Changing Environment during pandemic: view and analysis

Changing Environment during pandemic: view and analysis

/ Guest Column / Friday, 05 June 2020 17:33

By - Dr. Mohd Mustaque Ahmed
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Botany, United College, Chandel

Something positive imagination deeply occupies in the mind during the current pandemic and lockdown period. We need to understand the possibility and intricacy of sustainable farming and agricultural production for viable consumption of crops and cereals. This arouses our minds and there is a need for paradigm shift to bring far-sighted mechanisms in different spectrums.  The present day mechanisms particularly about electronically delivering things are working out at its best possibilities. Day by day more and more apps are being added. Thus, the Aarogaya setu app is one of them and it will keep the user alert regarding the issue of COVID-19. The avenues, finding for new developments and positive possibilities are also changing. Our people in the villages will not pursue to go to ATMs. Because there will be delivery of money at our doors. It is possible only after clicking some buttons by using smart phones. The intended beneficiary will require having smart phones. We should try to make it possible, let the economic development be settled with suitable scores. This is the time we need to ponder over other issues like our dams, workability of agriculture and farming, entrepreneurship, economy, environment etc.  Let the electronic dams or e-dams also come. We want to have proper functions of our dams. It should get enough water supplies into our agro-fields. We all know that the foremost purpose of dam is proper irrigation of agricultural fields and supply of drinking water. Agricultural lands are unfittingly located thereby proper irrigation from our rivers through the proper canals is required to make the lands productive. This should be possible by means of flawless modern dams. The dams are viewed as significant except fear for loosing water borne indigenous biodiversity of any region. Modern techniques for increasing in the rate of cereals production in a minimum area of land will be very suitable for a state like Manipur. An answer like increasing yield at a range from 3500 to 4500 kg per hectare will bring a turnaround scenario in our well-being depending on endless effort to bring sustainable bio-resources. This can be noted that our country’s cereal (rice and wheat) rate of production is below the world average (The Economic Times, India, dated 22 Nov., 2016).
Taking the challenges, there are people struggling to make themselves self-employed in agro-farming technologies. We have heard of hard-working people produce Potato, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, Carrot, Mustard, Tomato, Watermelon, Passion fruit, Apple, Orange, Yenam nakuppi, U-Morok, Mango, Flowers etc. Such innovative and encouraging story allied to such enterprise are not lacking in Manipur. People engaged in entrepreneurship and their mindset of seeing things are becoming the new normal. It may be mentioned that this sector was also hard hit this time. Changes need time to adjust things like I saw the long queue in front of railway ticketing counters in 1990s. In short the new normal will take time to settle. During this lockdown Public Grievances Cell (PGC) distributes essential commodities from house to house (Imphal Free Press, dated 29/03/20). In this system one can send prior information requesting to deliver the essential commodities at house doors. Then, the distributors by using mobile vehicles start dispensing commodities and purchase bill only to collect money at the time of delivery. Another new normal it has been seen this time is small markets at different village pockets. These are automatically sprung up. Markets were wanted both by seller and buyers. There has been a situation where local products like perishable fish and vegetables needed to be sold out. The essential items earlier fetched have to be sold out.  
Generally we have the products like Cabbage, Yenam Nakuppi and the different flowers in off season also. It means there is no limit for production of vegetables. Only the stumbling block is that we have closed the door for our efforts to make a workable environment. One can pursue to produce more and more Cabbage (Kobi phul), Yennam nakuppi and U-morok because their consumers will not be decreased throughout the year. In short we don’t want to live without singju-bora. I believe the days are not far that we get the indigenous things like soibum (fermented bamboo shoot), hawaijar (fermented soyabean) and singju-bora through e-booking.  Yennam Nakuppi and U-morok (King Chilli) cut their own niche in the cultural ethos of Manipuri Society. This can be noted that we have been depending on the outside supply of cabbage and potato. The production of passion fruit, orange and watermelon is encouraging but is still insufficient. Therefore, we need to train young minds through the introduction of relevant vocational courses into our institutions and colleges. We have to find out ways and means to train the young minds and budding entrepreneurs to inculcate the habit of seeing things in a possible manner. The start-ups should be supported through the implementation of reaching loan amounts.
The general public felt and imagined the insufficiency of foods during this lockdown period due to new corona virus. It seems the oppossite happens that there is everything. But we need to develop a proper practicable mechanism to control prices. Let’s imagine the condition of a 2nd   world war situation. I heard there was a time when Imphal region escalated to full war engagement. My grandmother used to tell us, “every now and then there were alert sounds like sirens. After the sirens there came the bombing in the valley region”. People got to run up to safer places. Thus, it must have given a condition of fear of threat from injury and lack in supply of essential goods. Those days, it is learnt that the economy of Manipur used to be very high. Moreover, the imperial power of British had enough back up supply of things from its allied countries. Consequently some groups of people had been benefitted in a huge way. But during this pandemic period, thankfully, there has been free distribution of food stuffs by government to the general public.
We cannot live in a threatening world from global warming and air pollution. In our country the vehicles plying from one place to other has been at standstill for quite some time. Our various industries have been shut down. Various activities particularly in automobile industries and various factories have been diminished. This time it has given an impression that the air is much cleaner comparing the days coming before COVID-19.  The fish production from our rivers and lakes is likely to be increased due to absence of unwanted pollutants. It has indicated that the we have more oxygen in the water bodies. But then, are we able to return to our so called normal past that is pre-COVID-19? Since this pandemic is not over the answer remains in the dark.
By the time we fear to lose in many ways that there are changes in our economy and study environment in schools and colleges. The world is facing economical hardship. This hardship is for everyone. Satisfied or not, the new normal of our economy should only return post COVID-19. Definitely one thing can be mentioned about the changing scenario of education system. This has not been suppressed the efforts of intellectuals delivering education to students through information and communication tools (ICT). Some of the useful tools are emails, whatsapp, zoom, moodle, youtube, google class room, go to webinar, go to meeting etc. It should be accessible to such tools to find the study materials. Difficulty is that the technology is new and many supposed to be users both teachers and students are not well trained. Otherwise this new believed to be normal is a highly useful system. However, one should find to make oneself suitable in the new path.

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