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ABOUT US

PANEL OF EXPERTS

  1. Environmental Management & Protection:
    1. Dr (Mrs) Dharna Tiwari-Environmental Science, 7.5 yrs exp in environment management.
  2. Education:
  3. Dr MP Jakhanwal-M Tech & PhD(Civil Engg)- Ex-Director of NIET, Greater Noida & Ex-Principal-Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology
  4. Dr Ganpat Rai-Ex-Director-Sitawati KishoriDevi Institute Of Technology, Pitham Pura, New Delhi
  5. Health Services & Medical Experts:
  6. Dr Rajneesh Srivastava-MD(Medicine)-KGMC, Lucknow
  7. Dr Kalindi Srivastava-DNB(Gyne & Obs)-Lucknow
  8. Dr Sidhartha Mishra-MD-Social & Preventive Medicine(AIIMS)
  9. Expert –Government Administration:
  10. Shri C M Singh-Retd. DANIPS Officer. He has served as Additional Magistrate &Special Metropolitan Magistrate – MCD, Delhi for 5 yrs. He has deep knowledge of Govt Affairs/Vigilance affairs.
  11. Expert on Legal Matters & Human Rights:
    1. Shri C K Srivastava-Supreme Court Advocate

FACTSHEET:

EDUCATION:

Early Childhood Education

Introduction:

As per UNO Reports-

Status of education for all in India

Elementary education in India is a fundamental right. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Movement) is a flagship programme of the Government of India, initiated in 2000-01 to universalize elementary education.  Interventions under the programme aimed at increasing the number of schools, ensuring that schools have drinking water and toilets, providing training to teachers and improving learning outcomes. Under the SSA, special focus on providing access to education to disadvantaged groups, minorities and girls, who are often left behind was also emphasized.

On 01 April 2010, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in India initiated a rights based framework where every child between the age of six and fourteen years has the fundamental right to education. The RTE is a landmark legal provision in the Indian education system.

There has been tremendous progress since the enactment of the Right to Education Act in India:

  • All states and Union Territories have notified RTE rules
  • Budgetary provision for theSarva Shiksha Abhiyan has more than doubled between 2009-10 and 2014-15 and the SSA programme has been adapted to ensure that no child in this age group remains out of school, and that all children study in age appropriate grades
  • An additional 11.8 million children enrolled from 2009-10 to 2012-13 to 199.7 million(source: District Information Systems for Education (DISE), 2009-10 and 2012-13)

PRIORITIES FOR EDUCATION FOR ALL IN INDIA:

  1. ACCESS TO EDUCATION EQUITYAn estimated 8.1 million children between 6-13 years are out of school in India (source: All India survey of out-of-school children of age 6-13 years, SRI-IMRB, 2010), and millions more do not attend school regularly.
  • Of these, 4.1 million (3.9 per cent) are boys an 4.11 million (4.7 per cent) are girls
  • A significant proportion belongs to disadvantaged groups including 5.9 per cent to Scheduled Castes, 5.6 per cent to Scheduled Tribes and 2.6 per cent to Other Backward Classes
  • An estimated 4.5 per cent are from rural areas and 3.1 per cent from urban areas
  • Nearly 34 per cent of children with disabilities are out of school.

Despite achieving close to universal enrolment at primary level, 41 per cent children drop out before reaching Class VIII (source: Statistics of School Education, 2010-11, Ministry of Human Resource Development).  The drop out rate  is even higher  for children from Scheduled Castes at 43 per cent and Scheduled Tribes at 55 per cent.

The number of schools in India that have separate toilet facility for girls has increased from 0.4 million (37 per cent) in 2005-06 to 1.24 million (88 per cent) in 2012-13. About 89 million girls in school now have access to toilets but seven million girls still lack access (source: DISE, NUEPA, New Delhi) .

There is an urgent need to provide access with a focus on equity, with special measures to bring in girls, children from disadvantaged groups and those with disabilities into schools.

2.    QUALITY BASIC EDUCATION

Every girl and boy in India has the fundamental right to enjoy eight years of quality education, one that helps them acquire basic literacy and numeracy, enjoy learning without fear, and feel valued and included irrespective of where they come from. However, the quality of education remains one of the biggest challenges.

There is a need to shift from the Right to Education to the Right to Learn: children learn the basics of literacy and numeracy; schools are child friendly for conducive learning, and there are adequate teachers with professional qualifications for teaching.

Learning the basics:

An estimated 47 per cent of Class V students can read Class II text. National Achievement Surveys (source: NAS, NCERT, Class-3, Cycle-III, 2012-13) show that the overall national average score is 257 (on a scale of 0 to 500) for learning levels in language and 252 (on a scale of 0 to 500) for learning levels in mathematics. This means that many children in school are not learning the basics of literacy and numeracy.

Child Friendly Schools and systems: 

The RTE Act makes child friendly quality education the fundamental right of every child. A child-friendly school (CFS) ensures every child an environment that is physical safe, emotionally secure and psychologically enabling. A child-friendly school with improved quality of education results in children staying in schools and thus accelerated realization of the RTE. The National guiding principles for CFS have been developed and need to be rolled out in the states.

Pupil Teacher ratio:

The RTE Act maintains that Pupil – Teacher ratio should be one teacher for every 30 students at the primary level and at one teacher for every 35 children at the upper primary level. 41 per cent schools at the primary level and 31 per cent schools at upper primary level meet the norm.

Teacher Training:

There are close to 7.7 million teachers in elementary schools in India, out of which nearly 60 per cent, i.e. 4.6 million are in government schools (source: DISE 2013-14).  However, about 20 per cent of government teachers lack adequate professional qualifications, and many more lack the required skills, knowledge and attitudes to ensure effective learning.

3.    GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION

The third priority of the Global Education First Initiative is to foster global citizenship, which aims to develop knowledge, skills, values and attitudes learners need for securing a world which is more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable (source: UNESCO 2014). The formulation of the goals for the post 2015 development agenda take into consideration the importance of Global Citizenship Education.

With 65 per cent of India’s population under 35 years of age, India is poised to become the world’s youngest country over the next two decades. In addition to access and quality education, global citizenship education in India can transform lives and  give people the understanding, skills and values they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st Century.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS TO ENSURE QUALITY OF EDUCATION FOR ALL

The priorities of the Global Education First Initiative in India find resonance in the targets of the Right to Education Act. With 31 March 2015 approaching as the second important milestone of the RTE targets, recommendations to accelerate efforts to implement RTE targets for policy makers, educationists and practitioners are suggested:

  • Increaseenrolment and ensure retention of out of School children (OOSC), especially children from backward communities, through improved  identification system for OOSC and their mainstreaming into age appropriate classes
  • Enhancereading, writing, speaking and numerical skills by introducing effective early grade reading and math approaches and expanding Quality Early Childhood Education
  • Adaptcurriculum and train teachers for inclusive education to ensure quality education for children with disabilities
  • StrengthenTeacher Management Policy to attract qualified staff, ensure quality teacher training and provide on-the-job support
  • Establisha robust system for learning assessment to improve teaching learning outcomes
  • Integratechild-friendly principles into state education planning to ensure that schools have the infrastructure and are equipped with age appropriate teaching learning materials
  • Promoteuse of information and communications technology to expand access and improve quality of learning and teaching
  • Ensureappropriate infrastructure including separate toilet facilities for adolescent girls for gender parity
  • MainstreamGlobal Citizenship Education in the education system by promoting transformative teaching that promotes critically thinking and encourages engagement with local and global communities.

Plan’s goal: children and youth will realize their right to quality education

Education is a fundamental human right and vital to achieving economic growth, increasing income, and sustaining a healthy society. Education is important in helping to improve lives, break the cycle of poverty and ensure that all people, particularly women have control over their destiny.

Despite global progress, 75 million primary school-aged children are still out of school – over half of whom are girls(Source: EFA Global Monitoring Report 2008).

There are many reasons children do not go to school or stay until they are done. They may have to walk a long distance to get to school, have no food to eat at home, there is no teacher or they have to take care of a younger brother or sister.

Plan is committed to ensuring that all girls and boys are able to realize their full potential. We know that children will flourish if they are able to go school, stay there until they finish and learn the basic skills of literacy, mathematics, life skills and critical thinking in a supportive setting. We help them to do this by supporting education initiatives. We work in communities across the globe for the long term, getting to know their needs so we can better help them. This long term assistance also means we are ready to respond when a humanitarian crisis appears.

All children have the right to education – a right that is expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and defended by EI within the framework of its global action campaign for accessible, free quality public education for all. Early childhood education (ECE) must be seen as an integral part of this right.

Essentially, early childhood education might be considered to be education which takes place before compulsory education, whether it is an integrated part of the education system or wholly independent of it. This includes childcare centres, nurseries, pre-school education, kindergartens and other similar institutions. It goes beyond what some refer to as pre-school education as it is an education in its own right, having not only the purpose of preparing children for school, but for life in the same way as all other parts of the education systems contribute to this process.

In low-income countries, where education for all is still far from becoming a reality, the provision of early childhood education is still very limited and, more often than not, organised on a private basis, and therefore only available to children from the wealthiest of families. In other words, there is flagrant inequality which is detrimental to those who are most disadvantaged. In high-income countries, where demand for such education services is on the increase, two different concepts continue to exist side-by-side: on the one hand, structures which are mainly social in character, and whose main objective remains the provision of child-care services for the parents of young children, especially women, thereby enabling them  to be gainfully-employed; at the other extreme, we find structures with a more educational focus, also offering a social service but whose primary aim is the promotion of a child’s development. The educational nature of these establishments is currently being intensified, responding as it does to children’s needs, needs which are now recognized by teachers, families and society in general.

Children in India

Education

India is a country with more than one billion people, and just one-third of them can read. Rapidly growing size of population, shortages of teachers, books, and basic facilities, and insufficient public funds to cover education costs are some of the nation’s toughest challenges. This is where Children in India are facing the basic challenges. According to a study, more than 30% of educational funds are allocated towards higher education, leaving the primary education in India in sway.

India is fourth among the top 10 nations with the highest numbers of out-of children in primary level. Furthermore, the rate of school drop-outs among-est students is very high. One of the main reasons behind this is poverty. When earning a livelihood and taking care of the members of the family becomes a primary matter of concern in one’s life, education stands a little or, very often, no chance of pursuance. For the underprivileged people in India, education is perceived as a high-priced luxury, and this negative outlook continues on with every new generation.

A disproportionate number of total out-of-school children in India are girls. What denies equal opportunities of children are serious social issues that have arose out of caste, class and gender differences. The practice of child labor in India and resistance to sending girls to school in several parts of the country remain as genuine concerns. If the current trend continues, millions of underprivileged children will probably never set foot in a classroom.

India’s growth relies on a well-educated and skilled workforce. Improving education is a critical area of investment. A shabby foundation in primary education can overturn the lives, careers and productivity of millions of its citizens. Already, a considerable proportion of the adult workforce in India is acutely under-equipped to be eligible for skilled and semi-skilled jobs. In order to build India as a consumer market of global standards, it is very important that every child reaps the benefits of quality education.

 

ENVIRONMENT ISSUES  IN INDIA

Some of the most important environmental challenges faced by India are as follows:

It is essential to make the public aware of the formidable consequences of the Environmental Degradation, if not retorted and reformative measures undertaken would result in the extinction of life.

Image Courtesy : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Slum_and_dirty_river.jpg

We are facing various environmental challenges. It is essential to get the country acquainted with these challenges so that their acts may be eco-friendly. Some of these challenges are as under:

1. Growing Population:

A population of over thousands of millions is growing at 2.11 per cent every year. It puts considerable pressure on its natural resources and reduces the gains of development. Hence, the greatest challenge before us is to limit the population growth. Although population control does automatically lead to development, yet the development leads to a decrease in population growth rates.

2. Poverty:

India has often been described a rich land with poor people. The poverty and environmental degradation have a nexus between them. The vast majority of our people are directly dependent on the nature resources of the country for their basic needs of food, fuel shelter and fodder. About 40% of our people are still below the poverty line.

Environment degradation has adversely affected the poor who depend upon the resources of their immediate surroundings. Thus, the challenge of poverty and the challenge environment degradation are two facts of the same challenge. The population growth is essentially a function of poverty. Because, to the very poor, every child is an earner and helper and global concerns have little relevance for him.

3. Agricultural Growth:

The people must be acquainted with the methods to sustain and increase agricultural growth with damaging the environment. High yielding varieties have caused soil salinity and damage to physical structure of soil.

4. Need to Ground Water:

It is essential of rationalizing the use of groundwater. Factors like community wastes, industrial effluents and chemical fertilizers and pesticides have polluted our surface water and affected quality of the groundwater.

It is essential to restore the water quality of our rivers and other water body as lakes is an important challenge. It so finding our suitable strategies for consecration of water, provision of safe drinking water and keeping water bodies clean which are difficult challenges is essential.

5. Development and Forests:

Forests serve catchments for the rivers. With increasing demand of water, plan to harness the mighty river through large irrigation projects were made. Certainly, these would submerge forests; displace local people, damage flora and fauna.

As such, the dams on the river Narmada, Bhagirathi and elsewhere have become areas of political and scientific debate. Forests in India have been shrinking for several centuries owing to pressures of agriculture and other uses. Vast areas that were once green, stand today as wastelands.

These areas are to be brought back under vegetative cover. The tribal communities inhabiting forests respects the trees and birds and animal that gives them sustenance. We must recognize the role of these people in restoring and conserving forests.

The modern knowledge and skills of the forest dept. should be integrated with the traditional knowledge and experience of the local communities. The strategies for the joint management of forests should be evolved in a well planned way.

6. Degradation of Land:

At present out of the total 329 mha of land, only 266 mha possess any potential for production. Of this, 143 mha is agricultural land nearly and 85 suffer from varying degrees of soil degradation. Of the remaining 123 mha, 40 are completely unproductive.

The remaining 83 mha is classified as forest land, of which over half is denuded to various degrees. Nearly 406 million head of livestock have to be supported on 13 mha, or less than 4 per cent of the land classified as pasture land, most of which is overgrazed. Thus, our of 226 mha, about 175 mha or 66 per cent is degraded to varying degrees. Water and wind erosion causes further degradation of almost 150 mha.

7. Reorientation of Institutions:

The people should be roused to orient institutions, attitudes and infrastructures, to suit conditions and needs today. The change has to be brought in keeping in view India’s traditions for resources use managements and education etc. Change should be brought in education, in attitudes, in administrative procedures and in institutions. Because it affects way people view technology resources and development.

8. Reduction of Genetic Diversity:

At present most wild genetic stocks have been disappearing from nature. Wilding including the Asiatic Lion are facing problem of loss of genetic diversity. The protected areas network like sanctuaries, national parks, biosphere reserves are isolating populations. So, they are decreasing changes of one group breeding with another. Remedial steps are to be taken to check decreasing genetic diversity.

9. Evil Consequences of Urbanization:

Nearly 27 per cent Indians live in urban areas. Urbanization and industrialization has given birth to a great number of environmental problems that need urgent attention. Over 30 per cent of urban Indians live in slums. Out of India’s 3,245 towns and cities, only 21 have partial or full sewerage and treatment facilities. Hence, coping with rapid urbanization is a major challenge.

10. Air and Water Population:

Majority of our industrial plants are using out-dated and population technologies and makeshift facilities devoid of any provision of treating their wastes. A great number of cities and industrial areas that have been identified as the worst in terms of air and water pollution.

Acts are enforced in the country, but their implement is not so easy. The reason is their implementation needs great resources, technical expertise, political and social will. Again the people are to be made aware of these rules. Their support is indispensable to implement these rules.

“Mother Earth – our only home – is under pressure…Without a sustainable environmental base, we will have little hope of attaining our objectives for reducing poverty and hunger and improving health and human well-being.”

-Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, 22 April 2010

Environmental concerns like climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, decreasing biodiversity and soil erosion are global problems. As declared by the United Nations, it is our global responsibility “to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity.”

It’s no easy task. According to the latest update on the UN Millennium Development Goals:

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have risen to more than 30 billion metric tons per year, a 35 percent increase since the 1990s.
  • Biodiversity continues to decline and nearly 17,000 species of plants and animals are currently threatened with extinction.
  • Increased agricultural efforts to combat rising food prices demand ever more of already strained improved water sources; the same sources that eight out of ten people in rural areas still lack basic access to.

There are many environmental issues in IndiaAir pollutionwater pollution, garbage, and pollution of the natural environment are all challenges for India. According to data collection and environment assessment studies of World Bank experts, between 1995 through 2010, India has made one of the fastest progress in the world, in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality.[1][2] Still, India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies. Pollution remains a major challenge and opportunity for India.

Environmental issues are one of the primary causes of disease, health issues and long term livelihood impact for India.

Major issues:

Floods are a significant environmental issue for India. It causes soil erosion, destruction of wetlands and wide migration of solid wastes.

Major environmental issues are forest and agricultural degradation of land, resource depletion (water, mineral, forest, sand, rocks etc.), environmental degradation, public health, loss of biodiversity, loss of resilience in ecosystems, livelihood security for the poor.

The major sources of pollution in India include the rampant burning of fuelwood and biomass such as dried waste from livestock as the primary source of energy,[7] lack of organised garbage and waste removal services, lack of sewage treatment operations, lack of flood control and monsoon water drainage system, diversion of consumer waste into rivers, cremation practices near major rivers, government mandated protection of highly polluting old public transport, and continued operation by Indian government of government owned, high emission plants built between 1950 to 1980.

Air pollution, poor management of waste, growing water scarcity, falling groundwater tables, water pollution, preservation and quality of forests, biodiversity loss, and land/soil degradation are some of the major environmental issues India faces today.

India’s population growth adds pressure to environmental issues and its resources.

Population growth and environmental quality:

Public dumping of rubbish alongside a road in Kolkata.

There is a long history of study and debate about the interactions between population growth and the environment. According to a British thinker Malthus, for example, a growing population exerts pressure on agricultural land, causing environmental degradation, and forcing the cultivation of land of poorer as well as poorer quality. This environmental degradation ultimately reduces agricultural yields and food availability, causes famines and diseases and death, thereby reducing the rate of population growth.

Population growth, because it can place increased pressure on the assimilative capacity of the environment, is also seen as a major cause of air, water, and solid-waste pollution. The result, Malthus theorised, is an equilibrium population that enjoys low levels of both income and environmental quality. Malthus suggested positive and preventative forced control of human population, along with abolition of poor laws.

Major issues:

Floods are a significant environmental issue for India. It causes soil erosion, destruction of wetlands and wide migration of solid wastes.

Water pollution:

Main article: Water pollution in India

The Taj Mahal next to the Yamuna river.

India has major water pollution issues. Discharge of untreated sewage is the single most important cause for pollution of surface and ground water in India. There is a large gap between generation and treatment of domestic waste water in India. The problem is not only that India lacks sufficient treatment capacity but also that the sewage treatment plants that exist do not operate and are not maintained. The majority of the government-owned sewage treatment plants remain closed most of the time due to improper design or poor maintenance or lack of reliable electricity supply to operate the plants, together with absentee employees and poor management. The waste water generated in these areas normally percolates in the soil or evaporates. The uncollected wastes accumulate in the urban areas cause unhygienic conditions and release pollutants that leaches to surface and groundwater.

According to a World Health Organization study, out of India’s 3,119 towns and cities, just 209 have partial sewage treatment facilities, and only 8 have full wastewater treatment facilities. Over 100 Indian cities dump untreated sewage directly into the Ganges River.Investment is needed to bridge the gap between 29000 million litre per day of sewage India generates, and a treatment capacity of mere 6000 million litre per day.

Other sources of water pollution include agriculture run off and small scale factories along the rivers and lakes of India. Fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture in northwest have been found in rivers, lakes and ground water. Flooding during monsoons worsens India’s water pollution problem, as it washes and moves all sorts of solid garbage and contaminated soils into its rivers and wetlands.

Air pollution:

A rural stove using biomass cakes, fuelwood and trash as cooking fuel. Surveys suggest over 100 million households in India use such stoves (chullahs) every day, 2–3 times a day. It is a major source of air pollution in India, and produces smoke and numerous indoor air pollutants at concentrations 5 times higher than coal. Clean burning fuels and electricity are unavailable in rural parts and small towns of India because of poor rural highways and limited energy generation infrastructure.

Air pollution in India is a serious issue with the major sources being fuelwood and biomass burning, fuel adulteration, vehicle emission and traffic congestion. Air pollution is also the main cause of the Asian brown cloud, which is causing the monsoon to be delayed. India is the world’s largest consumer of fuelwood, agricultural waste and biomass for energy purposes. Traditional fuel (fuelwood, crop residue and dung cake) dominates domestic energy use in rural India and accounts for about 90% of the total. In urban areas, this traditional fuel constitutes about 24% of the total. Fuel wood, agri waste and biomass cake burning releases over 165 million tonnes of combustion products into India’s indoor and outdoor air every year. These biomass-based household stoves in India are also a leading source of greenhouse emissions contributing to climate change.

The annual crop burning practice in northwest India, north India and eastern Pakistan, after monsoons, from October to December, are a major seasonal source of air pollution. Approximately 500 million tons of crop residue is burnt in open, releasing smoke, soot, NOx, SOx, PAHs and particulate matter into the air. This burning has been found to be a leading cause of smog and haze problems through the winter over Punjab, cities such as Delhi, and major population centers along the rivers through West Bengal. In other states of India, rice straw and other crop residue burning in open is a major source of air pollution.

Vehicle emissions are another source of air pollution. Vehicle emissions are worsened by fuel adulteration and poor fuel combustion efficiencies from traffic congestion and low density of quality, high speed road network per 1000 people.

On per capita basis, India is a small emitter of carbon dioxide greenhouse. In 2009, IEA estimates that it emitted about 1.4 tons of gas per person, in comparison to the United States’ 17 tons per person, and a world average of 5.3 tons per person. However, India was the third largest emitter of total carbon dioxide in 2009 at 1.65 Gt per year, after China (6.9 Gt per year) and the United States (5.2 Gt per year). With 17 percent of world population, India contributed some 5 percent of human-sourced carbon dioxide emission; compared to China’s 24 percent share.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was passed in 1981 to regulate air pollution and there have been some measurable improvements. However, the 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranked India as having the poorest relative air quality out of 132 countries.

Solid waste pollution:

Trash and garbage disposal services, responsibility of local government workers in India, are ineffective. Solid waste is routinely seen along India’s streets and shopping plazas. Image shows solid waste pollution along a Jaipur street, a 2011 image.

Trash and garbage is a common sight in urban and rural areas of India. It is a major source of pollution. Indian cities alone generate more than 100 million tons of solid waste a year. Street corners are piled with trash. Public places and sidewalks are despoiled with filth and litter, rivers and canals act as garbage dumps. In part, India’s garbage crisis is from rising consumption. India’s waste problem also points to a stunning failure of governance.

In 2000, India’s Supreme Court directed all Indian cities to implement a comprehensive waste-management programme that would include household collection of segregated waste, recycling and composting. These directions have simply been ignored. No major city runs a comprehensive programme of the kind envisioned by the Supreme Court.

Indeed, forget waste segregation and recycling directive of the India’s Supreme Court, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that up to 40 percent of municipal waste in India remains simply uncollected. Even medical waste, theoretically controlled by stringent rules that require hospitals to operate incinerators, is routinely dumped with regular municipal garbage. A recent study found that about half of India’s medical waste is improperly disposed of.

Municipalities in Indian cities and towns have waste collection employees. However, these are unionised government workers and their work performance is neither measured nor monitored.

Some of the few solid waste landfills India has, near its major cities, are overflowing and poorly managed. They have become significant sources of greenhouse emissions and breeding sites for disease vectors such as flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats, and other pests.

In 2011, several Indian cities embarked on waste-to-energy projects of the type in use in Germany, Switzerland and Japan. For example, New Delhi is implementing two incinerator projects aimed at turning the city’s trash problem into electricity resource. These plants are being welcomed for addressing the city’s chronic problems of excess untreated waste and a shortage of electric power. They are also being welcomed by those who seek to prevent water pollution, hygiene problems, and eliminate rotting trash that produces potent greenhouse gas methane. The projects are being opposed by waste collection workers and local unions who fear changing technology may deprive them of their livelihood and way of life.

Along with waste-to-energy projects, some cities and towns such as Pune, Maharashtra are introducing competition and the privatisation of solid waste collection, street cleaning operations and bio-mining to dispose the waste.

Noise pollution:

The Supreme Court of India which is in New Delhi gave a significant verdict on noise pollution in 2005. Unnecessary honking of vehicles makes for a high decibel level of noise in cities. The use of loudspeakers for political purposes and for sermons by temples and mosques makes noise pollution in residential areas worse.

In January 2010, Government of India published norms of permissible noise levels in urban and rural areas.

Land or Soil pollution:

In March 2009, the issue of Uranium poisoning in Punjab attracted press coverage. It was alleged to be caused by fly ash ponds of thermal power stations, which reportedly lead to severe birth defects in children in the Faridkot and Bhatinda districts of Punjab. The news reports claimed the uranium levels were more than 60 times the maximum safe limit. In 2012, the Government of India confirmed[45] that the ground water in Malwa belt of Punjab has uranium metal that is 50% above the trace limits set by the United Nations’ World Health Organization. Scientific studies, based on over 1000 samples from various sampling points, could not trace the source to fly ash and any sources from thermal power plants or industry as originally alleged. The study also revealed that the uranium concentration in ground water of Malwa district is not 60 times the WHO limits, but only 50% above the WHO limit in 3 locations. This highest concentration found in samples was less than those found naturally in ground waters currently used for human purposes elsewhere, such as Finland.[46] Research is underway to identify natural or other sources for the uranium.

Greenhouse gas emissions:

India was the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2009 at 1.65 Gt per year, after China and the United States . With 17 percent of world population, India contributed some 5 percent of human-sourced carbon dioxide emission; compared to China’s 24 percent share. On per capita basis, India emitted about 1.4 tons of carbon dioxide per person, in comparison to the United States’ 17 tons per person, and a world average of 5.3 tons per person.

E-WASTE

Electronics industry is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. The last decade has seen a tremendous growth in the manufacturing and consumption of electronic and electrical equipments all over the world. As a consequence of this growth, combined with rapid product obsolescence and lower costs, discarded electronic and electrical equipmentsor ‘e-waste’ is now the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world.

E-waste is end-of-life electronic and electrical gadgets. In simpler words, they are the broken, surplus or obsolete gadgets run by electricity. It includes discarded equipments like computers, printers, phones, TVs, fridges, toaster, electronic toys, etc.

India, currently, is estimated to generate more than 4 lakh tonnes of e-waste annually. The generation is estimated to go up many times in coming years, making it a critical issue. However, e-waste is not just a problem of waste quantity or volumes. The concern is compounded because of the presence of toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, certain brominatedflame retardants (BFRs) and many other chemicals.

In a developing country like India, most e-wastes land up in the informal sector, where it is recycled without any consideration to health and environment. Open burning, acid baths, unventilated work spaces and crude handling of chemicals are typical of these operations, where susceptible groups like children and women are regularly employed. With no safety equipments at hand, the workers in some of the recycling hotspots spread all over the country, are exposed to the toxic cocktails daily. The unregulated practices also release hazardous materials in air, water and soil, thereby endangering our environment.

             

 

E-waste also contains valuable non-renewal materials. Hence, there is the necessity to recycle materials and reduce burden on mining of virgin materials. Recovery of these materials without any adverse impact on environment requires a set of complex operations and highly advanced technology. Some of these complexities and concerns for environment created conditions for the policy makers in many parts of the world to involve the producers/product manufacturers to own responsibility for the end-of-life disposal of these products and introduction of a policy tool ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ (EPR).

SU-VIKAS is all set to campaigning on the issue of safe management of e-waste in the country through various researches, reports and awareness building exercises. It has been actively involved in pushing the national government for a separate rule on e-waste, which finally saw success with the notification of E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 which was notified by the Government of India in May 2011 and it came into force in May 2012. The Rules are based on EPR principle and assign responsibility to producers for collection and processing of e-waste. One-year period was provided to the stakeholder, especially the producers, to set up systems and infrastructure for an effective take back programme and further channelization of e-waste. Unfortunately, there is not much progress on the take back system.

Health Issues of India as per WHO report:

Statistics

Total population (2013) 1,252,140,000
Gross national income per capita (PPP international $, 2013) 5,350
Life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2013) 65/68
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births, 0) not available
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population, 2013) 239/158
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2012) 157
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2012) 4.1
 

MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR HEALTH OF INDIAN PEOPLE:

The challenge of caring for a billion

  • India is the second most populous country in the world
  • The death rate has declined but birth rates continue to be high in most of the states.
  • Health care structure in the country is over-burdened by increasing population
  • Family planning programs need to be (re)activated

Challenge: Burden of Disease in the new millennium

  • India faces the twin epidemic of continuing/emerging infectious diseases as well as chronic degenerative diseases.
  • The former is related to poor implementation of the public health programs, and the latter to demographic transition with increase in life expectancy.
  • The non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes & other endocrinal & lifestyle diseases pose a much tougher challenges to middle & upper middle& elite classes of society.

Economic development, Education and Health

  • Economic deprivation in a large segment of population results in poor access to health care.
  • Poor educational status leads to non-utilization of scanty health services and increase in avoidable risk factors.
  • Both are closely related to life expectancy and IMR.
  • Advances in medicine are responsible for no more than half of the observed improvement in health indices.

Human health has probably improved more over the past half century then over the previous three millennia. This is a stunning achievement – never to be repeated and, it is to be hoped, irreversible. Despite the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS is having in Africa and will increasingly have in south east Asia, it is likely that, overall, human health will continue to improve steadily during the coming decades.  But is requires a multipronged approach where SU-VIKAS is poised to play its role.

 

Health Care in India

  • India has 48 doctors per 100,000 persons which is fewer than in developed nations
  • Wide urban-rural gap in the availability of medical services: Inequity
  • Poor facilities even in large Government institutions compared to corporate hospitals (Lack of funds, poor management, political and bureaucratic interference, lack of leadership in medical community)

Health Care in India: Curative Health Services

  • Increasing cost of curative medical services
  • High tech curative services not free even in government hospitals
  • Limited health benefits to employees
  • Health insurance expensive
  • Curative health services not accessible to rural populations
  • Private practitioners and hospitals major providers of health care in India
  • Practitioners of alternate systems of medicine also play a major role
  • Concerns regarding ethics, medical negligence, commercialization of medicine, and incompetence
  • Increasing cost of medical care and threat to healthy doctor patient relationship

Physical activity and Health Report of the Surgeon General, 1996

  • All people benefit from regular physical activity
  • Moderate physical activity for 30-45 minutes on all days of the week is required
  • Additional benefits can be gained from more strenuous activity for longer periods
  • Physical activity reduces the risk of premature death, CAD, hypertension, diabetes and colon cancer. It also improves mental health.
  • A large number of adults including youths are not regularly physically active
  • Certain interventions to promote physical activity in schools, work site and health care settings have been found to be beneficial

Interventions with a large potential impact on health outcomes

  • Immunization (EPI plus)
  • DOTs for tuberculosis
  • Maternal health and safe motherhood interventions
  • Family planning
  • School health interventions
  • HIV/AIDS prevention
  • Integrated management of childhood illnesses
  • Treatment of STD
  • Malaria control
  • Tobacco control

Available vaccines against some human pathogens

Ø  Strep pneumoniae

Ø  H influenzae

Ø  Hepatitis A and B

Ø  Jap encephalitis

Ø  Mumps

Ø  Rabies

Ø  Yellow fever

Ø  Varicella-zoster

Ø  Influenza A

Ø  Whooping cough

Ø  Tetanus

Ø  Diphtheria

Ø  Polio

Ø  Measles, rubella

Ø  Cholera

Ø  Tuberculosis

Ø  S typhi

Ø  N meningitidis C

Ø  Smallpox

Ø  Anthrax

Vaccines undergoing phase 3 clinical trials- expected to be available after 5-10 yrs

Ø  Vaccination coverage in India continues to be low, and falls short of the target of 90%. Recommended vaccinations under EPI include DPT, polio, BCG, measles. It is proposed to add Hepatitis B and H influenzae type b to this list.

Ø  Measles continues to cause 30% of all vaccine preventable deaths, mostly in developing countries.

Ø  Challenge is to increase the immunization coverage to the desired level.

Ø  Also to develop newer vaccines and new modes of delivery.

  • Leprosy
  • Leishmania
  • S typhi
  • N meningitidis B
  • Influenza B
  • Rotavirus

Ø  Vaccination coverage in India continues to be low, and falls short of the target of 90%. Recommended vaccinations under EPI include DPT, polio, BCG, measles. It is proposed to add Hepatitis B and H influenzae type b to this list.

Ø  Measles continues to cause 30% of all vaccine preventable deaths, mostly in developing countries.

Ø  Challenge is to increase the immunization coverage to the desired level.

Ø  Also to develop newer vaccines and new modes of delivery.

DRINKING WATER:

Access to potable water in India has increased strongly over the past decade but a 2007 study from the Asian Development Bank reported that no major Indian city distributes clean water for more than a few hours a day. In rural areas the contamination of rivers and wells is an increasing problem caused in part by the rapid depletion of the ground water table.

  1. being extended by government. A true representative of common man in Jharkhand

Following are some articles that elaborate on the water situation in the country.

Strategic Plan 2011 – 2022:  Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India 

The government of India has released its strategic plan to ensure drinking water in rural areas.

Drinking water beyond rural India’s reach: NSSO

The article in the Business Standard published earlier this month stated that over half the households in the country have no access to drinking water. Reporting on the results of the survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), it stated that in urban areas, 23 per cent of households had no access to potable water at homes in 2012.

 India’s water woes

In an article published by the New York Times stated that half of the water supply in rural areas in India, is routinely contaminated with toxic bacteria. Employment in manufacturing in India has declined in recent years, and a prime reason may be the difficulty companies face getting water.

 

Rs.15,260 crore for drinking water ministry

Rs.15,260 crore ($2.77 billion) has been allocated to  the ministry of drinking water and sanitation to expand and improve drinking water supply in the country.

 

Drinking water quality in India

The paper released by WaterAid is a comprehensive overview of the situation in India. It states that eighty per cent of our drinking water needs are met by groundwater, which is depleting at an alarming rate, compounded with large scale contamination.

 

Report of the Working Group on Rural Domestic Water and Sanitation 

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation(MDWS), administers the National Rural Drinking Water programme (NRDWP)  was established in 2009. The working report for the twelfth five year plan can be found here.  The plan is aimed at  strengthening

systems which will enable rural households to have access    to  safe water supply

 

MDG target number 7 has been met, reports WHO and UNCIEF

According to a report  issued in 2012, the world has met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, well in advance of the MDG 2015 deadline. Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells. To read the report please click here.

 

Drinking water quality in India

If we look at the present scenario, we are leading towards crisis. About 85 % of rural population in India is solely depended on ground water, which is depleting at a fast rate. In the urban areas though about 60% of the population is depended on surface water sources, the availability and quality are questionable. 

Drinking water quality in rural India: Issues and Approaches

The health burden of poor water quality is enormous. It is estimated that around 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases annually, 1.5 million children are estimated to die of diarrhoea alone and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne disease each year. The resulting economic burden is estimated at $600 million a year.  

India and China lag in safe drinking water

According to the report issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Unicef, India is home to 97 million people without an access to improved water supplies. Over all, there are still 780 million people without access to an improved drinking water source.

 

Rs 14000 crore to be spent on rural drinking water schemes

With an aim to provide piped drinking water in all rural areas during the 12th Five Year Plan, government is all set to invest Rs 14,000 crore for the schemes being run by it in the next financial year.

 

Supply of  safe drinking water is a crore issue:

The Government of India has said that supplying the country with safe drinking water would require an investment of crores.

Water as a human right

Currently, there are no specific international legal instruments which treat water as a human right but this right can be derived from several conventions like International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Convention on Elimination on all forms of discrimination against women (1977), and Convention on Rights of the Child (1989). The UN General Assembly in July 2010 adopted a resolution acknowledging that clean drinking water and sanitation are integral to the realization of all human rights and also called upon all states and international organizations to provide financial resources, to help build capacity and transfer technology specially to the developing countries to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation to all.

 

A study on “Disease burden due to inadequate water and sanitation facilities in India”

The study focusses on the links between ill health in India and the lack of safe drinking water.