Tag Archives: health

Control on and disposal of plastic waste


For many years now, various plastic items have been in use for different purposes and under different conditions. These items are light in weight, cheap and some can be reused, if handled properly. These items are popular on account of these characteristics of plastic. With lot of ingenuity, many different uses have been found successfully. This is the positive side. But there is a very big negative side viz, plastic is non-biodegradable. It cannot be destroyed. Plastic carry bags have been in use for a long time and they are very thin, very light and very strong to sustain weight. But their use is mostly on single use basis. These carry bags or similar plastic bags are normally thrown by the people here and there, get carried by wind here and there. They also choke the outlets, drains etc., if they happen to reach there and due to their being impervious to water, a blockage is created and spillage of sewage water etc. takes place. These bags and other waste items, reach waste depots(collection poimts), where these bags get accumulated along with many other items. Many cows inadvertently eat these plastic bags also, along with food wastes and other items. Many cows have died due to this reason, since on post mortem of some cows, huge number of such bags, have been recovered from their stomach. This is a very tragic situation. In the past, efforts to ban uses of such items of plastic, have not been successful. For this purpose, cooperation of the general public is required to be sought. Also coordinated research has to be undertaken at higher level so that we can find a method by which the plastic can become bio-degradable and then the problem will reduce considerably.
Another alarming situation is said to be due to the use of plastic for making artificial rice, cabbage, namkeen Bikaneri sev and some other items. The general public is unable to verify and differentiate natural supply from the artificial supply and the damage to health of all of us is going on. We must jointly correct this situation, by changing the attitude and mindset of the people. We should find alternatives to use of plastic items and bring strong legislation to counter the strong urge to use plastic items. People at all levels, including in schools and colleges, must be made aware and conscious of proper waste management esp. for plastic. If there are plastic items which are large and can be reused, they may be allowed as a special case for the time being. The alternatives to plastic must be clearly spelled out and advised for use. Appropriate directives have also to be given to the producers of such plastic items.



Prevention of Infection through our hands


No one can deny that we should all be careful about matters connected with our health. For a good life, our health should be good. With good environment, chances of our infection would be very less. Infection can take place at home and outside, from various sources, due to environment & people etc. More the chances of meeting the people, more are the chances of infection. Infection takes place when we come in contact with people closely. If we are sick or we come in contact with a sick person, we are likely to transfer or get germs or bacteria, so that sickness further spreads. Hand shake is an important carrier for such transfer of germs. If we use infected hands for rubbing our eyes or touching our face, these are likely to be further affected. Sometimes, we participate in seminars, conferences & lectures etc. On such occasions, we meet lot of persons & greet them with handshakes. We also deal with and come in contact with paper documents, pen or pencil, mike, table, chair, cloth etc. Therefore at lunch time (or even at tea break), we should all wash our hands with soap, before taking our food. At one time, I was participating in a round table conference and the number of participants was about 70 or so. One of the topics was connected with our health, which was taken up immediately after the lunch was over. Before commencing the discussion, the learned speaker asked a question to all the participants, as to how many persons had washed their hands with soap, before taking the lunch. To my surprise, 30% said that they washed their hands with soap water, another 30 % said that they had washed their hands with plain water and the rest did not do anything and proceeded for lunch straightaway. The importance of personal hygiene was thus highlighted to everyone in a clear manner. Our hygiene being thus dependent on our hands, we should increase awareness about this point in the society. On my part, whenever I get an opportunity, I do pass on an appropriate message to the people.




     Our health depends a lot on what we eat & drink, besides several other factors like the ventilation in houses & offices and the quality of air we breathe, amount of sunlight, effect of AC, radiation and quality of water, side effects of medicines and stress in life etc. In effect, everything we put in our body esp. the stomach, affects our health. Stomach is not a dustbin, & therefore we should not put anything & everything into our stomach, both from the point of view of quality & quantity. Diet should be carefully chosen & controlled. While we derive taste, pleasure, energy & health from the food, it also poisons our system. Ayurveda system of medicine is based on the surmise that, diseases are mostly due to inadequate functioning of the stomach, caused due to accumulation of toxic substances in the stomach & if these are removed, diseases are likely to be cured.  Therefore, when our health deteriorates, the line of treatment is from the stomach, mainly by getting rid of its undesirable substances & poisons. In the “Nature cure” system of curing the diseases, one of the tools is “fasting” (short one or a long one). It does not materially affect our normal working, since even small quantity of food is sufficient to keep an individual healthy. So in a way, fasting is a good method to clean our overloaded & food-poisoned system, by allowing the accumulated waste to go out of the system, without any fresh input for some time. Generally for this purpose, fasting for 12 to 72 hours or even more is advised, during which light warm water should be taken. Even as a normal routine, a person should skip food once in a week, once in a month & three times in a year, taking light warm water & fruits during these days.

Fasting should be done with positive attitude, & normal activities including exercises should continue even during fasting. It does not weaken the body by itself, but the fear & anxiety that fasting will weaken the body due to starvation, is likely to affect our system. Many have fasted for long periods from 40 to 90 days even. As a system, curative fasts usually go beyond three days. However, these must be done under the supervision of a trained practitioner, who should first of all remove all the doubts & apprehensions beforehand. Fasting also needs advance preparation, esp. in a diseased condition. One should only take fruit & vegetable diet, low in starch & protein and rich in positive alkaline mineral elements, so as to purify the system sufficiently & then only fasting should be commenced. The fasts could be classified into four types (a) Regular fast with no food, but only sufficient water to quench the thirst (b) Dry fast with no food & no water, which is a powerful method. (c) Seven day fast, with no weakening effect (d) Longer duration fast, with fasting from one to seven or more weeks, as per individual cases.

During fasting, use of fruit juices, which are rich in mineral salts, is necessary for neutralizing & eliminating purposes. These are also rich in vitamins and have antiseptic & toxic qualities. These must not be taken in pure or large quantities, but in diluted condition e.g. juice of one orange mixed in two glasses of water, at room or natural temperature. During fasting, one may face some reactions e.g. excessive gas formation, increase or decrease in temperature, which is not of a serious nature, accumulation of saliva in the mouth and vomiting and offensive odour of perspiration etc. But all these are no cause of any worry. Also any fast must be broken in the right manner. A fast of longer duration requires more care & precaution in breaking. The body organs being inactive for some time have to be trained to return to normal activity gradually. Generally the fast is broken on the first day, by some mild fruit juice e.g. orange, lemon or lime etc., with the quantity being limited to juice of say one orange at a time. This undiluted fruit juice should be gradually increased, followed by fruit diet, then raw vegetables & salads, and later on, the regular vegetarian diet. There is another aspect associated with fasting viz. achieving discipline within ourselves.  It involves nurturing positive feelings in our minds, to have the attributes of an ideal human being, so that we do not listen, speak, hear or even think ill about any other person. Some call it the process of self-purification. It makes positive impact on our life, as it fosters clear thinking by sobering of our minds, develops self-restraint & patience, and develops tenacity when faced with adverse situations in life, develops moral strength and checks undesirable tendencies. After the fasting period is over, normally we emerge as a better human being.














Marriage is a contract and its success is mainly based on mutual trust. While marriage is a happy event, as it unites two hearts and two families, its failure affects all of them and worst of all, the children born out of this marriage. While friends and relatives are invited at the time of marriage with lot of pomp and show, but no such function for annulment of marriage has been heard by us. It speaks clearly that the latter event is not welcome. As clapping requires two hands, success in marriage needs cooperation from both sides. There are several methods of marriage, but the two most prevalent are arranged and love marriages. Generally arranged marriages are performed after lot of effort, discussion, checking, verification, comparison, matching of standards of two families (and in India also matching the horoscopes of both persons) but in love marriages it may not happen so.

Generally the initial years of married life are good, in spite of difficulties of any type. Even if the resources are inadequate, the couple makes adjustments within the available means. But later on, the things may take an ugly shape. One important point is the joint family or nuclear family system, being followed in the individual case. There are  positive & negative points for both systems, from the points of view of security, independent living, help in times of need, differences in utilization of money of all members, availability of residential accommodation & practical considerations. Differences could be of various types, but if these are not tolerated by the persons, these could lead to failure, break-up, separation & divorce. Once having accepted each other as husband & wife, in as is condition, such differences should not matter, but unfortunately these do matter. One of the major reasons is incompatibility of the two persons Very high level differences in levels & types of education, wealth or status may be able to cross the initial hurdles during love marriage but in the long run there may be problems. With clash of egos of the two persons & no willingness to make adjustment, there are problems, quarrels, silence, hatred and disaster.

 Birth of a child is said to cement the relationships of husband and wife and other family members. But when as a result of the wedlock, a child is not born, there may be serious problems likely to cause break-ups. But for this purpose, services of modern medical science can be effectively utilized for controlling and spacing birth of children, investigating, taking remedial actions for treatment of husband or wife or both. But sometimes in spite of children, (or in absence of children) poor management of relationship may result in lack of trust, respect and love between the husband and wife, leading to open criticism, pulling of legs and hatred between the two. Such cases cause maximum suffering to the children. These may also cause poor health of both the persons and in some cases, also extra-marital relationships, either in case of husband or wife or both, wherein  they seek comfort somewhere else. It more or less means that marriage is over and dissolution in the form of separation or divorce is not far away. Both the persons should get alerted and reconciled in time and not get estranged. They should forget and forgive each other and start a new and happy life, if required, with the help and guidance of elderly persons and/or marriage counselors at appropriate time. Reconciliation must be tried in all sincerity, by all concerned, but if it is not possible at all, legal separation should be done peacefully with no hurt feelings, with the husband and wife continuing to be friends still, even after legal separation.





Some individuals and organizations endear themselves by their verbal and written responses, communications and actions and leave a deep impact on us. It was the year 2003, when my self and my wife were visiting our son and his family in California, USA. Our son  made a tour request to the plant of M/S New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) in Fremont, California. The Tour coordinator Ms. Teresa Marisco confirmed the tour for 3 persons for Aug 27, 2003 at 1000 A .M. She also gave some suggestions like wearing closed toe shoes (optional) and drew our attention to some other requirements like   arriving ten minutes earlier, cautioning about traffic,  intimating if unable to attend, providing safety glasses and smoking being prohibited etc. But due to some last minute health emergency problem in the family, on Aug 26, 2003 my son made a request to reschedule the visit, as per his e mail dt. Aug 26, 2003. It was nice of the tour coordinator to reschedule our visit on Sept 02, 2003 as per her e mail dt. Aug 29, 2003, but she added one more line  “Hope things are better with you and your family.” Her concern for us and our health touched a chord within us and we were overwhelmed by the human touch.  She also enquired if the rescheduled tour date was OK for us. When we finally visited the company on Sep 02, 2003 and met the tour coordinator, we found her a very good human being. We thanked her profusely for her expression of concern as also for the excellent tour arrangements, explanations and the coverage, in this world-class quality cars and trucks manufacturing facility. We returned  deeply impressed with the entire set-up, the tour, and the question and answer session.



Some persons appear to be always in a hurry. They believe in doing, whether it results in making or breaking. Many times actions taken in a hurry have resulted in serious problems.  Responding in a hurry by clicking on a web site link received in an e mail is dangerous.  Serious consequences are caused when seemingly exactly same but slightly different links are clicked by us in a hurry, especially when providing information, financial matters, transfer of funds and credit card numbers are involved. Similarly just before clicking on “send “ button in a hurry, especially while sending e mail to a new e mail ID, if we do not recheck the e mail ID especially the full stop, hyphen and underscore etc., the e mail may bounce back. Besides this, we should recheck the text of the e mail as well. When we are sick, we may get into more problems, if in a hurry, we take medicines lying in the house, even without rechecking the date of expiry of the medicines. If the foil containing the medicine does not have clear date of expiry, it is better not to take it. Doctors examining patients and writing prescriptions there for in hurry, may lead to serious problems, instead of curing.  Sometimes even the pharmacists are unable to read the prescriptions correctly.  There may be pressure of large number of patients, but we can’t ignore aspects of their health. If we use eye drops in a hurry, without rechecking and confirming once again that drops being used are the correct eye drops, it will create havoc with the eyes. Sometimes we have similar looking bottles in the house. We must check the date of expiry and also note the date when the bottle of eye drops is opened and we must not use it beyond one month from the date of opening it. While writing the answer books in the examination, if we write many pages, but all in a hurry with poor handwriting and leave no time for rechecking the answers given, before actually handing over to the invigilator, the result is obvious. On the other hand, a student who writes legibly, to the point and rechecks in the last 10-15 minutes gets more marks. One person wanted to hurriedly check the approximate quantity of petrol in his scooter, in the evening hours. There was no fuel gauge but he could have ascertained it by using a dip stick in the tank or a torch, but it occurred to him to use a lighted match stick. However on a second thought, having realized that petrol is highly inflammable, he abandoned the idea just on the nick of the moment.  Otherwise he would have been badly injured and the scooter damaged. Therefore, we must always give a second thought to our actions and seek mental confirmation again, to do the things as proposed earlier. According to a proverb, only a devil works in a hurry. (Jaldi ka kaam shaitan ka).