Rest in Peace Tannu

Dear Tannu

I always had a lot to tell you. Mostly, Thank You. Thank you for being a wonderful person or should I say, an awesome person. Such a blithe soul you are, partying hard every night,  wearing the latest of the trend, so much flamboyance in a single soul. How much you love to travel and how much I got fascinated by the life you had. Although I really did not like this decision of yours. Travel as much as you want to. You could have opted for any place in the world if India did not give you many options. Why did you get so adventurous to go to heaven? Why did this apathy took you so far that you are not even going to come back? I know you do not actually care for anybody’s decision but for your own and of course, Unkle and Aunty’s who never actually questioned your decisions. But this time, they really didn’t want you to go. This very first time. Couldn’t you once accept it? 

I remember how Daddy always used to tell me- ” Be bold like Tannu. Fear nobody or nothing like her.” You know, it should have been irksome to me as to how he wanted me to be like you. However, it never was. Will he ever say that again to me? Didn’t you love to be a good example? I mean, I never minded being forthright like you. Had it been that you did not like me following you, you could have asked me. What was so perturbing that you went without even saying a word?

So many anecdotes I have about us, about you. I wonder if you remember them all. Do you remember the Mumbai trip? How we travelled in the ladies coach with a ticket of a general coach in a local train and then encountered the TT. It was quite a save dude. Later, me being an asshole to you for no reason. I am really sorry for that. I thought we buried the hatchet. You really shouldn’t avenge in this manner. Just come back and I will make up for it with a pup.

You had been my key to sneak out. All I had to do was call you and in no time, you were all set to take me out anywhere I want to. Were you tired of being an angel? Or you literally became one?

I just have to understand that it was necessary for you to free yourself from those perceptible shackles of the disease that deceased you. Not today, but the moment you stopped flying and contracted your world on a bed. Now that you have gone, you can fly high again.

Although I could not return your favour, I Love You. 

 

Munmun

No hands were raised when asked of non-smokers in Delhi!

Delhi has become a gas chamber. Each day we smoke 45 cigarettes. It could have benefitted me in at least one way. Every day, I could have gone on my terrace, smoke a literal cigarette, come downstairs, answer my mom’s question about my whereabout honestly-“I went upstairs to smoke”. She would have been the coolest mom ever since zero visibility. Such an urge of doing something wrong.

Well, I am not the only one with such criminal tendency. We Indians, either take pride while indulging in immorality or we don’t even know that we are doing wrong.Consider the Odd-Even Policy of AAP Government. How many of us actually tried to comprehend the motive of the policy? Everybody is buying another vehicle to complement the number plate of their old vehicle just to abscond at the ‘eleventh hour’.

Talking about the reverse psychology, let’s take the example of the Supreme Court order of ban on selling firecrackers. Even if they did not burn crackers in past few years, this Diwali they have either to flaunt their approach of procuring them or to show that the order was a threat to Hinduism.

The central government has INDCs (India’s Nationally Determined Contributions) in which it has pledged to sequester 3 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2030 through enhanced tree cover. Also, in 2015, India committed to Bonn Challenge to place into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded land by 2020 and additional 8 million hectares by 2030.

Both of these commitments reflects the spirit of India’s policy framework on forests i.e. Landscape Approach (a model aimed at improving the ecology of a landscape as a whole in order to benefit local livelihoods by multiple ecosystem services like food security, climate mitigation and adaptation, conservation of biological diversity and water supplies).

Although the states are working to achieve the target of 28-34 million hectares, there is an over-reliance on plantations rather on landscape approach. Large-scale Plantation Drives don’t lay stress on species selection. Neither the quality of planting materials or survival rates are considered nor they recognise the tenure and resource rights to ensure that the benefits flow to communities. Thus, they don’t really achieve the goals.

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Tree-Based Interventions should be inculcated in India to mitigate air pollution and achieve climate convention’s goals as happened in many other countries.One good example is Agro-forestry which would also help farmer diversify his income and increase land productivity.

FMNR(Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration) is also a solution where farmers protect, manage the growth of trees/shrubs that regenerate naturally in their fields from rootstock or farm seed dispersed through animal manure. Niger, West Africa has added 200 million on-farm trees using FMNR in 30 years, thus sequestering 30 million tonnes of carbon and increasing annual agricultural production by 500,000 tonnes. Security of tenure, land rights and right to use the products of these trees is the key to the success of such interventions as seen in Brazil.NABARD’s Wadi Model is an example of tree-based intervention in India.

Stubble Burning is one of the major causes of the smog crisis in Delhi-NCR. Farmers are burning the paddy residue to sow wheat in the fields. Due to high silica content, it cant be used as animal fodder like wheat straw. Instead of blaming farmers completely, the state governments should find a way out.

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Effective tools like Happy Seeders fitted with Super Straw Management System for directly sowing of wheat after paddy harvesting should be subsidised at a price feasible to farmers. Other existing machines like cutter-cum-spreaders(mulchers) and reversible plough also manage paddy straw for wheat sowing.Another option for farmers is the adoption of early maturing varieties of rice which will save water in addition to stubble management.But for that farmers should be made aware of how wheat can be sown without burning paddy straw through Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

The most important role the governments has to play is of monitoring. Whether there is the right type of tree-based intervention via scientific evidence, whether the straw management system working transparently and whether people are adopting carpooling and abiding by the odd-even policy.

We, as commoners cannot turn a blind eye to the blurriness of the building opposite to ours. Instead of criticising the government and hiding under the N95 mask, we should abide by the rules to save the planet and people who cannot afford the masks and thus a particulate matter free breathe!