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Clean water is running out. Our rivers and our lakes are vanishing at an alarming pace. If not vanishing, they are being polluted to the extent that we or no other species can depend on it any longer. Almost 2/3rd of the world’s population will be ‘water-stressed’ by 2025 due to conditions and our carelessness today. Here are a few facts about the water crisis in the world:
#1. Worldwide, almost 1.1 billion people lack access to safe and potable water – that’s almost 1 in 6 people while 2.8 billion people are affected by the shortage of water.
#2. While the continent of Africa is worst affected with almost 358 million people without clean water access, this figure is merely 9 million in all the developed countries combined. (USA, Canada, all European countries, Japan, Russia, Australia and New Zealand)
#3. 82% people living in the rural area lack adequate access to water while it is only 18% in urban areas.
#4. Children and women worldwide spend around 140 million hours collecting water: that’s almost building twenty Empire State buildings everyday.
India loses 73 million working days annually.
#5. In underdeveloped and developing countries, almost 1 billion women and children travel almost 6 km daily to collect water for the family which takes untold amount of time which could be better utilised in an income generating job, caring for the family or attaining education.
Women and Children in Africa use such Jerry Cans to get water; when full it weighs 40 pounds. Carrying it for miles on the back leads to serious medical problems.
#6. Every year, almost $24 billion is lost economically worldwide, while gathering water.
#7. Around 2.5 billion people have inadequate access to sanitation and hence everyday, more than 2,300 people die due to waterborne diseases.
#8. If proper water facilities, sanitation and hygiene is provided worldwide then the burden of diseases could be decreased by 10% globally.
#9. Annually, 443 million school hours are lost due to water borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid etc.
Researches have shown that for every 10% increase of women literacy there is 0.3% increase in the national economy.
#10. On an average, if $1 is invested towards water crisis in the world, we would get a return of $4.
If you promise your 60 Rs to Water Conservation and Crisis Troubleshoot NGOs, a person in Africa would get water for almost a year! (In Pic: Water stored in containers in Saudi Arabia)
#11. On the other hand, almost $260 billion is lost annually due to shortage of water and sanitation facilities.
A boy pouring out heavily polluted water from a stream in Cape Town, SA
#12. Agriculture and irrigation constitute the largest ratio of the fresh water usage: almost 70% and up-to 90% in the developing countries.
Water security is a must for agrarian economies like India
Simply put, it takes 1-2 tonnes of water to grow 1 kg cereal and 5000 liters for a kg of rice.
#13. In poor countries, almost 8 of 10 hospital beds are filled with people suffering from illnesses related to water crisis and sanitation.
Man collecting water from Citarum River in Indonesia. Such waters are contaminated with heavy metal and pesticides, which would lead to serious and fatal medical conditions.
#14. 1 in 5 deaths of children below five is due to water crisis around the world.
#15. Almost 50% schools in the developing countries have less or no water, and sanitation access leading to high dropout rates – especially in girls.
Lack of water has forced many schools in India to shut the toilets
#16. While a single flush of a toilet uses 8 litres of water, a single Sunday newspaper uses 300 litres of water and it takes almost 11,000 litres of water to make roughly 450 grams of coffee.
While you are sipping a cup of coffee, many in the regions where it is grown are suffering from acute shortage of water
#17. The amount of water you spend enjoying a 5-minute shower is almost equal to the total amount of water a slum dweller has.
#20. A dripping tap can waste up to 20,000 litres of water in a year.
#18. American houses use eight times more water than Indian households, and if the entire population of the world is to be provided the American and European water luxury, it would take 2.5 Earths to do so.
Alas, we’ve got only one Earth.
#19. The worst affected region of the world is the Sub Saharan desert in Africa where 37% of all the affected people reside; less than 1 in 3 have access to a toilet, and the chance of a child dying of due to diarrhoea is 500 times more than that in Europe.
Annually it spends 40 billion hours searching for water – more than France’s total labour!
#20. Only 6% of international aid goes towards bettering water and sanitation infrastructure.
The amount spent by India is disturbingly low
#21. Almost 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and coastal zones: threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking water.
Oshiwara River, Mumbai
#22. 1.6 billion people live in areas where there is water, but they can’t afford to drink it.
#23. 22 of 32 major Indian cities face daily water shortage.
Water Problems are rapidly rising in cities like Delhi
#24. Saudi Arabia has given up on growing wheat, due to shortage of water and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.
#25. 40% of children in Africa and India have their growth stunted due to poor water quality.
Lack of water and thus food leading to severe malnutrition in African Children
#26. While the water table is almost dropping by 1 metre in China annually, 80% of its rivers have become so horribly polluted that the rivers no longer support any life forms.
#27. Ganga and Yamuna are consistently ranked in the list of top 10 most polluted rivers around the world.
The “Holy” Ganges
Over 400 million Indians are dependent on both these rivers combined.
Facts Sources: Youth Connect WebSite
Maggi is facing a country-wide scrutiny over high content of lead and mono-sodium glutamate or MSG, a taste enhancer.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has banned Maggi noodles for 15 days, saying the lead content found in the samples is beyond permissible limits. It has also asked Nestle India, the company which manufactures Maggi, to withdraw all stocks of the popular snacks from the market.
Here are the latest developments:
- Earlier today, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain met two top officials from Nestle India after the state government said that 10 of 13 packs of noodles it tested were found "unsafe," with high lead content.
- Yesterday, it had said it could file a case against Nestle and was also considering a fine for "misbranding," as it found five samples with MSG, without a declaration on the label.
- Kerala has, meanwhile, said that the lead content found in the samples of Maggi noodles that it tested is within permissible limits. Today, the state government said samples taken from Ernakulam district found lead with permissible levels. A test for MSG is still awaited. Yesterday, it had yesterday ordered a pullout of Maggi noodles from about 1,300 government-run outlets till there was clarity on quality.
- Goa's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has said that the Maggi noodles samples it tested were found to be safe for human consumption. It said the samples tested negative for MSG and lead content.
- "If the contents are injurious to health and there are complaints, then action will definitely be taken against the company," said Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food.
- Shares in Nestle traded almost 10 per cent lower on Wednesday. Analysts say Maggi noodles contributes over 20 per cent to Nestle's revenues in India and a ban on the product could cause a huge dent in the company's bottom line.
- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has, in a letter, meanwhile advised all state governments to test samples of Maggi noodles. Many states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have said they are testing the noodles.
- The West Bengal government said it has ordered tests on Maggi noodles as well as on popular snacks manufactured by other companies. "We had also got complaints about Kurkure and Lays so we are getting those tested as well," state Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pande said.
- Maggi noodles has been caught in controversy since laboratory tests ordered by Uttar Pradesh food inspectors on a batch allegedly found eight times as much lead as permissible.
- Nestle India has said that it has got samples of Maggi noodles tested in an external laboratory as well as in house and that the product was found "safe to eat"
Source - NDTV
India’s IT industry is unlikely to remain the amazing job-engine that it has been. For the past two decades, the fastest way to increase your income has been to land a job with an IT company. The industry has provided a ticket to prosperity for millions of young Indians; children of security guards, drivers, peons and cooks catapulted themselves and their families firmly into the middle class in a single generation by landing a job in a BPO. Hundreds of engineering colleges mushroomed overnight churning out over a million graduates a year to feel the insatiable demand of India’s IT factories.
This party is coming to an end. A combination of slowing demand, rising competition and technological change means that companies will hire far fewer people. And this is not a temporary blip- this is the new normal. Wipro’s CEO has bravely admitted that automation can displace a third of all jobs within three years while Infosys CEO Sikka aims to increase revenue per employee by 50%. Even NASSCOM, the chronically optimistic industry association, admits that companies will hire far fewer people. Not only will the lines of new graduate waiting for job offers grow rapidly longer every year, but so too will the lines of the newly unemployed as all companies focus more on utilization, employee productivity and performance. Employees doing tasks that can be automated, the armies of middle managers who supervise them and all those with mediocre performance reviews and without hot skills are living on borrowed time.
So what do you do if you are a member of these endangered species? What constitutes good career advice in these times? I’d say that the first thing is to embrace reality and recognize that the game has changed for good. The worst thing to do is be wishful and wait for the good times to return. They won’t. But there’re still lots of opportunities. What’s happening in the industry is ‘creative destruction”. New technologies are destroying old jobs but creating many new ones. There is an insatiable demand for developers of mobile and web applications. For data engineers and scientists. For cyber security expertise. So for anyone who is a quick learner, anyone with real expertise, there will be abundant opportunities.
There has also never been a better time for anyone with an iota of entrepreneurial instinct. India is still a supply constrained economy and so there is room to start every kind of business: beauty parlour, bakery, catering, car-washing, mobile/electronics repair, laundry, housekeeping, tailoring. For entrepreneurs with a social conscience, there is a massive need for social enterprises that deliver affordable healthcare, education and financial services. Not only are there abundant opportunities but startups are “in” and there is no shame at all in failure. The ranks of Angel investors is swelling and it has never been so easy to get funded. There is even a website www.deasra.in that provides step by step instructions to would-be entrepreneurs.
For those who prefer a good old-fashioned job, there are abundant jobs in old economy companies which are struggling to find every kind of talent- accountants, manufacturing and service engineers, salesreps. Technology is enabling the emergence of new ‘sharing services” such as Uber or Ola that enable lucrative self-employment; it is not uncommon to find cab drivers who make 30-40,000 rupees/month.
My main point should be clear. While India may have a big challenge overall in creating enough jobs for its youthful population, at the individual level, there is no shortage of opportunities. The most important thing is a positive attitude. The IT boom was a tide that lifted all boats- even the most mediocre ones. However, this has bred an entitlement mentality and a lot of mediocrity. To prosper in the new world, two things will really matter. The first is the right attitude. This means a hunger to succeed. Being proactive in seeking opportunities not waiting either till you are fired or for something to drop into your lap . A willingness to take risks and the tenacity to work hard and make something a success. Humility. Frugality. The second is the ability to try and learn new things. The rate of change in our world is astonishing; whatever skills we have will largely be irrelevant in a decade. People are also living much longer. So the ability to learn new things, develop new competencies and periodically reinvent ourselves is a crucial one. Sadly too many of us have no curiosity and no interest in reading nor learning. The future will not be kind to such people.
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.”- Friedrich Nietzsche
Source - The Logical Indian
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