Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Father's Day Special"

When I was just a tiny kid,
Do you remember when,
The time you kissed my bruises,
Or cleaned by soiled chin?

You scrambled for the balls I hit,
Yet, every time we'd play a game,
You praised the "outs" I caught.

It seems like only yesterday,
You wiped away my tears,
And late at night I called your name,
To chase away my fears.

Oh, do I thirst for years gone by,
To be that growing lad,
Re-living all of the memories,
Of growing with my dad.

Father's Day festival is considered extremely important as it help acknowledge the contribution of fathers to individual families and to societies as large. Father's Day provide children an opportunity to express love and respect for their fathers. The sentiment goes a long way in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently in the emotional development of a child.
The idea of celebrating Father's Day Festival was given by Ms Sonora Dodd a loving daughter from Spokane. Her father Henry Jackson Smart single-handedly raised Sonora and five of her siblings after the death of her mother during childbirth. When Sonora attended a Mother's Day Sermon in 1909, she thought that if there is the day to honor mother then there should also be a corresponding day to honor fathers. Sonora worked relentlessly for years to ensure that the idea of Father's Day becomes a reality. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge first recognized Father's Day. In view of the massive popularity of the festival, in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.
Over the years, the concept of celebrating Father's Day spread beyond geographical boundaries. Today, millions of children across the world express gratitude for their dads as they celebrate Father's Day festival.

Significance of Father in our Lives
Many people laughed at Sonora Dodd when she gave the concept of having a Father's Day, as traditionally, only mother is regarded as the sole nurturer of a child. The role of father is often relegated to a secondary status as compared to a mother. But all of us know that father is just as important for a child as the mother is. If mothers are the heroes of child rearing, significance of father in the development and emotional well being of a child is no less. Children depend on their father for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social well being. For daughters, father is the ideal man in the world (I think) and also the first man they adore, while for sons, father is an idol and the strongest man they aspire to emulate.
With most husband and wife working, fathers in present times are as involved in child rearing job as the mothers are. Today, most fathers do not shy away from changing nappy or taking the difficult task for putting the baby to sleep. This cultural change is helping in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently in emotional development of a child and building of stronger family bonds.
Children must therefore take full opportunity of the day and express their gratitude for fathers with all their heart. The best way to do so is to do small things that daddy appreciates and by saying “I love you, Papa” with a gift of beautiful flower.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The global water situation

Water is not distributed evenly over the globe. Fewer than 10 countries possess 60% of the world's available fresh water supply: Brazil, Russia, China, Canada, Indonesia, U.S., India, and Columbia. Less than 3% of the world's water is fresh - the rest is seawater and undrinkable. Of this 3% over 2.5% is frozen, locked up in Antarctica, the Arctic and glaciers, and not available to man and 0.5% Fresh water available. Thus humanity must rely on this 0.5% for all of man's and ecosystem's fresh water needs.

Since 1950 there has been a rapid expansion of groundwater exploitation providing: 50% of all drinking water; 40% of industrial water; and 20% of irrigation water. Over 5,000 km3 in man made storage facilities reservoirs. There has been a 7 fold increase in global storage capacity since 1950. 2,120 km3 in rivers - constantly replaced from rainfall and melting snow and ice.
As farmers, industry and people take too much water there is nothing left for nature. The concept of water stress is relatively simple: it applies to situations where there is not enough water for all uses, whether agricultural, industrial or domestic. Defining thresholds for stress in terms of available water per capita is more complex, however, entailing assumptions about water use and its efficiency. Nevertheless, it has been proposed that when annual per capita renewable freshwater availability is less than 1,700 cubic meters, countries begin to experience periodic or regular water stress. Below 1,000 cubic meters, water scarcity begins to hamper economic development and human health and well-being.
The four ways people contribute to water stress as follows-
1. Excessive withdrawal from surface waters: Over the past 30 years, the Aral Sea in the former Soviet Union has shrunk to less than half of its original size. The demise of the Aral Sea was caused primarily by the diversion of the inflowing rivers to irrigate water-intensive cotton and rice crops. This graphic shows the disappearance of the Aral Sea from 1957 to 2001. By 1987, about 60% of the Aral Sea's volume had been lost, its depth had declined by 14 meters, and its salt concentration had doubled.
2. Excessive withdrawal of water from underground aquifers: Along much of the west coast of India excessive fresh water abstraction has allowed sea water to enter aquifers thereby making the water so saline that it is unfit for human use. These consequences have been compounded due to excess irrigation water containing fertilizers and pesticides leaching into these aquifers.
3. Pollution of fresh water resources: Pollution can be so severe that the fresh water is no longer useable without incurring unacceptably high clean up costs. Pollution from many small paper mills using outdated technology has depleted the oxygen from the several river stretches in China, making them unfit for consumption by any form of life. China entered into a joint venture with a Finnish company to build a state of the art paper mill. China then closed the polluting firms and these rivers are making a remarkable recovery.
4. Inefficient use of freshwater: Poor irrigation practices, leakage in water delivery systems, inefficient use by industry and excessive consumption by individuals can all contribute to water stress.