” It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” ~ C.S. Lewis.
If people who comprise “society” today were eggs, which category of eggs do you belong to? The one that hatches into a chicken and moves forward , or the one that just gets rotten being an egg ?
Though we, the people who comprise society in India are progressing in some directions, it seems like some of us have chosen to be the egg that gets rotten. The top five reasons as to why I think so , are listed below:
- Women just “live with” being taken for granted
Dhanam, my maid is about 29 years old. She made the “mistake” of eloping with her beloved at a much younger age since the families couldn’t accept their love. However, it turned out that the man she loved didn’t love her as truly as she expected him to. The wedding did go well to start off with.. till, due to various so called “frustrations” her husband started drinking and physically abusing her . She did stay patient for a while. But when nothing else worked out, she walked away to lead her life, and educate her children on her own accord. Dhanam now stays with her mother Meenakshi along with her 4 sisters, and is a mother to two sons. She and Meenakshi toil day in and day out to educate the rest of the children in her family. Some of you might now be thinking “That’s why an arranged marriage is better, you see!” . I can cite a lot of examples of the most typical arranged marriages breaking , and that too , within the shortest periods of time. A lot of parents just turn a blind eye to the sufferings of their daughters and tell them to just “adjust”. Why they do it, is something I haven’t been able to fathom till date. If your daughter or sister had to just spend her life “adjusting” to the whims and fancies of some man who, despite all her sincere attempts to keep him satisfied , considers himself “king” , is insatiable, does not value her for what she is and refuses to adjust to her one bit , it means her marriage is just not working . So what if she has children ? Have you not educated her? Doesn’t she have a job of her own ?Even if she doesn’t , isn’t she qualified enough to get one? Or is it that she becomes a burden to you once your biological need of becoming a father has been satisfied ?
It is my personal opinion that unless we respect ourselves for being who we are, society will never respect us. I’ve already expressed my thoughts on this earlier.Asking your daughter to be safe or asking her to get home early out of concern is okay. But if you, father to a girl, roam about in shorts , and stop her from wearing sleeveless clothes by telling her that “her body is sacred” and that “it should be covered”, then you, my friend, must be god himself to have gained access to a woman’s “sacred” body in the process of bringing your princess into this world ! The inferiority complex we suffer from as women or parents of women has to go. It is a slow, gradual process. But it has to go – period.
- Waste Management
While Sweden is in the news for running out of waste , it indeed is ironic, that we , in India, don’t know what to do with the waste we generate !
Waste management stories in India have been in the news for a while now. Most Indian homes, as most of us know- run their kitchens on Liquid Petroleum Gas with the help of Gas Cylinders . Recently , it has been announced that starting 2013 , every household will get about 6 to 9 gas cylinders per year at subsidized rates, and the rest would need to be purchased at market rates , which would be quite expensive.
To address this problem , cities like Mysore & Bangalore have been in the news for having taken initiatives that help convert waste into gas that aids in fueling our kitchens / power with the help of Biogas plants .Some citizens living in Mysore have already started converting their kitchen waste to biogas with the help of these plants . They have, in my opinion, set a good example for the rest of us to follow. If this is implemented at least in large apartments to start with, the initial investment incurred during the installation of such plants would really help in saving some of the money we spend on buying fuel for our kitchens in the long run. The picture below, taken from the BBMP (Bangalore’s municipal corporation) facebook page shows us how to convert kitchen waste to compost.
Kudos to BBMP, who, with such efforts, is trying to educate us citizens on how to better use kitchen waste. If you live in an independent house of your own, you surely must be having a garden in it. If not anything else, this can at least help save a little on your gardening costs .
- Water shortage problems
As the old adage goes- Little drops of water make an ocean. I have already mentioned earlier in good humor about the water problems we face . Water supply boards in cities like Bangalore, Chennai,and Delhi are harping about rain water harvesting and have even taken steps to make it mandatory for us citizens to provision for it in our homes . While they try to do their bit to educate the public , some among us, the people, continue to act ignorant without paying heed to their request , and choose to just complain about the sad state of affairs in India.
What can we do to change it? Do your bit to save a little water. Forget about whether the rest of the universe is doing it or not. For starters, we could start by first implementing rain water harvesting at our homes instead of waiting on the government to crack their whips on us and cut off water supplies to homes/apartments that do not have it implemented . A lot of people, including my family and our neighbors have already done it . Second , use the shower instead of taking a full fledged bath. Monitoring water leaks proactively within your home is also a good way to save water. There could be umpteen more ways to do so if the issue is given some serious thought!
- Trees & Plants- Grow them if you cut them!
Rainfall over the years, has been reducing in India. I personally think that Deforestation is a major contributor towards this. Most, or all of us ,should have heard of the process of Photosynthesis, and know that plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and water, only to give out oxygen during this process . Cutting them down will only help increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere , which is bad for us in the long run.
It could be argued here that trees are being cut down to accommodate an ever increasing population , which indeed is difficult to control. Cutting them down may also be the result of “road widening” operations by the government. Although the citizens at times do succeed in retaining these trees or planting new ones ,what we people can do at home, at the least is grow a few plants in our balconies. In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide , plants and trees, with the help of a process called transpiration, help release water vapor into the atmosphere, thus making it more humid and causing rainfall. Some of us already follow this at home. We have the traditional “tulsi” plant( grown in most Hindu houses), a cabbage plant, some onions , and a few more planted in a very narrow balcony of an apartment with total area of about 1200 sqft.
- Discrimination based on income . Remember, you could belong to the so called “lesser cut” tomorrow !
News like that of a Bangalore school cutting off tufts of hair from the top of certain children’s heads because they were admitted under the Right to Education quota leaves me appalled . When the government is taking baby steps to eliminate illiteracy among the families who don’t earn as much as we do by making education a fundamental right, shouldn’t we, the people be supporting them?
Why is it that some of us discriminate against people who unfortunately earn lesser than us, I do not know. If, today, you and me are well settled, it surely is because of some of our ancestors who struggled to save with a vision of making our lives more comfortable. Why don’t we, for a minute try to switch places with the less fortunate and think - If tomorrow, we lost our high paying jobs, would we like our children to be discriminated against like this? Doesn’t this attitude have to change?I understand that it surely isnt possible for everyone to work towards education of the less fortunate – But this attitude only shows that we, as a nation don’t want to progress