Community Reports

ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷൻ പരിസരം ഒരു വലിയ ആരോഗ്യ വിപത്തിൽ!

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ദേശാടന പക്ഷികളുടെ സാന്നിധ്യകൂടുതൽ കാരണം ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷനും പരിസരവും ആരോഗ്യത്തിനു ഹാനികരമായ അവസ്ഥ സൃഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു. അനേകം പക്ഷികൾ തമ്പടിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നതു സ്റ്റേഷനോട് ചേർന്ന് ഉള്ള വന്മരങ്ങളിലാണ്. അവയുടെ വിസർജ്യം വന്നു വീഴുന്നത് റെയിൽ യാത്രക്കായി വരുന്നവരുടെ വാഹനങ്ങളിലോ അവരുടെ ശരീരത്തിലോ ഒക്കെ. കൂടാതെ ഈ വിസർജ്യം അവിടെ കിടന്നു, മഴവെള്ളത്തിലൂടെ ഒലിച്ചു സമീപ പ്രദേശങ്ങളിലേക്കും എത്തി പെടുന്നു. സഹിക്കാൻ പറ്റാത്ത മണത്തോടെ യാത്രക്കാർ മൂക്ക് പൊത്തി പിടിച്ചു നിൽക്കുന്നത് സ്ഥിരം കാഴ്ച. ശ്വാസകോശ സംബന്ധമായ അസുഖമുള്ളവർ ഈയിടെയായി ഈ സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ നിന്ന് യാത്ര ഒഴിവാക്കുന്നു എന്നാണ് അറിയാൻ കഴിഞ്ഞത്.

സ്റ്റേഷൻ അധികൃതരുമായി കുറച്ചു നേരം സംസാരിച്ചതിൽ നിന്ന് മനസ്സിലാക്കിയത്, ഇതിനകം തന്നെ പല ഓട്ടോ ടാക്സി തൊഴിലാളികളും, സ്റ്റേഷൻ ജീവനക്കാർക്കും ശ്വാസകോശ രോഗങ്ങൾ വന്നു കഴിഞ്ഞു എന്നാണ്.

രാത്രിയിലെ വെളിച്ചവും, എല്ലാ സമയത്തും ഉള്ള യാത്രക്കാരുടെ സാമീപ്യവും ഈ പക്ഷികളെ ഇവിടേക്ക് ആകർഷിക്കുന്നു. ഓരോ പക്ഷിയും ദിവസ്സേന ഏകദേശം 3.5 കിലോയോളം മൽസ്യത്തെയോ മറ്റു ചെറു ജന്തുക്കളെയോ ഭക്ഷിക്കുന്നു എന്നാണു കണക്കാക്കപ്പെടുന്നത്. ഇത് വൻ രീതിയിൽ ഈ പ്രദേശത്തെ ജന്തു ജല ജീവി സന്തുലിതക്കു ദോഷം വരുത്തുന്നു എന്ന വസ്തുതയും നമ്മൾ മുന്നിൽ കാണേണ്ടതുണ്ട്.

വല്ല വിധേനയും ഇവയെ ഇവിടെ നിന്ന് തുരത്തിയില്ലെങ്കിൽ ഇനിയും നിരവധി യാത്രക്കാരും അവരുടെ വാഹനങ്ങളും സ്റ്റേഷൻ തൊഴിലാളികളും ഈ ദുരവസ്ഥ അനുഭവിക്കേണ്ടി വരും.

സമീപ പ്രദേശത്തെ എഞ്ചിനീയറിംഗ് കോളേജ് / ടെക്നിക്കൽ കോളേജ് വിദ്യാർത്ഥികൾ ഇത് ഒരു പ്രൊജക്റ്റ് ആയി എടുത്തു, റെയിൽവേ അധികൃതരുമായി ഒത്തു ചേർന്ന് ഏതെങ്കിലും തരത്തിലുള്ള ഹൈ ഫ്രീക്യുൻസി തരംഗങ്ങൾ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് ഇവയെ ഓടിക്കാൻ ഒരു ശ്രമം നടത്തിയാൽ, ആ മരങ്ങൾ മുറിക്കാതെ ഈ ആരോഗ്യ പ്രശ്നത്തിന് ഒരു പരിഹാരം ആവും.

Use Pedestrian Underpass

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Good morning from Abu Dhabi. Do not cross the road in undesignated areas. Use Pedestrian Underpass wherever possible.


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Challenges are to be won over – meet Johny

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Challenges are to be won over – meet Johny, a Kerala state lottery ticket seller

I met him for the first time during my visit to my hometown Irinjalakuda in January. His cautious strides and pleasing smile to those who interacted with him attracted my attention. I thought let me speak to him and in the process get to know more about him.

He lost his vision at a young age due to measles. However, he didn’t subdue to the fate. He grew up and then took up the job of selling Kerala State Lottery tickets. A few kilometers away from Irinjalakuda down, he walks every day and visits most of its parts and sell the lottery tickets to his regular customers as well as new ones.
Identifying the Indian currency notes is not easy, especially with rumors of fake currencies in circulation. Added to it, the monetization program brought in some new currencies too.
However, that did not deter Johny (Johny chettan – brother) as all call him from identifying him. A few minutes with him during that time and the discussions I captured with my camera and presenting to you here shows how he identifies the different types of currency notes.
That was in January. Months passed and during my recent visit, while driving through the crowded marketplace of Irinjalakuda town, I saw him walking cautiously. It was raining too and the street was crowded with trucks and light motor vehicles bringing goods to the market.
I stopped my car and called him. He came to me and as soon as I talked to him, he realized me and even remembered my name.
This time too, I gave different notes and he issued the ticket and returned back exact change.
Rather than taking a trial of my luck to win a lottery, I felt satisfied by helping a person with special skills to survive in this world on his own. He is an example for all those who cry out saying that there is no work and beg for help.
Whenever possible, if you meet him or others like him, do not hesitate to offer a helping hand. Not free offer – take a ticket from him. You never know – it may be your winning chance!.

Keeping children safe

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24-04-2017 Gulf News - Keeping Children Safe

I feel it is advisable to have regulations for seat belts continue to be applied for all seats in the school buses that are on our roads (‘New drivers to get two-year licence, starting from July 1’, Gulf News, April 17). The advantage factors I find behind such an enforcement of safety regulation are many. First and foremost, at any given point in time, the student is safeguarded from impacts due to sudden braking.

Secondly, when it is normally enforced on a daily basis it will become an automatic habit, which will be carried on to their private travel with friends and family. They will be leading the way as ambassadors of road safety.

It may also reduce the driver distractions that happen often in the school buses where children run around or jump on the seats, ignoring the request of the supervisors and drivers. It may thus reduce the bullying that might be happening in some cases.

Safety education is something children should be reminded of every moment. It is because we tend to take some small points lightly, thinking that we know it or “it will not happen to me” that many accidents occur. So, why do we miss out on the opportunity of a road safety education opportunity for children? Teach them young and travel with them safely throughout!

From Mr Ramesh Menon

Abu Dhabi

Read more on the subject:

Draft seat belt law does not cover school buses

Seat belts on school buses should be made mandatory

 

A system that helps save water

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Reader came across a school project that reuses water in the flushing system

Published: 15:40 April 9, 2017Gulf News

By Ramesh MenonGulf News reader

A few days ago, after a hectic schedule at the office, I decided to visit a friend and spend some quality time relaxing. During our conversations, I could hear some sounds from the washroom. I was curious to know what was happening and came to know that my friend’s son and his classmates were working on a water conservation project for their school.

It is always amazing to see projects on water and energy conservation. The children were fixing a self-made wash basin, connected to the toilet’s flushing system. When the flushing mechanism fills the tank, a pipe channels extra water to the basin, dedicated to washing one’s hands.

I was amazed by the concept. There were a few young boys working on it and the tools they used were all simple. The basin was a simple ice cream tub and two pipes were connected to it as an inlet and outlet.

In this newly created flush system, when you flush, water from the storage tank moves to the toilet and fresh water fills the tank for the next flush. While filling the tank, some water is redirected to this wash basin. This water supply lasts for about a minute, or until the tank fills up. The water collected in the basin then goes to the tank for the flush. It saves a large volume of water!

One of the students told me: “Normally, we need 20 seconds to scrub our hands with soap and then wash up, but this process consumes a lot of water. This model will save this resource.”

In a day, a person washes his or her hands seven times on average, as stated by WaterWatch, a US-based non-governmental organisation. During hand wash, up to 14 litres of water can be consumed by just one person. But, by using the device created by these students, only 5.6 litres of water would be consumed by one individual in a day. In a family of four, that saves up to 33 litres of water per day. And the best part is, all this water is then reused, to flush the toilet.

I later found that the students had implemented the idea in different places, and thousands of litres of water were being saved in their school and in the homes of some of the students. This idea is the brainchild of Keerthi Kumar Jagannath, an administrative staff member at the Abu Dhabi Indian School, Al Wathba. He deserves great appreciation and honour for initiating, motivating and encouraging students to take up such projects.

He has a target of equipping 1,000 washrooms with this set-up. When I spoke with him, I found it was his passion to invent, demonstrate and inspire others with such innovative ideas.

Such efforts should be endorsed, in order to foster improved environments. The power to save the planet rests with us. I hope more schools, malls and corporations adopt this simple method in their flushing system so we can save a huge volume of water every day.

— The reader is based in Abu Dhabi.

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To read it in original visit Gulf News Dated 10 April 2017.

Parents in a frenzy for Aadhaar

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This news report is sensational and shocking until now. All Non-Resident Indians (NRI) have been urged to get their Aadhaar done for the mandatory official identification and usage purposes.

One concrete example is the students’ need of this card for the forthcoming National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET). A number of parents had to travel back to their home state in India for the sake of obtaining an Aadhaar card for their children in order to qualify for the exam. They were clearly informed that if their children do not have an Aadhaar card, they will not be eligible to take the NEET. They were told to register in the NRI category, which was prominently highlighted for them to adhere to. However, it does not end there. What about the other important activities like applying for mobile subscriptions, handling transactions at local registration offices, etc. Indian authorities urge the public to obtain their Aadhaar card, where details on their biometric and demographic data are compulsory information including their thumb impression.

From Ms Ramesh Menon

UAE

Read the corresponding news to this letter:

Indian expats ‘not eligible for Aadhaar IDs’

 

 

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

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Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

Published: 14:02 March 25, 2017Gulf News

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

This is an extremely important move from Dubai’s Environment, Health and Safety Control Authority (“Local order against daredevil selfie takers”, Gulf News, March 21). They are curbing the recent craze of ‘selfie-adventurists’ doing dangerous stunts on top of high-rise structures. Not only is this a death-defying act, but also creates negative motivation for others to follow and receive ‘instant fame’ on social media.

In fact, people don’t just perform these kinds of stunts in Dubai alone – it happens everywhere. In one of my trips to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, I witnessed a family encouraging children to jump repeatedly from the guard rails for a picture-perfect opportunity, while someone else kept clicking pictures on their camera. This happy excursion could have become tragic any time one of them fell down the side of a steep slope. I hope there will be more awareness programs to constantly alert and remind people of any imminent danger. Safety should be our priority at all times.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

UAE

Queuing system a must at bus and taxi stands

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Abu Dhabi city is looking much more beautiful these days with more cycle tracks, walkways, places to sit and relax as well as children’s play areas. What we need now is a queuing system for bus and taxi passengers at every station. I routinely see passengers fighting among themselves to board the bus or taxi first.

There should be proper signs, instructions and marks that will compel people to honour the queuing system.

It’s not that these people are not educated. But they disregard the system in the absence of any guidelines or mechanism.

Abu Dhabi Mall Cooperative taxi stand is an example of an efficient system. This should happen across the city.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, visit, The National online. {Photo courtesy The National}

Fine ambulance chasers!

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Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

I was travelling towards Dubai from Abu Dhabi on Shaikh Zayed Road, almost near the World Trade Centre when I noticed an ambulance trying to make way through the heavy traffic. Its driver was finally able to get to the emergency lane and was trying to gain speed to reach its destination. I was alarmed to notice that two bikers, one a delivery guy and another a normal rider were trying to follow it bumper to bumper.

This is an extremely dangerous driving habit and those found using emergency lanes and following speeding ambulances should be reprimanded and heavily fined. They are not thinking of the danger when or if the ambulance driver has to suddenly apply the brakes!

Let us think about road safety at all times. It is our responsibility to remain safe.

From Mr Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Dt 28 January 2017

To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online

Fill it, Dig it, Forget it! – Kadugodi Whitefield Road that WORKS

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In an year how many times this small stretch of road at Kadugodi Whitefiled has been filled, digged again and then left like that! Pathetic! Even the tractor guys are finding it difficult to drive. So you can imagine how difficult it is for cars and two wheelers. The way the work for pipeline is being carried out at one point here, I feel, very soon, they will find oil here! No one can drive. Not to forget the speed at which the two wheelers ride on these roads. So, imagine the plight of those elderly or children who walk through this stretch to the Volvo Bus stand or Whitefield Railway station. Authorities – please open your eyes and do a neat job, once and for all.

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