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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Five Oscar Winning Film- Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese to be screened with interaction on September 21

By- Meghachandra Kongbam
Imphal, Sept. 18

With the support from Manipur State Film Development Society, Film Society of Manipur will screen English film-HUGO (2011) directed by Martin Scorsese on September 21, 2019, the third Saturday at 4 pm at MSFDS Auditorium here, under the monthly film screening programme with interactive session towards the promotion of good film movement in Manipur.
Hugo is a historical adventure drama film  adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it tells the story of an orphan boy named Hugo Cabret who lives alone in a railway station in Paris in the 1930s and wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automation. His journey leads the discovery of Georges Méliès, the father of Special  Effects in Cinema. Hugo  received critical  acclaim and 11 Academy Award  nominations including Best Picture, more than any other film that year, and it won five awards: Best Cinematography,  Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
School children from a few schools in Imphal will also attend the film screening and the interactive session so that they can learn the film medium and what the good film is about.
Eminent personalities from the Critics Forum, Manipur and Film Society of Manipur will share the space of the interactive session to be conducted after screening of the film.
All the members of the Film Society of Manipur and Critics Forum, Manipur are informed to attend the screening with their family and children and to take part in the interactive session.

WORLD OZONE DAY 2019: Issues on protection of the ozone layer

Dr. Konthoujam Khelchandra

The United Nations International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated every year on September 16. The theme for this year’s celebration of World Ozone Day is”32 Years and Healing”.  This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer in 1987. This protocol has led to phase-out of 99% of ozone depleting substances in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. The latest reports of Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion completed in 2018 indicates very favourable results as there is ozone layer recovery rate of 1-3% per decades since 2000. The UN report further highlighted that the ozone layer protection measures has actually help in combating climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 1990 to 2010.

This year’s World Ozone day, the Montreal Protocol is celebrating its 32th anniversary. The protocol accentuates the extraordinary collaborations and environmental benefits achieved by the world governments through the operation of Montreal Protocol for the effective protection of ozone layer. This protocol provides an inspiring example where the global community is truly succeeding in reaching sustainable development objectives. It is expected to return to pre-1980 levels by mid-century, assuming all countries continue to meet their compliance commitments. In 32 years of successful implementation, the protocol has been continuously strengthened to cover the phase out of nearly 100 ozone depleting substances. It is the world’s most widely ratified treaty, with 197 signatories. Its multilateral fund has enabled an unprecedented transfer of ozone friendly technologies to developing countries assisted by a powerful network of well-trained national ozone officers in every country of the world. The protocol is widely hailed as a classic case of science-based policy making and action to protect a global commons. It also certainly reminds us that we have to keep the impetus of ensuring a healthy planet where all inhabitants can harmoniously coexist by interacting and inter depending on each other. 

Depletion of stratospheric ozone: Certain industrial processes and consumer products result in the emission of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) to the atmosphere. The main ODS are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform and halons (brominated fluorocarbons). CFCs are the most widely used ODS, accounting for over 80% of total stratospheric ozone depletion; used as coolants in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners in buildings and cars manufactured before 1995; found in industrial solvents, dry-cleaning agents and hospital sterilants; also used in foam products- such as soft-foam padding (e.g. cushions and mattresses) and rigid foam (e.g. home insulation). Halons are used in some fire extinguishers, in cases where materials and equipment would be destroyed by water or other fire extinguisher chemicals. But, the problem with halons is they can destroy up to 10 times as much ozone as CFCs can. ODSs are manufactured halogen source gases that are controlled worldwide by the Montreal Protocol. These gases bring chlorine and bromine atoms to the stratosphere, where they destroy ozone in chemical reactions.

Current ODS abundances in the atmosphere are known directly from air sample measurements. The initial step in the depletion of stratospheric ozone by human activities is the emission, at earth’s surface, of gases containing chlorine and bromine. Most of these gases accumulate in the lower atmosphere because they are unreactive and do not dissolve readily in rain or snow. Natural air motions transport these accumulated gases to the stratosphere, where they are converted to more reactive gases. Some of these gases then participate in reactions that destroy ozone. Finally, when air returns to the lower atmosphere, these reactive chlorine and bromine gases are removed from earth’s atmosphere by rain and snow. Impacts of ozone depletion: The ozone present in the stratosphere filters out most of the sun’s potentially harmful shortwave ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If this ozone becomes depleted, then more UV rays will reach the earth. Exposure to higher amounts of UV radiation could have serious impacts on human beings, animals and plants.  It can have serious implication to human health causing more skin cancers, sunburns and premature aging of skin, more cataracts, blindness and other eye diseases. It weakens the human immune system. It also has adverse impact on agriculture, forestry and natural ecosystems. Several of the world’s major crop species are particularly vulnerable to increased UV, resulting in reduced growth, photosynthesis and flowering. Only a few commercially important trees have been tested for UV (UV-B) sensitivity, but early results suggest that plant growth, especially in seedlings, is harmed by more intense UV radiation. Damage to marine life- in particular, planktons is threatened by increased UV radiation. Planktons are the first vital step in aquatic food chains; Decreases in plankton could disrupt the fresh and saltwater food chains, and further lead to a species shift; Loss of biodiversity in our oceans, rivers and lakes could reduce fish yields for commercial and fisheries.

The Efforts to protect the ozone layer and to combat climate change are mutually supportive. The most recent adjustments to the Montreal Protocol, adopted in 2007, accelerate the phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The level of climate benefits that can be achieved depends on what chemicals and technologies replace HCFCs. Their phase out thus offers a unique opportunity to acquire cutting-edge technologies that not only eliminate ozone depleting chemicals, but also saves energy and maximises climate benefits. Although the substantial phase-out of HCFCs has only just begun, it is heartening to see that industry is applying the new alternative technologies. These technologies will not only eliminate damage to the ozone layer, but also reduce adverse effects on climate.

Conclusion: On this World Ozone Day, let us celebrate and reemphasise the greater necessities for protection of ozone layer. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs a large part of the sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation; stratospheric ozone is considered good ozone because of this beneficial role. In contrast, ozone formed at earth’s surface in excess of natural amounts is considered bad ozone because it is harmful to humans, plants, and animals. Natural ozone near the surface and in the lower atmosphere plays an important beneficial role in chemically removing pollutants from the atmosphere. So, the phase out of the controlled uses of the ozone depleting substances and related reductions has not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and also for future generations to come. It has also significantly contributed on global efforts to combat climate change and furthermore it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth. Finally, we should continue our untiring efforts for preservation of ozone layer for the betterment of our mother earth.

 

Dr. Konthoujam Khelchandra

(The author is currently working as Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Pachhunga University College, Aizawl. He can be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Her Kitchen

By- Dr Nunglekpam Premi Devi
Independent Scholar

She sits and she turns; front and back;

She’s clean as she cooks and enters ‘her’ kitchen;

She washed and mops ‘her’ piece of kitchen land,

With all those ‘lafu nura’ she wipes round and again;

Dark and cool; neat and tidy; small and single space;

Sunlight lit through small window above her head;

Her kitchen mesmerizing with all richness;

Lights and heats; meitans and warmth so cozy;

She looks as graceful as she enters her kitchen;

Her ‘phanek’ up held high her breast,

No sandals approaching; softly touching her kitchen land;

She asks ‘what do you want to eat’?

‘What should I cook for you’?

As she matches fire she Phoo phoo phoos,phooo and fooos.

Muddy Leirang, twigs’ bundles and woods;

Locating in the middle of ‘her’ room, small and dark;

She cooks for self and she smiles without sins;

With no gas stoves, tools and tables, gas cylinder and cookers;

‘Her’ chafus, Uyans all in old and new use,

All in an imbalance position, she still works on,

Spoons and khabeis; chegap and no gas lighter;

Cups and plates; pukhams and tengkots and mugs;

All in spreading, all in one in one standing;

Found spreading all around ‘Her’ reaching all by her hand;

She cooks and she boils; she keeps and she covers;

She sits down and she stands up again and all;

As she walks and she speaks; her hands so engaged;

She lights her leirang and she matches now and again;

As though she starts now and again, all with blows;

Phoo phoo phoos phooo phooo and fooos.

 

She boils and she rotates and she let it down;

‘Her’ body’s bending and ‘her’ knees up to her chin;

Ah! She’s beautiful at her own; she’s goddesses of life;

She owns ‘thum chafus, morok kaouta, ngari utong,

Machu utong, nga ayaiba utong, one to two tilhou,

Bit of maroi napakpi, few maroi nakuppis, slices of drid heiribok,

Few gingers, heijang thang, all small and all small,

Uchan and samuk; she adore on her wooden phan;

Spreading her hands, right and left turning in and out;

Reaching all her essentials ‘thum chafus’ and cooking;

Happy as she is burden to none; she rotates chafus now and again;

Her hands holding fire twigs now and again, all with blows;

Phoo phoo phoos phooo phooo and fooos.

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World Ozone Day and Langban Tarpan

Munal Meitei

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

People belonging to the Meitei community across Manipur and beyond remembered their departed souls of the forefathers and ancestors on the occasion of Langban Heitha-Leitha or Tarpan. On the next day of full moon of Langbantha, the month of September is the startof Tarpan that will last for the next fifteen days when we offer our floral tribute to the forefathers and ancestors. Some may observe in bigger way as ‘Utsav Katpa’ or some as with a little drop of water or a leaf of tulsi but the eternal believes are the same. It is our believed that by offering victuals to the God and the elderly men, the soul and spirit of the departed fore fathers are pleased. If they are pleased and satisfied then they protect their children from the evils and bless them with boons. After achintha, the lean months of June and July are over, the departed souls are always eager to know the live lodes for their children on the earth. It is also our believed that during the Autumnal Equinox, i.e. the season of Tarpan, the sky is very clear and during this time the spirit and souls of the departed ancestors from their heavenly abode can see their descendants on the earth. Thus is the Tarpan of our cultural legacy.

But during this 15 days long celebration, if we could plant a tree each by each family for each of the departed souls every year then that would be the greatest offering. If so, then our state would be with full of trees and everywhere would be only greenery. If so happened, our departed forefathers would also be surely very happy because their descendants would be living in healthy and the economy of the state also would be boosted. It is said when we offer someone with some living statues, then that is the greatest offering.

Today, the 16th September is the World Ozone Day. Like other environmental problems, ozone layer depletion is also considered to be a major environmental issue now. Unfortunately, manufacturing activities since the industrial revolution have caused a disturbance in the atmosphere and opened up ways for more UV rays to penetrate down to the earth’s surface. This has caused a serious consequence and potentially it can get worse if we do not act responsibly.

Due to ozone layer depletion, many unpredicted dreaded challenges have come up to all the biotic forms on the planet. Hence the world has stood up now to count the effects and remedies of ozone layer depletion.  Ozone(O3), discovered by Christian Friedrich, a German chemist in 1840 is very rare in our atmosphere. At an average, in 10 millions of air molecules, there are about two millions of oxygen molecules and only three molecules are of ozone. Though very small in quantity, it plays a vital role in our atmosphere. It is also formed naturally in the atmosphere because of the energy from the Sun and at the time of lightning.

Ozone may be divided into the atmospheric ozone or ground ozone and the stratospheric ozone or Ozone layer. Though the ground ozone is very injurious to health, what we are discussing is the stratospheric ozone.

Stratospheric ozone or ozone layer:- Earth’s atmosphere is divided into several layers. The lower region, known as troposphere extends upto 10 km from surface. Virtually, all the human activities occur in this region. The next layer is stratosphere extending from 10 Km to 50 km. About 90% of the earth’s ozone is found in this region with maximum concentration occurring at the height of about 23.5 Km.  Ozone at this region is formed when oxygen molecules absorbed ultraviolet photon from Sunlight and undergoes photolysis. These ozone molecules absorb ultraviolet rays of wavelength 310-280 nm, also known as UV-B, the most harmful radiation thereby preventing it from entering into the Earth’s surface. But scientist predicted that UV-B radiation intensities are increasing by more than 15% since the 1970s.

Ozone layer depletion:- Ozone layer depletion was first captured the attention of the world in the latter half of 1970 and it was confirmed from the satellite pictures in the mid-1980sduring the Antarctic spring, September to November every year. But now the formations of these ozone holes have spread all over the glove. The cause of this ozone depletion is due to the increase in the level of free radicals of hydroxyl, nitrous oxides and other halocarbons. But the most important compound which shares about 80% of the stratospheric ozone depletion is the Chlorofluorocarbons; CFCs. CFCs are extensively used for Refrigeration, Air-conditioning, and Foam blowing agents, cleaning of the electronic components and as a solvent.

Other hydrocarbon compounds containing chlorine, fluorine and bromine which also causes ozone layer depletion that are coming out mainly from swimming pools, industrial plants, sea salts and volcanoes are easily break down within the troposphere by the natural processes like sunlight, wind and rain etc. But CFCs are so stable that they cannot be broken down easily in the lower atmosphere except only when by exposure to strong ultraviolet ray reaching in the stratosphere. When CFCs break down, free chlorine atoms are released. These chlorine atoms are highly reactivethat a single chlorine atom can destroy as many as 1 million ozone molecules. With this process, the ozone layer in the stratosphere is depleting day by day.

The Effects of Ozone layer depletion:-The affect of ozone layer depletion lies with the harmful effects of ultraviolet ray (UV-ray). The Sun is UV- ray discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter, a German physicist during 1972. The source of almost all these UV-rays is from the Sun. Ozone layer acts as a blanket by absorbing these harmful UV-rays and they do not allow most of them to reach the earth’s surface. Exposure to higher amounts of UV radiation could have serious impacts on humans, animals and plants. The challenges to human health include skin cancers, sunburns and premature aging of the skin, more cataracts, blindness and other eye diseases. Experts say, if not check the problem of ozone layer depletion, 20% of the world population may suffer from skin cancer in the next 50 years. White people have a 70 times greater incidence than Black people and a 10 times greater incidence than Latin and Asian peoples. UV radiation can damage several parts of the eye, including the lens, cornea, retina and conjunctiva. Cataracts cause 50% of the 17 million blindness in the world. A sustained 10% thinning of the ozone layer is expected to result in almost two million new cases of cataract every year. Ozone layer depletion and weakness in immune suppression in all the biotic forms is a hot issue of the present day.

Ozone layer depletion has also adverse impacts on agriculture, forestry and natural ecosystems. It can affect the important food crops by adversely effecting Cynobacteria which helps them to absorb and utilize nitrogen properly. World’s major crop species are particularly vulnerable to increase in UV radiation, resulting in reduced growth, size, photosynthesis and flowering time. These species include wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, peas, tomatoes and almost all staple and cash crops. Small changes in leaf size may increase the ability of weeds to grow around some crops. Small changes in pollination time, resistance to insects or disease, or in the length of the growing season, could cause large changes in yield. The most likely thing to happen will be a change in the relative population of various unwanted species (Runeckles and Krupa, 1994).It is really a challenge to our human food security.

Phytoplankton, an important component of marine food chain can also be affected by ozone layer depletion. These tiny photosynthesizing plants provide 50 percent of all the oxygen available on the Earth but UV-B ray causes genetic damages to these organisms. Coral Reefs that mankind termed them as the tropical forest of the ocean are also most affected by ozone layer depletion. Due to increase in UV-ray, our global biodiversity as a whole is intensively damaged thereby affecting all life forms.

UV-rays overexposure may cause eye and skin cancers to animals. But animals with fur are somewhat saved from UV-radiation. Species of marine animals in their developmental stage e.g. young fish, shrimp larvae and crab larvae are also widely threatened in recent years by the increased UV radiation under the Antarctic ozone hole. 

Materials such as wood, plastic, rubber, fabrics, paints and many construction materials are degraded by UV radiation. The economic impact of ozone depletion on replacing and protecting materials could be significant.

Conclusion:-The increasing concern over the causes and the effects of ozone layer depletion led to the observation of the “World Ozone Day” every year.It is an undisputed fact that if we stop use and the production of CFCs right now, then also, its problem will persist on the earth for the next one hundred years. But to reduce and control of the Industrial emission of CFCs, many countries have eventually agreed to discontinue the production of CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform etc. except for a few specific proposes. Now the industries also have started to develop with more ozone friendly substitutes. For the peoples of north eastern India including our state Manipur who are dwelling in the higher altitude and also nearer to the geographical tropic have the more vulnerability to the harmful effects of ozone layer depletion. As a part of observation of World Ozone Day, every one of us needs to take care of our Environment and the ozone layer right from this moment onwards. Therefore, as we are remembering our departed souls by observing the Tarpan during this Langbantha, if we again observe this day in a more meaningful way, then we can do something better for the future generation to hand over them with a clean and beautiful environment.

Pic Courtesy: Un.org