Showing posts from April, 2015

VIP Culture

Guest Editorial 8 (Morung Express)
When you go to weddings, you hear the announcement, ‘to my extreme right is the vegetarian table. The other tables have the same items and you can go to any of them’. This is a positive move towards equality that we have been practicing during wedding feasts. Officers’ mess or VIP tables were very common in the past. Those were the places where special treatments were given to the VIPs. The tables looked more beautiful, the food items were more special, and there were shorter queues. But thankfully in many programs, we are doing away with that VIP culture. Those who hold feasts are realizing that there should not be preferential treatment in serving food, and all guests should enjoy the same food together. I think the shift is shaped by Christian teaching of equality and the change in culture is brought through practice in church circles. But there is still a long way to go when it comes to the sitting arrangements in churches. Fashionably late comers…

Pursuing a hobby

I have toyed with the idea of changing career in midlife. I am nowhere near it mentally and have no particular area of work in mind. But I am happy that I have started working on a hobby that I have been thinking of for many years. It is the art of making bonsai. Circa 2003, I went for a plant exhibition in Imphal where I was mesmerized by miniature trees planted in pots. The trees were familiar except that they looked old and small. I didn’t know they are called bonsai. As life continued in a hostel, then in the nation’s capital city, I had no opportunity to try my hand at making bonsai. But after life stabilized here in Kohima, I am happy that I can pursue this hobby at last. I have read the theory, watched the videos, and have acquired the tools including the indispensable concave cutter through online shopping.
Life can be full of tensions. It can become monotonous. It can become dull. Sometimes, you need to get away. Sometimes, you need to…

Tobacco lobby, Cancer, Cow urine

First, a BJP MP in the parliamentary committee looking into rules regarding tobacco sales said that there is no Indian study linking tobacco to cancer. This was followed by another member saying that a lot of chain smokers do not develop cancer. Another BJP MP, again a member of the committee remarked that there is no fool proof evidence that smoking causes cancer.
The context is that the government had planned to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products from 40% to 85% by April 1 this year. Increase in pictorial warnings is shown to bring down tobacco prevalence. But because the committee brought out these statements, the deadline is crossed without any action being taken. What is going on here? There is no dearth of global and local evidences that tobacco causes cancer. The Indian government’s own study showed that there is a very strong link. But why are these parliamentarians making these sta…

Change of focus in Health
The present healthcare system is RCH-centric. RCH stands for Reproductive and Child Health. In National Health Mission, RCH takes the centre stage and all the other national health programs follow far behind. Is it justifiable that RCH is given priority over other health concerns? The answer is both Yes and No. RCH covers a very crucial component in the health needs of a population. Women during childbirth and children are vulnerable to adverse health conditions. The quality of health services is measured by how far the benefits are reaching this group of people. Infant mortality rate is an indicator of the overall human development of a population. Healthy mother means healthy child and healthy child means healthy population. So, it is right that RCH should be focused.
But ideally health services should be free of targets. It should be comprehensive and universal. It is the limitedness of our resources which compels to pl…


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