By R.Murugan, Work Assistant, O/o EE, PBND, APWD

Winner of Police Essay Competition Organised as part of Community Police Programme

Citizen is an individual who is legally recognized as a member of a state with certain rights, duties and responsibilities. Every citizen is bestowed with a host of fundamental rights by the statute while obligating him to carry out a slew of duties and responsibilities. The Article 51A of the Indian Constitution provides for certain fundamental duties which each member of the vibrant democracy is required to carry out.

Since independence, the society has made innumerable strides in terms of scientific and socio-economic development. Conversely, the vast development has brought along a number of by-products. While the society is reaping the benefits of development, some of the baneful consequences have started peeking and these issues could be quelled from plaguing the society only with the inclusive and individual participation of citizens. 

Today, the society has become obsessed with claims forgetful of duties and responsibilities. Given the scenario, it warrants that, every citizen is volunteered to exercise a slew of extra-constitutional duties in the interest of the progressive society in order to subdue the negative effects.

All pervasive social media: Be a responsible netizen

Today we are in an era of information technology revolution where penetration of social media is very profound and strong. While the social media has made communication across the globe very faster and easier, its negative impacts are posing great risks to the hitherto peaceful society. Social media has become a platform for gossip-mongers to unravel their imagination. Such elements use the social media to give an arm and a leg to petty matters in order to spread aspersions and invectives against the government and individuals. In this context, it will be ample if each one of us rises to the situation and become responsible about using social media. We should realize that, usage of social media does not end with merely clicking on the “like” button and forwarding the messages sent by someone. Everyone should exercise due discretion and prudence in weeding out unnecessary messages from going forward and to remain responsible netizens in the arena of cyber world.

Exercise abstinence

Immense Progress coupled with the influence of western culture on our societies has resulted in many people turning to the use of abusive substances like alcohol and narcotics. Despite the government propagating ill-effects of abusive substances, many indulge in such habits and get addicted. Hectic work schedule, bad company of friends etc also contribute to the changed attitude of people thereby drawing them towards alcohol and other substances. Many consider such habits as a tool to show-off their status while many others indulge in order to keep their friendship updated. Citizens must realize that, real pleasure does not lie in debauchery and they are the actual root cause of many socio-economic problems.    

Growing communal disharmony, intolerance and extremism

Communal disharmony and intolerance are two major challenges the progressive society is confronting today. Despite having made many strides in the spheres of science and technology and even after six decades of independence, these two problems continue to plague our societies till date. Renewed sense of patriotism with tolerance alone could solve these problems. Being citizens, everyone should strive to ensure justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all irrespective of religion, caste and creed. The mantra “Unity in diversity” should always play pivotal role.

Terrorism and extremism are the two ghosts which continue to haunt the societies around the world. It is the citizens who can be the best exorcists to drive away the evil spirits of terrorism from the society. Whatever the agendas of extremists may be, if every one of us stand united in one spirit and become vigilant about the evil forces, no one would dare to come into our societies with an ill-will. Citizens should be watchful of the movement of strangers in the neighborhood as it will not be that easy for such elements to execute sabotage plans in the midst of vigilant citizens.

Being humane

In the constantly evolving competitive landscape, advanced technology coupled with hustle and bustle of modern life have taken a toll on the humanitarian side of citizens as they are left with little or no time for others’ concern. As a result, something fundamental to humanity has been left behind. Values such as empathy for our fellow human beings have been gradually eroded. Money and happiness are considered analogous in the progressive society. In the mindless pursuit of money, nobody in the society has time to appreciate the beauty of life. Being a citizen, one should deem that real pursuit lies at simple act of kindness to fellow-human beings.  

Civic sense: clean and green city

Cleanliness is next to God. As the society has progressed, it has brought along a host of civic issues in its stride. Lack of civic sense among citizens is a worrisome trend and this is taking a big toll on further development of the society. Civic sense is largely attributed to individualistic mindset of citizens. Spitting in public places has become a nuisance to the modern society where littering also tops the list of other nuisances such as excessive use of plastics, stray cattle menace etc. Citizens should stand up to the grave situation and become responsible about cleanliness.

Traffic and road safety

Traffic snarl is a major subsidiary of progress. The growth of automobile industry coupled with liberalized economic policy of the government has resulted in rolling out more and more vehicles on roads which eventually contributed to incessant traffic snarls and congestion. Road accidents have become order of everyday and there is no perennial solution for traffic woes. Adding fuel to the problem is people’s defiance towards traffic rules. Unless one rises to the situation and become self-disciplined about following traffic rules, traffic violations and accidents would continue to hound our roads. Another major factor which contributes to road accidents is the drunk and rash driving. Despite stringent rules and the presence of cops on roads, people resort to reckless driving. Given the scenario, it is the foremost duty of every one of us to strictly adhere to road safety norms and traffic rules. 

Adhering to town planning rules for infrastructure development

Another by-product of the progressive society is the growth of realty sector which led to indiscriminate use of land for the purpose of construction. Fast paced urbanization has driven the demand for more houses resulting in many tracts of agricultural land being converted into housing plots. Amidst such chaotic run for development, many fail to comply with mandatory town planning rules leading to civic issues like improper drainage, sewage overflow, flooding etc. There are many instances of cities having been inundated in rain water and this is primarily due to failure on part of citizens to adhere to civic body rules while constructing homes and buildings. Unless each and every citizen vows to adhere to town planning rules, the progressive society would not be able to address those recurring problems.

My Earth, my responsibility: be an agent of change.

Global warming is a major challenge confronting the world. This is one of the most dangerous by-products of development the society has attained today. As predicted, if the climate change continues unabated even at the present rate, the Earth will face unprecedented levels of water rise due to fast receding of arctic ice leading to inundation of many low-lying areas. Though global warming is perceived as a universal issue, we are individually accountable to this global phenomenon as the acts of every one of us have driven this local issue into a global one. Being citizens, we can do our bit to reduce the per-capita carbon footprint. Opting for car-pooling, occasionally using public transport etc would go a long way in reducing the per-capita carbon foot print and these can be initiated at citizen level.  Replacing energy efficient LED lamps instead of conventional bulbs and tube lights, use of solar powered equipments instead of coal and coke fired equipments etc also would pay rich dividends in mitigating the effects of global warming. While the Government is planning to embrace clean fuel standards called BS-VI from 2020 AD onwards, small measures on our part today would prove to be most beneficial in the long run.

Mahatma Gandhi had said that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed”. But, feeding much to its greed, the society is inclined towards unsystematic and indiscriminate use of water. In the marathon of life, we have forgotten the fact that water is the elixir of life not only for the human-beings, but also for other living-beings on Earth. Considering this, we should strive for judicious use of water as it will have a far-reaching consequence on our attempt to protect the Mother Nature.

Vote to enthrone right people

 “Democracy is a form of government by which revolutionary changes are brought about the economic and social life of people without bloodshed”. Dr.B.R. Ambedkar tacitly referred to the importance of voting which determines the fate of rulers. In this modern progressive society, many are shying away from exercising the right of franchise thereby failing to fulfill the constitutional duty. Citizens should realize that, right to vote is an integral part of democracy and for the democracy to remain vibrant; citizens should always strive to vote right candidates to power.   

Contribute to nation building

A country and the society are considered analogous in the context of economic development as the society reaps the benefits once the country attains progress. Economic development of a country is largely dependent on the revenues like foreign remittances, taxes, duties etc. Tax evasion, black money and corruption are major factors contributing to weakened economy in today’s society. Besides, NPA in the form of bad debts in banks also hurt the cause of a robust economy. Repayment of loans, timely payment of taxes should be accorded priority and every citizen must play key role in fulfilling their own obligations to the society.

On the other hand, population explosion also takes a substantial toll on nation building. People’s inactive participation in census and survey operations results in extrapolation of deficient data thereby impairing the delivery system of the government. Large corpus spent on welfare measures of vast population incurs huge expenditure to the states exchequer thereby depriving the state of resources.

Brain-drain is another issue prevailing in a progressive society. As the society progresses, it affords to provide education all. In the quest for lucrative career, those educated section starts migrating to economically advanced countries leaving behind a vacuum of talent in their own society.

Fullest contribution of citizens towards nation building would stem only from the sense of patriotism and integrity. Citizens with integrity would refrain from tax evasion and amassing black money. Those with patriotism would never leave the society in search of lucrative career, instead, with their acquired talents, they would strive to turn their own society a self sufficient and prosperous one. It is high time citizens renew their sense of patriotism and integrity in the interest of society.

Be indigenous

In the evolving era of liberalized economy, the world has become a global village where intercontinental exchange of products is very common. However, invasion of foreign products often take a toll on indigenous products as it generates an uncompromising competition in the market as many opt for imported goods. In doing so, indigenous producers are left to battle for survival without a conducive market. On the other hand, import of foreign goods entails a large part of domestic exchequer being flowed out. If we determine to buy indigenously produced goods instead of imported goods, it will help local producers grow while protecting the domestic resources from draining out. Against this backdrop, every citizen is in need of reviving the Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of “Swadeshi” for patronizing the local products in order to protect the economy of progressive society.

Conclusion

                When there is righteousness in heart,

                there is beauty in the character.

                When there is beauty in the character,

                there is harmony in the home.

                When there is harmony in the home,

                there is an order in the nation.

                When there is an order in the nation,

                there is peace in the world.                                   - Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam                                                                           

As Dr. Kalam had opined, righteousness of citizens is key to peaceful world. Peace is always synonymous with a state of contentment with all sorts of requirements having been fulfilled. Righteousness symbolizes a combination of good character with a sense of duty and responsibility. The more the progress, the greater the impacts will be. Whatever the impacts may be, whether positive or negative, but it is the duty of citizens to transform negatives into positives with their sense of duty and responsibility. As the most intelligent species on earth, citizens should take their fair share of responsibility and sincerely think about the path they should follow in the progressive society. As Pt. Nehru said, today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. We should also strive to pass on the virtues of duty and responsibility to our posterity so as to make this society a best place to live. 

By Almas Shamim

How often have we heard a female friend or a colleague say this? You might have heard this when there was a late meeting scheduled in the office, a farewell party for a colleague or a group of students meeting to finish some group work assigned to them. The going-home-before-dark is all too common a practice, so common that it might have gone unnoticed by some.

What IS, after all, the relation between “dark” and “women”? Why do women get to hear this advice so commonly even though men/ boys find it way easier to traverse their way around the world in the dark? Do women really have some biological abnormalities that make them breathe less effectively when the sun goes down? Or do they automatically turn into statues at sunset?

The usual rhetoric that we hear is of safety. Didn’t the Nirbhaya tragedy strike in the dark? Aren’t the women who stay out at night, usually “those loose charactered women” and so it’s okay to harass and abuse them? Women who choose to be out on the streets at night, whether for work or for leisure are, in a way, accepting that they DON’T want to feel safe. They are admitting that they have a “loose character”, whatever it means.  In a way, any woman out at night is “asking for it” and hence all other women who “do not want to ask for it” should remain indoors.Of course, no such warped logic exists for boys/ men.

Just as we educate our girls, even though there are still pockets in our society which believe that education can corrupt girls’ minds; just as we have begun to embrace our daughters choice in marriage, even though it is still not acceptable by all- why aren’t we also telling our girls to go out freely and walk the streets at night? Women being out after dark will continue to be taboo as long as we keep it as an exception. One girl seen out after 8 pm may be targeted, two girls seen out after 8 pm may be looked down upon, but just go on increasing the number of girls out on the street…at point it would become absolutely normal.…

Women are half of this world population. They should also be half of the street population- in all places, at all times. The best way in which streets, nights and darkness can be made safe for women is by “reclaiming the street”- by keeping the presence of women on the roads a norm and not an exception. Of course, police patrolling, cctv cameras are all legit and absolutely essential demands. But, it goes without saying that no change is truly possible without a change in mindset. To realize, understand and accept that your daughter has as much of a right on the street as your daughter, that your female students have as much a right to return to the hostel at any time as your male students, that girls are only as desirous of being “attacked” as boys- is a change that we need to see. It is this collective change of mindset alone that can bring women out on the streets- thus, enabling many more to join them.

“Reclaiming the street” should be more than just an event, more than just a movement of a few- it should be the way things are every day, everywhere. 

Almas Shamim is a public health specialist with a great interest in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and feminism among Muslim women. She currently works for an international humanitarian aid organization in New Delhi

By Almas Shamim

Have you ever had to pee in a public toilet? Maybe one of those sulabhshauchalays or a toilet in a hotel or a café? How would you rate your experience?

While some lucky ones may have had good experiences, the majority would have had to face some unsightly vision and a stink that could kill. Yes, I’m talking about the pee and poop that we leave behind in the public toilets as if no one would be using it after us. This pee and poop accumulates over hours and people who wish to use the toilet have one of two options- either use the same dirty toilet, struggling to keep the nauseating obnoxious stink out of their nose or just ‘hold’ their urine in their bladders, waiting for some cleaner place to urinate… Both these options are, unfortunately, very unhealthy.

Using an unhygienic toilet, which may also have drops of urine on the toilet seat, raises the chance of acquiring urinary tract infections. This may manifest as lower abdominal pain, pain while urinating, frequent urination, inability to hold urine (wetting), fever and vomiting. Sometimes the infection could be fungal AND bacterial, causing severe itching on the inner aspect of your thighs (parts which come in contact with a western toilet seat) and groins. Both the conditions require treatment and can sometimes be protracted. The other side of unclean toilets would be that some may just opt out of going to the loo until they find a cleaner toilet. This retention of urine is very unhealthy and is also associated with urinary tract infections. (Not to mention the sheer discomfort of holding pee!)

It, therefore, becomes very important for us to urinate timely and in clean toilets. It is obvious that such cleanliness cannot be maintained without the will of the govt and the authorities that manage the offices and hotels where there are common public toilets. However, it will really help if people become a bit more active and take the initiative in forcing authorities to provide better sanitation facilities. The importance of a functional flush, water- both in the flush as well as in the tap are crucial, the presence of electricity and a light bulb are also very important, not to mention the presence of toilet paper and dustbins.

 In addition to taking up matters with our office authorities, it will also be great if we show a bit more sensitivity in the way we ourselves leave the toilet for next person. Do we flush properly? Do we wipe the toilet seat clean and dry? Do we flush the soiled toilet paper properly? Do we throw other plastic waste and sanitary pads in the dustbin? To ensure that others follow these instructions, small bright reminders must also be placed on the toilet doors and walls.

Here, leaving you with a few images that can be used as reminders in your office toilets:

 

Almas Shamim is a public health specialist with a great interest in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and feminism among Muslim women. She currently works for an international humanitarian aid organization in New Delhi

Dr. Anindita Ray

Protein is quite a popular nutrient in our country.  Ask any individual in India about his choice of food, the answer, most often will be a dish containing meat or fish, for a non-vegetarian and paneer, for a vegetarian. From a very young age we are taught that proteins help us to grow big and strong. It helps us by providing the raw materials (amino acids) for the structural make-up and also plays a significant role in carrying out mechanical functions.In fact, from the hair on our head to the nails on our toe- everything is made up of protein molecule of different types. However, strangely, the Indian population does not scientifically analyse the exact requirement of Protein which is usually calculated based on several factors. The age of a person, sex, physical activities, physiological status of the body are only some of them.

Majority in the Indian population believe that the daily diet we eat provides the required protein. Unfortunately, it is a myth that most of us have grown up with. A large chunk of the population does not even know how much protein is required every day. National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), suggests an intake of about 0.8-1.0gm /kg ideal body weight of Protein for normal adults. With Indian diet being primarily vegetarian and cereal based it is heavier on carbohydrates and fats rather than proteins. Moreover due to the low purchasing power of the general people combined with the ignorance, protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is the most prevalent nutritional deprivation disease of this country.

A General Consumer Survey (PRODIGY) has brought to light striking observations regarding the protein intake in India. It indicates that 9 out of 10 people in India consumed inadequate amount of protein. Several other studies have also shown thatprotein deficiency is increasing due to the switch to ‘convenience’ foods that are high in carbohydrates and simple sugars and low in protein content, consequently causing an increase in lifestyle problems. By 2020, India is anticipated to be the leading country in metabolic syndrome and lifestyle problems because of this.

Thus, the disastrous picture of our country is that there is a prevalent protein deficiency among almost all sections- in the “deprived” because they do not get enough to eat and in the “have alls” who choose faulty convenience and fast foods. So it is time that we all pay the much needed attention to the protein intake and give this nutrient its due respect.

If one is not able to meet the requirement of Protein from daily diet, then one can consider a good Protein supplement as part of regular food. 

Dr. Anindita Ray (Chakravarti) is an Assistant Professor & HOD, Dept. of Food & Nutrition, Maharani Kasiswari College, University of Calcutta

Fourth most common neurological disorder affecting all age group, hallmark of which is recurrent and uncontrolled jerking movements of whole body or any specific part.

In easy terms, epilepsy is abnormality in brain wiring that occur during brain development or some physical or emotional stress.

Does your kid or anyone in the family suffer from any one below mentioned signs and symptoms?

• Brief loss of consciousness

• Muscular rigidity

• Clenching of teeth

• Jerky movements of whole body or any particular part

• Along with any such accompanying symptoms like involuntary urination and/or stool, rolling eyes upwards, bending head back, frothing during attack etc.

Causes of epilepsy:

• Low oxygen to brain during birth

• Any infection in brain

• Injury to brain

• Brain tumors

• Emotional instability of mother during pregnancy

• Abnormal brain development

• High blood pressure during pregnancy

• High and prolonged untreated fever

Homoeopathic Approach

As by now, we all know that ‘Homoeopathy treats the man in disease, not disease in man’. For epilepsy, homoeopathy has wide range of medicines with wonderful results like:

• Art. v. – It’s the prime remedy used by homoeopaths to treat epilepsy in children and girls near puberty.

• Cuprum met – It’s given in condition where attack comes with blueness, which starts in fingers and toes.

• Stramonium – It is the remedy having fright and fear in its base in connection with epilepsy.

• Zinc. met – It is prescribed when there is violent restlessness, pale face especially in children and generally occur post skin treatment.

• Etc.

Now, as we see that we have mentioned very few remedies indicated for epilepsy. In homoeopathy, we have numerous medicines to counter epilepsy but they need to be prescribed with detailed evaluation of patient. Every patient of epilepsy might require different medicine as per the cause and how disease is presenting itself.

We need to search for the root cause present in history. That is why a classical homoeopath relies very much on detailed case taking.

Please do not buy any homoeopathic medicine, tincture, patent or combination over the counter for epilepsy. Do take opinion of a classical homoeopath before any medication or self-medication.

Dr. Puneet Arora and Dr. Kritika Arora are Classical Homoeopaths practicing in Delhi especially for special children suffering from Autism, Cerebral palsy, mental retardation etc with emphasis on other illnesses too under roof of Urjaa Homoeo Clinic and they can be communicated over Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with twitter Handle: @DrPuneetArora1 and facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/urjaahom/ .