Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Right to Food!

Heard of it? If not, you sure are a very wary citizen of India either occupied with cricket, job, movie, news channels or all of it. I could have been like you but was fortunate to receive a call from Dr. Suresh of PUCL (public Union of civil Liberties).
I didn’t see much representation, in the regular media, about this right to Food (National food security act) that is brewing up and to be introduced.It’s a new act to be promulgated by the parliament in next session as a step to eradicate hunger. As responsible citizens we have to voice our concerns and views.

There has been a good amount of debate, discussion evoked in many northern states (ofcourse by NGOs) but south has been lagging behind.
One such meet to discuss the various issues behind this act was organised on 24th Oct at Chennai. Dr. Suresh, Advisor for Tamil Nadu to the Supreme Court Commissioner on Food Security, was the brain behind this program to consult on what the draft says and whats left out, more importantly what needs to be included etc.
There were many stalwarts like Dr. G.Nammalvar, Mr.Pamaiyan of thalanmai uzhavar iyakkam, Prof.Poyyamozhi from Pondy university, Mr. Gopinath of MSSRF and many others who discussed this thread bare.
It was very educative and more importantly lotsa of insightful opinions were voiced. Its important to consult and give as much input as possible now, else it is tough to bring any changes (how ever valid and serious it could be) later once the law is promulgated.
Some salient points from various speakers:
-Right to food should offer security, livelihood & nutritional security.
-Of the 200 crore spent for food subsidy last year not even 40% reached the deserving. (infact 60% was absorbed, ofcourse illegally, by middlemen & businessmen-politico collaborators)
-Some said it should be called Food and Nutrition security act so that enough importance is given to nutritive value of the food dispersed
-Grievance/readdressal to be included and made fool proof
-Food commission to be installed at every district
-Millets to be included in the PDS(Public Distribution System) as well as in Noon meal schemes.
-The nutritional value and advantages for farmers (to grow these in drought and less rain/water conditions) of millets were highlighted; The balance it can bring to the p(a)late was impressed up on.
-Storage, storage capacity, access and distribution should be the focus area
-Importance of ecological balance and economical viability to be looked in detail
-Local production and local consumption to be kept in mind for sustainability
-Food sovereignty (rather than security) was highlighted too
-Water (resource, source and availability) to be treated along as an important and relevant issue.
-Uncultivated (wild) were more nutritional- someone highlighted. To the surprise of all of us gave lots of examples too!
-Issues pertaining to BPL (below poverty line) as well as APL to be addressed.
Talking of nutrition, there were many interesting stories & facts from various speakers. This anecdote from Nammalvar stood out. One (medical) doctor in one of the south TN towns called an organic shop guy and asked for 5 Kg husk (thavidu in tamizh) of organic rice but didn’t divulge why he needed it. Then when the same doc asked for more this org shop fella insisted on the use. The doc, it seems, said ‘ how much ever I ask the patients to consume fibre they don’t. So I made 200gms packet of the husk and gave to each patient and asked them to consume 2 spoons with their food/ each meal.’ Needless to state here it worked wonders..
More on RTF here!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

NDTV and Jack n Jill:-)

Thanks to Jagdish am ROFL..
this is surely one the best Fwds of ths year..
I loved that Shahid's part and Institute of applied Hill sciences.
Here is how the Indian TV news channel NDTV 24x7 would report the Jack and Jill nursery rhyme. All names (except those of Jack and Jill), are fictitious.
Prashant - TV Anchor
Two persons have been injured in a freak climbing accident. Jack and his companion Jill had gone up a hill to fetch a pail of water when Jack fell down and broke his crown. Jill came tumbling after. Live from the hill, our reporter, Amrita Shah, takes up the story.
Amrita Shah
Thank you Prashant. Well, as you say, two persons - Jack and Jill - had gone up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Suddenly, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Prashant.
Thank you Amrita. What do we know about the hill?
Not too much. Jack was going up the hill to fetch a pail of water when he fell down and broke his crown. Jill came tumbling after
[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "hill breaks crown of pail-boy Jack"]
What news of Jack and Jill?
Prashant, it seems that Jack had gone up the hill to fetch a pail of water. We know nothing about the pail, or how heavy it was but it seems that Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. I have here with me, an eyewitness to the accident, Mr Shahid Trivedi. Mr Shahid, tell us what you saw.
Shahid Trivedi
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.
[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "Boy and girl tumble down hill. Water spilled"]
Jack and Jill. What do we know about them? Are they brother and sister? Are they married? Just what were they doing on the hill together?
Shahid Trivedi
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail a water.
And what happened next?
Shahid Trivedi
Jack fell down and broke his crown
Go on.
Shahid Trivedi
And Jill came tumbling after.
Prashant, there you have it. Two people innocently going about their business to fetch a pail of water when one of them falls down, breaks his crown, and the other comes tumbling after. Back to you in the studio Prashant.
[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "Water errand ends in tragedy"]
I have with me in the studio now, Professor Chandrashekar Belagare from the Indian Institute of Applied Hill Sciences. Professor: a hill; Jack; Jill; a pail of water. A tragedy waiting to happen?
Well that depends on the hill, the two persons, the object they were carrying and the conditions underfoot. Let us look at the evidence so far.
Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Clearly, one would suspect that if Jack’s fall was severe enough to break his crown then the surface of the hill must have been slippery or unstable. But I think we’re overlooking something quite fundamental here. Who was carrying the pail? Jack fell down and broke his crown and – this is the key – Jill came tumbling after. If Jack and Jill had been carrying the pail together, would they not have fallen at the same time? The fact that Jill came tumbling after suggests that Jack lost his footing first and perhaps knocked Jill over as he slipped.
Professor thank you very much. So there we have it, two persons – Jack and Jill – went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Later in the programme, Osama bin Laden captured in Afghanistan, President Bush says rent-boy menage-a-trois was "just a brief lapse of judgement", and Pakistan launches nuclear warheads against key Indian cities. But next up, join us after the break for a studio discussion about hills, boys and girls and whether water-fetching trips should be supervised. We’ll be right back...


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Perannmai review

This Jhananathan’s movie is different. Worth a watch..a different storyline..

Paisa vasool 1: The opening shot is a pro- organic sentence:-)
Paisa vasool 2: There is s song about organic farming (vairamuthu!)
Paisa vasool 3: Location- its just amazing!
Paisa vasool 4: a diff and daring plot for tamil movie (inspite of the unnecessary dramatics)
Paisa vasool 5: No no around-the-tree duets..infact songs are just interlaced with some scenes /story in the background.(ok, except one)
This guy Jeyam ravi has matured as an actor and has taken his role seriously and given a good performance. A kamal like 'kovanam' clad opening shot! As it is he is a tall handsome fella who does decent he has worked hard, most evident in his toned & tanned body.
It’s a new storyline..some 5 NCC girls and the Hero get stuck in the forests and (ya hold ur breath) unravel a foreign mercenary/terrorist group plot to shoot down an Indian satellite to be launched. (hey, wasn’t that Trotsky maruthu as the scientist head?) To be Launched for what? The 1st satellite to be launched to help organic farming. That was stretching the organic obsession a bit too much, even for me;-)
Ok, there are so many dramatic scenes, unwanted and stretched dialogs about a tribal lad coming out, his choice of books, etc.. There are also some heavy rocket launchers, land mine detectors, range of sophisticated m/c guns..But we have seen so many Heroes handle such variety from vanilla Cruise to vendaikai Vijay..
So that shall pass, even if its illogical and seems ridiculous at times..
That’s not all, there are times when the girls ( NCC cadets from some college) act beyond any respite or logic and then continue to do some crazy stuff with out any remorse..but suddenly turn patriotic and follow this hero to thwart foreign terorrists.. then there is the rambo or terminator like shooting and bombing (in all directions) with low or no casualty.
Inspite of all these I still claim this is worth a watch..There are some sharp and good dialogs..location and camera are fantastic..some good pace at times and sudden spurts of good suspense and racy takes..some thrilling scenes amidst lots of dramatized scenes..
If only the director had concentrated a bit more and reduced some of the annoying silly pranks of the girls in to more funny and lighter ones and added more suspense and speed, it would been excellent. But now its just short of it..Kudos for the daring venture..and my personal pat for including organic gyan in the movie..3 additional stars for that.


Monday, October 19, 2009

GEAC approval and (y)our future

So the GEAC (Genetic Engineering Approval Committee) has approved BT brinjal. That indeed was expected, for they will only tow the corporate line. Monsanto (their devil partner in India - Mahyco) obviously is pulling the strings, what with their command over the agri ministry, university and industry.
Now that this committee has passed the BT Brinjal without any proper study or transparency, shud not the GEAC members or their chief be held responsible for any hazard or disastrous consequence?
There has not been much mention in the media or the necessary reflection for such a shameless push of a very serious issue. Kerala govt (their CM and the agri minister) have sent their objections and have really voiced out well. But none else has been making any noise in the political arena, except the PMK in tamilnadu:-(
Hmm..its a shame..more importantly very serious concern. But why will governments care if their pay masters are ordering so.
Even ignoring the health concerns there is a big devil out there..the farmers will henceforth have to depend on these corporates for seeds. So the arm twisting and all other US corporate strategies will be on display. So our future shall be with Monsanto & other cohorts.
An UN-sponsored four-year review, involving more than 400 international scientists and chaired by Professor Robert Watson, had already concluded that GM technologies were unlikely to have more than a limited role in tackling global hunger.(thats the british way of saying GM is of no use). So what is their argument now going to be if the much orchestrated yield is not going to be true? Don’t they understand that global hunger is as much to do with power, distribution and control of the food (system) as with growing enough food. So where should you improve first? On the seeds and genes is it??
See here: Need more proof?
This is like an African country believing a 'fair and lovely' advertisement and unilaterally prescribing it to all their citizens. Will we not ask whether the Africans need to become white?(fair?) And even if yes, who determines that this is the right product?? Likewise here Monsanto and their coterie is jumping up and down stating , their Genetically modified (read tampered/manipulated) seed is the solution. BTW whats the problem? did any one check?

Now we need the following asap
1/ More awareness. Spread the menace called GM and why only 13 countries world wide have approved this and what is the urgency for India to join this blind band?
2/ More people to take up this issue at all levels with the govt and its agencies
3/ Meanwhile on a different plane – strict labeling clauses required. As it is regulation in India is a joke. So the labels as they are now wont help. Hence get the provisions for labels very strict. Need to mention any GM product on the label. (also all ingredients clearly.)

Earlier mentions of GM at this blog here and here.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Diwali!

No! My opinion on Diwali is the same..I still go by what I said 2 years back here
Most of the festivals in the olden days came with lotsa thoughts and reasons..Many were to support livelihoods- like the Navrathri/golu for craftsmen, karthigai for potters, Diwali for weavers, etc.
In a predominantly agrarian society (then!) this was nice way to distribute- business, wealth, happiness! In a time when consumerism was never the order of the day and excess, greed, etc were not part of day to day activity, these festivals helped.
But now, in these days of excessive consumerism and amassing things – is it still relevant? Except the well deserved day off and in some cases family get together.
Can you think how many pairs of dresses, socks, shoes, spects, wallets, coolers each of uis have got? So where is this “new dress” funda still relevant?
But festivals are festivals..with or without the intended intentions rit?
If you could avoid crackers (for obvious reasons) and the buying spree, well and good for the ecology and ur next gen.
Meanwhile if you still think you need to spend on clothes and other stuff, pl walk to the nearest orphanage or old age home and donate. Or just buy them some dresses.
If some one should celebrate (including fire crackers) its these orphans, IMHO.
Here, If you cant walk or find one such deserving orphanage, here is one that comes with my full reco. Sevalaya!
Yes, some of you wud have got a personal mail in this regard about their requirement of contributions to buy dresses for the kids out there. Pl do help them if you can.
In any case- happy diwali!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

3 cheers to OltenCC

Hey! Olten Cricket Club wins the finals of SwissT20..
see here!
Iam so happy.. The club I was instrumental in founding wins its 1st title in CH..
hmm, not bad..
way to go OCC..
am happy..
though I have retired from "International Cricket";-)


Friday, October 09, 2009

How Noble!

Nobel to Obama..
BTW did u see the recent TamilNadu state film awards?
3 awards to a movie from MK's staple called 'uliyin oosai' am sure u wudnt have heard of it..No theatres were ready to run that movie and then came strict orders from the HQ to 'run' that movie and so MLAs & ministers booked all tickets in the theatres..funnily none were watching it but they were houseful shows, u know..
ok,Iam digressing..But u get the point right..

The moment I heard of Nobel for Obama, I thought that it was one of those Fwd jokes, then when I was told it was indeed true, i could only think of this movie and the 3e awards it swept in the last years (announced last week)state film awards..

thoo..what a shaame..when Afghanistan is till burning, er bombing..Iraq is in shambles..The US govts boss, the weapons industry that is. is still freaking in sales..and here their point man the US pres gets an award for PEACE!
ha ha..
someone please tell me its a prank call..
else I might die of spitting or laughing or both..

Note: I know, it has been long since I blogged..busy with too many things..incl a couple of medical attentions at home (nothing to it all fine..)now am travelling (salem,dharmapuri, blore, etal) this lag..but cudnt stand this joke of the had to break my routine and jump in to a net access and post this.