Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Organic Farming ……a way of healthy living

Far from being a “luxury for the rich,” organic farming may turn out to be a necessity not just for the poor, but for everyone. 

Organic farming is an agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. It is defined by the use of fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manuregreen manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion plantingBiological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. 

Organic farming is a technique that involves the cultivation of plants and rearing of animals in natural ways. This process involves the use of biological materials, avoiding synthetic substances to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage. Organic farming is based on principles like crop rotation, green manure, organic waste, and avoid the use of various petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. 

 

Difference between Organic and Modern farming methods- In conventional methods farmers use harsh chemicals to remove fungicides whereas in organic farming farmers prepare natural fertilizers like manure, etc. Moreover while consuming conventional farming will absorb the pesticides and weedicide resides into the body which might lead to developing a dangerous disease like cancer etc. 

 

Reasons for Organic Farming 

·         To accurate the benefits of nutrients 

·         Natural and better taste 

·         Healthy living style  

Benefits of Organic farming 

·         Better Nutrition 

·         Help us stay healthy 

·         Free of poison 

·         Enhanced taste 

·         Longer shelf life 

The benefits of choosing organic foods and products are many like higher level of antioxidants and less as well as absence of harmful chemicals and preservatives. The food grows in organic way also tastes better than the conventional method. The impact of organic agriculture on natural resources favours interactions within the agro-ecosystem that is vital for both agricultural production and nature conservation. Ecological services derived include soil forming and conditioning, soil stabilization, waste recycling, carbon sequestration, nutrients cycling, predation, pollination and habitats. The hidden costs of agriculture to the environment in terms of natural resource degradation are reduced. 

Sugyan Mohanty 

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Children in India: 2020 and Beyond

 

India is home to the largest child population in the world. The Constitution of India has made the State responsible for ensuring the protection of childhood from exploitation and moral and material abandonment. This is the high time that we should see how safe and protected our children are in 2020 and what we expect their condition beyond this decade.

As per Census 2011, India, with a population of 121.1 crore, has 13.59 % (16.45 crore) of its population in the age group 0-6 years and 30.76% (37.24 crore) in the age group of 0-14 years.

(In crores)

                     Total

Rural

Urban

 

Persons

Male

Female

Persons

Male

Female

Persons

Male

Female

Total

Population

121.9

62.33

58.76

83.37

42.78

40.60

37.71

19.55

18.16

0-6 years

16.45

8.58

7.88

12.13

6.31

5.82

4.32

2.27

2.05

0-14 years

37.24

19.44

17.81

27.36

14.23

13.12

9.88

5.20

4.68

 

In rural India, 33% of its population belonged to the age group of 0-14 years whereas in urban areas, 26% of the total population is in the age group of 0-14 years.

Mortality among children

The status of mortality related indicators for children in India shows the extent of threats to the health of the children. India still has high child mortality rate. At national level, SRS data estimates pre-natal mortality rate to be 23 and ranges from 26 in rural areas to 14 in urban areas. Kerala and Odisha are the two extremes in PMR. As per 2016 SRS report, the neo- natal mortality rate of the country is 24 and ranges from 14 in urban areas to 27 in rural areas. The neo natal mortality ranges from 32 in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh to 6 in Kerala.

As per CRS 2015, the share of rural area in infant deaths (less than one year old) is 28.8% while that of urban area is 64.2% in total registered infant deaths during 2015. Non registration of infant deaths in rural areas is a cause of concern. As per SRS 2016 at the national level, IMR is 34 and varies from 38 in rural areas and 23 in urban areas.

The SRS 2016 revealed that at the national level, child mortality rate (aged 0-4 years) was estimated at 9.4 and it varies from 10.7 in rural areas to 6.0 in urban areas. Under-5 Mortality Rate was estimated at 39 and it varies from 43 in rural areas to 25 in urban areas in 2016.

In 2016, SRS revealed that the death rate for age group 5-14 years is estimated at 0.6. Rural – urban differentials exist with the urban areas registering lower death rates as compared to rural areas.

Health and nutritional status 

Good nutrition is essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, health and well being across the entire life span. NFHS-4 (2015-16) shows that 28% of children had mild anaemia, 29% had moderate anaemia and 2% had severe anaemia. Anaemia rate was high in rural areas. 

Education

School education lays the foundation stone for the child’s future. The literacy rate among children (7-18 years) stands at 88.3% and the gender gap observed for this age group is 2.9 percentage points in 2011 (Census 2011).

Years

Age group

7-9

10-14

15-19

2001

Male

74.1

86.0

85.0

 

Female

67.7

77.0

72.7

 

Persons

71.0

81.7

79.3

2011

Male

83.2

92.2

91.2

 

Female

81.2

90.0

86.2

 

Persons

82.2

91.1

88.8

Average Drop-out rate

Classes/year

Primary

Upper Primary

Secondary

 

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

2012-13

4.68

4.66

4.67

2.30

4.01

3.13

14.54

14.54

14.54

2013-14

4.53

4.14

4.34

3.09

4.49

3.77

17.93

17.79

17.86

2014-15

4.36

3.88

4.13

3.49

4.60

4.03

17.21

16.88

17.6

(Educational Statistics at a glance 2016: School Education in India)

Child Protection

Child protection is about recognising that children are vulnerable and reducing their vulnerability by protecting them from harmful situations. The children from disadvantaged groups, marginalised communities, children with disabilities, girls, street children, children hit by crime, disasters and displacement need due consideration in a sensible nation.

The Census 2011 reports 1.01 crores working children in the age group of 5-14 years as compared to the child population of 25.96 crores in the same age group. . It also revealed that 2% of the children aged 5-9 years and 6% of the children aged 10-14 years are working. 4.15% of the boys and 3.63% girls of the age group of 5-14 years are workers. In 2011, among the child workers, 75% belonged to the age group of 10-14 years and 25% were from the age group of 5-9 years.

Crimes against children in India have been reportedly increasing over the years. The total number of crimes against children reported in 2016 as per NCRB IS 106958. Cases registered under POCSO, 2012 were reported as high as 34%. Rape is a big category of crime against children amounting to more than 18% of all crimes against children.  As per NCRB data, a total of 111569 children below 18 years comprising 41175 boys and 70394 girls were reported missing by the year 2016.

In the year 2016, 35,849 cases of juveniles in conflict with the law were registered. NFHS 4 (2015-16) reveals that overall, 5% of children under-18 years of age are orphans.

The Census 2011 showed that in India, 20.42 lakhs children aged 0-6 years are disabled which constitute 1.24 % of all 0-6 age group children. The number of disabled persons is highest among the age group 10-19 years (46.2 lakh). Out of the total disabled (0-19 years), 20% are having disability in hearing following 18% with disability in seeing. 9% have multiple disabilities.

Although decreasing, child marriage is also a problem still persisting in India. The 21st century has raised the cost of living so high that both the parents are always at work, rather than spending time with their children. The nuclear family system and lack of time of parents for their children make them vulnerable, selfish, disrespectful to elders and authoritarian. With this, the movies and video games, poverty, lack of discipline, cell phones and the internet and increasing atheism is gradually eroding the human value system and a healthy family life. The new generation is heading towards a disorganised society, from organic solidarity to mechanical solidarity and a greater disaster of individual units rather than a cohesive society.

With the rise in population, decreased opportunities will lead to depression and the parental pressure for financial success would inspire the children to deviate from the social norms and to get success at any cost. However, the policy makers and our social thinkers need to engage themselves in focusing for a safe, protected, dignified and disciplined moral based childhood for a better and developed nation beyond our generation. Ultimately the nation is bound to address three basic things i.e. eradication of poverty, education and health needs for our buds to bloom to their full potential.  

AGNI DASH