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Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at NIELIT. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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Pandemic of Tobacco Consumption

“World No Tobacco Day” is celebrated with different theme each year with this year’s theme “Protecting Youth From Industry Manipulation & Preventing Them From Tobacco & Nicotine”around the World every year on 31st May,to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco,the business practices of tobacco companies,what World Health Organisation(WHO)is doing to fight the tobacco EPEDEMIC and what people around the World can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future gemeration.Then what is tobacco? How tobacco & Tobacco products are permitted to sale openly inspite of statuary warning written in all tobacco products as”Tobacco Causes Painful Death/ Tobacco Kills,Causes Cancer/Smoking is injurious to health etc”.Yes,Tobacco is the agricultural product of leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. All species of Nicotiana contain addictive drug nicotine-a stimulant and sedative contained in all parts of the plants except the seeds-which occurs in varying amounts depending on the species and variety cultivated. The vast majority of commercially available tobacco is derived from the species”Nicotina tabacum”, although it is also produced from Nicotiana alata and to a lesser extent Nicotiana cleveandi, Nicotiana longiflora and Nicotiana rustica among others.Nicotiana rustica in particular contains much more nicotine than N-tabacum and other species of nicotiana and forms the basis of a number of unique tobacco products, including several preparations used in Latin American shamanic ceremonies.
Once tobacco has been grown, harvested cured and processed, it is used to produce a number of different products. These are most often consumable; however tobacco and the nicotine derived from it are also used to create pesticides. Tobacco product can generally be divided into two types: smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco.Chewing is one of the oldest method of consuming tobacco leaves. Native Americans in both north and South America chewed the fresh leaves of the tobacco plants, frequently mixed with lime. Modern American style of chewing tobacco (colloquially known as chew or chaw especially in American south) is produced from cured and often fermented tobacco usually dampened and mixed with some type of sweetener often molasses. Twist tobacco may be an exception in this case as many brands of twist are not sweetened. In using chewing tobacco-at least types other than tobacco pellets, the consumer usually deposits the tobacco between the cheek and teeth and lightly macerates and sucks the tobacco to allow juice to flow. Thus, when chewing, it is common to spit and discard excess saliva caused by the release of juices from the tobacco, justifying the existence of the spittoon or cuspidor. Chewing tobacco endemic to the western world is manufactured in several forms. Different types of chewing tobacco are endemic to the Indian sub-continent. Gutkha is a mixture of betel nuts, tobacco, and paraffin wax catechu and slake lime. Mava also known as mawa is a chewing tobacco product popular in Gujarat made with a mixture of betel nut, calcium carbonate and flavored tobacco. It is also known as faki or masala. A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the smoker’s mouth and expelled. It is one of the oldest methods of preparing tobacco for consumption. Any combustible tobacco product that designed to be smoked –other than cigarette including cigars, cigarillos, little cigars blunts and bidis and other end products.
Tobacco contains nicotine, an ingredient that can lead to addiction, which is why so many people who used tobacco find it difficult to quit. There are also many other potentially harmful chemicals found in tobacco or created by burning it. Tobacco use in children and adolescence is reaching pandemic levels. The World Bank has reported that nearly 82,000 to 99,000 children and adolescents all over the world begins smoking every day. India is the third largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world. The country has a long history of tobacco use. Tobacco is used in a wide variety of ways in India including smoking and smokeless use. Tobacco is smoked in the forms of bidis and cigarettes or by using devices like hookah, hookli, chhutta dhumti or chillum. Tobacco is also used in a number of smokeless forms in India which includes betel quid chewing, mishri, khaini, gutka, and sniff also as an ingredients of pan masala. According to the most recent Government of India’s National sample Survey data, there are 184 million tobacco consumers in India. About 40% of them use smokeless tobacco, 20% consume cigarettes and another 40% smoke bidis and about 20 million children of ages 10-14 are estimated to be tobacco addicted. Almost 34% Indians (57% men and 11% women) consume tobacco either in smoking (Cigarettes, bidis, hookah etc) or smokeless forms (gutkha, khaini, panmasala etc), the latter being more common.
Manipur occupies second rank in the use of smokeless form (47.7%) of tobacco after Tripura (48.5%). The commonest forms in the state is Betal Quid with tobacco, local term as Kwa Zarda. Its uses are ever increasing in number in the state of Manipur especially among the female population. Other forms of smokeless tobacco are Khaini (Golden Tobacco, Sajan, Kuber, Raja etc) , Talab and Bombay with processed tobacco, are abundantly available and its uses is very much common among youths ( both boys & girls).Though these tobacco & tobacco related products are ban or restricted during present lockdown of Covid-19 by CSOs & Government,it is wide open that these products are available in plenty in Manipur.And it is reported that the prices of mitha pan betel leaves, processed tobacco called Zarda and khaini (all types) are sky high in the state at present .The betel leaves( Kwa Mana),the cost of which in the normal time generally varied from Rs 1000/- to Rs 1200/- per 300 plus piece ( called one Phai) spiked at Rs 10.000/- plus during lockdown. Golden Tobacco khaini which cost Rs 15/- or so per dhabha and Sajan Khaini its price is Rs 10/-per packet gone up to Rs 100 plus. Betel Quid (Kwa Zarda) which cost Rs 10/- per piece in the normal time escalated to Rs 50/- per piece. Female folk (generally) run here and there to get at least one such a piece and young boys and girls are looking for the Talab and Bombay (Processed pan with tobacco), the cost of which was Rs 5/- per packet during normal period hiked to Rs 25/- per packet,which indicates addiction in tobacco products.They don’t bother about daily essential of the family but seems very worried about these tobacco products.It is generally said that a middle aged Manipuri woman consumes at least five plus Kwa matap daily,which drains out our limited economy. Then what could be the monetary situation of the family? And how such menance has happened? What’s loophole to restrict it completely?Who are responsible in this racket?Who will fix them? It would not be wrong to say that the signature style of any Manipuri lady in beautifully make up posture with distorted face due to ball like protrusion on the cheek because of Zarda pan in the mouth but neatly dressed. Tobacco consumption is a major global public health problem. One person dies every six second due to health related effects caused by tobacco according to World Health organization (WHO). Prohibition of smoking in public places (including indoor work place) has been enacted from 2nd October 2008 in the whole India. Direct or indirect advertisement and sponsorship as well as promotion of tobacco product has been prohibited. Sale of tobacco products to minor children less than 18 years age is also strictly prohibited and at the same time sales of any tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of any educational institution is also ban. In spite of these prohibition, use of tobacco product both in smoke and smokeless form is escalating in many part of our country, which in fact is a menace to be controlled timely.

Parenting & Human Development

Some of the most important issues facing our teenagers at this time include teen suicide, teen violence, cyber bullying( online bullying),Internet & online addiction, teens & sex, teens and substance abuse, teens anorexia and eating disorders, violent video games, teens watching porn, TV violence, violence at home, violent culture etc. at the same time most teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. Many experiment with cigarettes also. Common reason behind teen drug use include, curiosity, developmental need for experimentation, peer pressure, stress, emotional issues and a desire to escape. Parents, teachers and communities across the country are concern with teen issues which are caused by a number of social, cultural, technological, communal, economic, familial and individual factors. While it may be hard to change the nature of the internet, computers, cell phones and TV, there is always something that each one of us can do to reduce teen violence, the rate of teen suicide, teen cyber bullying, bullying at school and help develop a well-adjusted relationship to our technological and commercialized cultures and a creative and balanced use of the internet, online games etc. However, because of all these factors mentioned above parents are facing a grim problem in parenting.
Parenting is a challenging task in the modern times. Rapidly changing lifestyle, newer demands and requirements of life etc., put forward multiple challenges to parents. In the older times, fathers go out working and mother use to reserve their time in growing up the kids and looking after the household duties. But in the modern society both the parents need to work to accomplish the economic stability of the family and fewer mothers remain dedicated household moms. Balancing between the work and parenting duties make them feel parenting is a stressful and challenging task. Parent need to manage several requirements of life along with the essential duties. There are many other aspects in parenting that erect challenges in parenting. The most important challenge that many parents face is the scarcity of time (Time, a scarce resource). The twenty four hours in a day has to be juggled between home, office, children and self. It is quite difficult to reserve time for each of such requirements in the best possible way. Better planning management of time may help parents to meet the life with grace and accomplish all the demands and requirements of it. Kids are to be considered to be important elements of life and solid share of time should be reserved for parenting. If parents are too busy most of the days, convince kids why parents can’t make available for them always and need to teach them ways of being self-sufficient when parents are away.
Studies have shown that lack of moral principles( Failure in mending the moral life) is the reason why kids gets into unwanted activities and acquiring unaccepted behaviors patterns. Modern life style has opened ways for even kids to get familiar with computers, televisions, and internet and explore both good and bad realities of life and many often they follow to so call bad or unaccepted path of life. They learn to adore movie actor and also waste time watching games or the freely available porn in the internet. Parents do not recognized the changes in children as they get very less chance to interfere in children’s life and communicate with him /her. Imbalanced life is another challenge the modern parenting faces. Office, work, kids, personal requirements; nothing can be avoided or neglected in life. Balancing between all of these requirements is a tiresome task, and as a result many parents become highly imbalanced in life. Balancing life by preplanning the ways of performing the required duties is essential key to facing the challenges in life and becoming effective parents. Realize the possible imbalances in life and be prepared to react to them in the best possible positive manner. The lack of emotional bondage (Emotional dissolution) is a challenge many parents face in life. They may lose time and mind to spend with children to create the emotional bondage with them. Knowing the feelings of each other is essential to grow affectionately. When the emotional bond between parents and kids get broken, they go astray from parents and live in their own World.
Parenting is strictly a personal practice based on the mind and wishes of two people, namely the father and mother. It is foolishness to define rules for parenting and forcing parents to follow clear-cut paths of parenting. Parenting is not a single activity but the total of approaches to care and groom children. The parenting styles are based on the entire specific behavioral patterns that influence the mental developments of children. Experts suggest four different styles of parenting generally known as the parenting patterns. They are: Authoritarian parenting; Authoritative parenting; Permissive parenting and uninvolved parenting. Authoritarian parenting is similar to monarchic administration. In this style, parents establish must to follow rules and regulations for children. Minor failure to obey these guidelines will result in punishment. This is the most unproductive and closed way of parenting as in authoritarian parenting parents never explain the importance of following the rules, or they simply do not bother to understand the emotional or feeling level of kids who may wonder why to follow rules. Authoritarian parents do not tolerate kids questioning their authority on kids. Kids are expected to follow blindly what is ordered by the parents. In authoritarian parenting, parents demand too much from the kids and at the same time they neglect the responsibilities towards kids. No explanation and no advice are given to children but only commands and punishments. Needless to say, this is a destructive parenting style, rather influence and creative.
Authoritative parenting is much lenient style compare to authoritarian parenting. It is more like the democratic style of administration and training. In authoritative parenting, parents still hold the authority, but are tolerant enough to the doubts and questions of the kids. They do not just insist the children to obey blindly but make them understand why to obey the rules and regulations. It is a demanding and responsible type of parenting. It is not through punishments but through nurturing and advice parents influence the kids to follow the rules and form disciplinary lifestyle. Authoritarian parenting is restrictive while authoritative parenting is assertive. The mentality of parents change entirely in the pattern and the intention behind executing commands is not to establish authority over children but to groom them to be responsible social beings. Permissive parenting also known as indulgent parenting is a pattern that follows strong intercommunication and self-control measures. In this pattern parents allow kids to be groomed himself /herself. They do not demand the kids to follow strict orders and punish them heavily for even minor mistakes. This is a give and take system. Parents nurture the kids and concern them properly and in return they expect mature and disciplined behavior from the kids. The responsibility levels are greater than the demands. Permissive parents allow children to be self-regulated. More communication and friendly approach to kids is the exclusive feature of permissive parenting. A disadvantage of permissive parenting is that children may end up in troubles as they do not know the limits. All children may not responsibility react to the freedom given by parents.
Uninvolved parenting is considered to be the worst among parenting. As the name suggest, in uninvolved parenting, the involvement of parents in parenting process is zero. They do not communicate effectively with kids or get involved in their grooming. They leave the kids to grow their own. Uninvolved parenting doesn’t mean that parents leave the kids to grow as orphans. But the responsibility level would be much lower than all other parenting styles. They care only to fulfill the basic needs of children. There won’t be any attachment or affection practices between the kids and parents. It is said that many of the parents at the present time also forced to follow uninvolved Parenting style. The busy schedules at work and hustle and bustle of lifestyle, keep parents away from kids. They seldom find to spend with children. Expert suggests not to follow uninvolved parenting patterns as it is highly destructive method of growing up kids. Parenting, as people often misconceive is not the same for all the parents and there are multiple parenting styles that can be adapted to grow up the kids. But most of the parents do not ponder over the ways to be followed to grow each of their kids. Parenting is a spontaneous outcome for many. Behavioral psychologist says that parents can mold their kids as they wish by deliberate parenting styles. If any parent has more than one child the style found effective for one may not bring the same result with the second and others. Understanding kid’s characters, mental attitudes, physical abilities etc., are essential to determine the style to be followed. Positive parenting is the most appreciated style of parenting, which is found effective to mold the kids as mature and responsible social beings. Positive parenting simply means, developing the kids maintaining supportive and respective relationship with them. Before entering into the positive parenting style, parents have to be sure of the goals, values and strategies to be applied and followed.

Cataclysm of Covid-19 & Climate Change

Global methane levels have hit an all-time high after what appears to be a near-record yearly atmospheric increase in the potent greenhouse gas. The concentration of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere reached nearly 1,875 parts per billion in 2019, up from 1,866 parts per billion according to preliminary data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Though, methane remains in the atmosphere for only few years, it is 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping the sun’s heat and it poses an increasingly gave threat to effort to tackle escalating global heating. Three months ago we would have been describing the climate crisis. Instead, those same words now apply to Covid-19. Leading scientists repeatedly warned us it was coming. They told us, it would kill millions, cost trillions and transform the way we live but that modest preparation could forestall the worst impact. The two crises are borne of the same human falling: our inability to act now to forestall future consequences. Both require swift comprehensive response but their severity and duration varied widely. The pandemic is personal. We empathise with the most vulnerable and with those suffering in viral hotspots and also fear for ourselves and our loved ones. Consider how quickly governments have acted, asking citizens to radically shift their ways of life and fast-tracking billions in bailout funds and relief packages and justifiably so. This kind of emergency mobilise us.
The climate emergency is more insidious, where the impacts of Covid-19 are rapid and easily identifiable, climate damage is gradual and multifaceted. Many scientists have criticised governments’ covid-19 response as slow or inadequate. But the response to climate change has been even more negligent by comparison, the damage more permanent. The death toll from Covid-19 is serious and the rising and all efforts must be made to save lives. But the scale of tragedy will be finite and measurable once the pandemic is over. Predicting the ultimate death toll is difficult but it could be in order of two to 20 million worldwide. The driest estimates predict waves of outbreaks with cyclical social distancing for 18 months. Fatalities traced to climate change on the other hand, take many forms-from millions of early deaths already caused each year by fossil fuel combustion to the more than 7 million, cumulative deaths expected by 2050 due to heat stress, malnutrition and directly related causes. Isn’tjust deaths for which climate change is responsible? The additional toll on human wellbeing includes mass displacement, armed conflict and 120 million thrown into poverty. But like the coronavirus pandemic, the sooner and more seriously we act, the fewer will suffer. The pandemic and climate crisis are enormously costly. One UN estimate puts the cost of coronavirus to the global economy in 2020 alone at one trillion dollar, just 1% of global GDP-though once society opens up again, these losses should be recouped within the decade. In contrast, climate change permanently changes the frequency and severity of negative impacts from the increased flooding and heat waves to crop failure and air pollution, so the damage they cause keeps adding up year after year. But investing now will make a huge difference. One study found that immediate investment to adapt to climate change would yield more than 7 trillion dollars. Yet predicting how much climate change will cost is difficult. Even the seemingly small difference between 1.5 degree Celsius and 2 degree Celsius of global warming would cumulatively impair GDP by an additional 5% by the end of the century with far worse outcomes if warming exceeds 2 degree Celsius. Then there are the investments we’re making in high emitting power plants, factories or vehicles that after we have exhausted our remaining carbon budget (within the next 15 years at current emission rates) could become stranded assets.
The most pronounced difference between the climate and coronavirus crisis, however is how long their effects will be felt. The increase in the number of individuals infected with the virus feels akin to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more we have each, the worse the impacts. But this analogy is misleading because most individuals recovers from the virus and stop infecting others in a matter of weeks. As soon as the number of daily recoveries exceeds the number of daily infections, the impacts of the virus will begin to recede. If this state can be maintained until a vaccine becomes widely available – for example with sustainable physical distancing strategies- the human and economic costs associated with coronavirus will eventually disappear. In contrast, every tonnes of carbon dioxide we emit resides in our climate system indefinitely, warming the atmosphere and acidifying our Oceans. The number of patients infected with coronavirus is more analogous to the amount of atmospheric methane, which spends a relatively short time warming the planet at a high rate before deteriorating. The figure above highlights the difference between the warming caused by permanent carbon dioxide build up and the more transient impacts of pandemics. When the rates of both carbon dioxide emissions and new covid-19 cases are rising; both the warming caused by carbon dioxide and the number of active covid-19 cases rises. But when the rates of both are constant; covid-19 cases eventually level out, as the number of new infections balances the number of patients recovering or dying. Not so for carbon dioxide which even at constant rates causes permanent and ever-increasing warming. When the rates of both are falling, covid-19 cases eventually drop to zero, but the total amount of warming levels off and remains in the new, warmed state in perpetuity.
Mitigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic should unequivocally be our top priority right now. But as we emerge from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to begin preparing in earnest for a larger threat; climate change. This moment also presents critical leverage points to fight the pandemic and climate crisis simultaneously. Some of the industries that contribute most to the climate change – airlines, oil and gas companies- are in a rare position of vulnerability. As a society, we can demand that the assistance they receive requires them to decarbonise their businesses after the pandemic is over. Don’t let the lesson of coronavirus go unheeded. We could have made modest investment to avert a pandemic years ago-we didn’t. We can avoid the more severe impacts of climate change if we start decarbonising now and our response to the pandemic is an important place to start. So when recovery measures are being considered, contact your MPs or elected officials. Don’t let them make this same mistake twice. Instead fell them to apply the lessons of today’s crisis to tomorrows.

 

Importance of Natural Assets Management

Natural Resources/ Assets Management, refers to the management of natural resources such as land, wetland, water, soil, forests, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations ( Stewardship). Natural resource management deals with managing the way in which people and natural landscapes interact. It brings together land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation and future sustainability of industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry. It recognises the people and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of the landscape and their actions as stewards of the land play a critical role in maintaining their health and productivity. Natural Resource Management specifically focuses on scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology and the life supporting capacity of those resources. Environmental management is also similar to natural resource management. In academic context, the sociology related to but distinct from Natural Resource Management and so on.
    Natural assets are the stock of natural resources or ecosystem that are relied upon, managed or could be managed by local government for the provision of one or more services to a community. These provide critical services and functions to communities both on their own and as part of infrastructure systems with engineered assets, including: soil quality; food protection; drainage and rain water attenuation; water treatment and storage. Recharge of aquifers, rivers and creeks; recreation; climate regulation; habitat and biodiversity; air quality regulation; health and wellbeing.  Although all communities have natural assets, the benefits that can be gained from managing them have been poorly understood or overlooked. Historically standard processes for planning, engineering and operations have not considered the services that natural assets provide to communities or the impact of development and operations decisions on these assets, the types of assets function together and rely on each other and therefore need to be managed as a system. Today, there is an opportunity available to local government to realize multiple benefits by including natural assets in asset management processes. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been working on “inclusive wealth” for a few years now. What is it and how does it differ from Gross domestic Product (GDP)? Sovereign nations typically measure economic success in terms of GDP (income) but this approach is risky as it fails to track and measure the impact of this on nature. Inclusive wealth, on the other hand captures financial and produced capital but also the skills in our workforce (human capital), the cohesion in our society (social capital) and the value of our environment (natural capital). The concept of inclusive wealth takes into account the social worth of manufactured, human and natural capital which in turn is the source of a country’s GDP. Inclusive wealth measurement is critically important. Generations transfers this “wealth” (thus defined) not income, to the next generation. Handing over to future generations a healthy planet with little pollution and vibrant ecosystem is a prerequisite for sustainable development.
Inclusive wealth, therefore underscores the essential role biodiversity and ecosystem play in the provision of many of the services we receive from nature and on which our economies, livelihoods and well-being rely. Humanity has prospered immensely in recent decades but this has been coupled with profound impacts on biodiversity. What are the risks to our economies and way of life, as well as those of future generations?  Two-third of the world’s GDP, directly and indirectly, relates to the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity. The World Economic Forum in its latest report says, we need to measure and track inclusive wealth and identifies climate change and important threats facing businesses and economy. But globally, biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history. According to a landmark report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem (IPBES), the average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. This shows that GDP growth is unable to capture biodiversity in the way that inclusive wealth does. The 2018 inclusive wealth report suggests that in the last 25 years, natural capital has declined in 140 countries. The current imbalance between nature and human activity is manifested in habitat fragmentation, the illegal wildlife trade and the destruction and domestication of wild species. This has increased the risk of the transfer of dangerous pathogens from animals to human. How does “inclusive wealth” inform the COVID-19 crisis and how can countries” build back better”?
The devastation that COVID-19 is causing, underscores the importance of Biodiversity for our health and that of the global economy and need for the human enterprise to live within the “safe operating Space’ of the biosphere. COVID-19 recovery calls for an ambitious line of enquiry into zoonotic diseases and ecosystem health. Our continued erosion of wild space , primary forests and ecosystem have brought us uncomfortably close to “ reservoir hosts” i.e animals and plants that harbour disease that can transmit to humans. The expansion of renewable energy and more effective and safer waste management or key investment priorities if we want to build back better. Investors cannot continue to ignore the price our Planet pays for unsustainable growth, says UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The economies of biodiversity is the economies of the biosphere upon which we all depend for our survival. It sees the management of nature and biodiversity as an asset management issue. It demonstrated how our demand for the goods and services that nature provides outstrips its ability to supply them sustainably. Nature is in crisis, threatened by biodiversity and habitat loss, global heating and toxic pollution. Failure to act is failing humanity. Addressing the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and protecting ourselves against future global threats requires sound management of hazardous medical and chemical waste, strong and global stewardship of nature and biodiversity and a clear commitment to “building back better”, creating green jobs and facilitating the transition to carbon neutral economies. Humanity depends on action now for a resilient and sustainable future.