HAPPIER WORLD;

AND OUR MISSION SHOULD BEGIN,


ACT NOW !!!

A FIRST MOMENTOUS BEGINNING HAD BEEN MADE, WHEN

 ON JAN1,1863, SOME ONE CALLED ABRAHAM LINCOLN SIGNED THE


“EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION” THEREBY ABOLISHING THE CURSE OF
SLAVERY IN HIS COUNTRY;
 SOMEONE CALLED AGNES (OR MOTHER TERESA) CARRYING WHAT MIGHT
BE CALLED “THE GENE SEPARATING MAN AND GOD”, TOUCHED A
LEPROSY PATIENT;
 SOMEONE CALLED SAMUEL “MAVERICK”(NON-CONFORMIST) REFUSED TO
BRAND HIS CALVES;
 SOMEONE CALLED MARTIN LUTHER KING, AMERICA’S GREAT NON-
VIOLENT LEADER (I AM REMINDED OF OUR OWN MAHATMA GANDHI),
STARTED A STRUGGLE FOR BLACK RIGHTS;
 SOMEONE CALLED NELSON MANDELA STARTED OPPOSING THE HATED
SYSTEM OF APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA, WHICH HAS, AFTER HIM, SEEN
SURPRISING GOODWILL BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE, A WILL TO FORGET
AND TO REBUILD;
 SOMEONE CALLED ROBERT BADEN-POWELL GAVE YOUNG PEOPLE A
CHANCE TO SUCCEED, WHERE, IN THOSE DAYS, THEY WERE DISMISSED AS
NUISANCES;
 SOMEONE CALLED LOUIS PASTEUR BEGAN A MEDICAL INVESTIGATION
WHICH LED TO THE CURE OF HIGHLY INFECTIOUS ILLNESS, MOST (OR ALL)
OF WHICH WERE NEITHER PREVENTABLE NOR CURABLE UPTO THAT TIME;
 SOMEONE CALLED LOUIS BRAILLE (THE BLIND FRENCH BOY) FELT THAT
SOMEONE HAD TO FIND A WAY FOR BLIND PEOPLE TO READ AND WRITE.
THIS LED TO THE INVENTION OF BRAILLE, NAMED AFTER ITS INVENTOR;
 SOMEONE CALLED HELEN KELLER, A DEAF AND BLIND LADY,
CONQUERED HER OWN DISABILITIES AND DEVOTED HER LIFE TO THE
RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS;
 SOMEONE CALLED CHARLES SPENCER CHAPLIN (A POOR BOY OF
VICTORIAN LONDON), FIRED BY ANGER AGAINST INJUSTICE AND PITY FOR
THE UNDER DOG, STARTED PUTTING LAUGHTER AND CRY INTO HIS
“SILENT” FILMS;
 SOMEONE CALLED CLARA BARTON STARTED SOME PIONEERING WORK IN
THE FIELD OF DISASTER RELIEF;

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 SOMEONE CALLED MARGARET MEAD STARTED WORKING TO HELP
PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD UNDERSTAND AND RESPECT EACH
OTHERS’ CULTURES;
 SOMEONE CALLED TENZING GYATSO (THE DALAI LAMA OF TIBET)
STARTED WORKING PATIENTLY FOR WORLD PEACE DESPITE A PERIOD OF
EXILE;
 SOMEONE CALLED ELEANOR ROOSEVELT STARTED DEVOTING HERSELF
TO HUMANITARIAN CAUSES INCLUDING WORK FOR THE POOR. SHE
PIONEERED THE “UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS”.

……from unsung heroes and unsung heroines….


……..…from human to humane…..
……..…….from vision to mission….
……………....the journey has (already) begun……

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