April 2018 -

Monthly Archives: April 2018

International Mother Earth Day – Save our planet from PLASTIC!

International Mother Earth Day –  Save our planet from PLASTIC!

The Earth is regarded and worshipped in many countries as the ”˜Mother” of all things natural and beautiful. Man”s total dependency on the Earth for survival, and the Earth”s nurturing ways of providing for man”s every need, makes it nothing less than a doting mother.

Mother Earth Day: When it all began

To celebrate and honour this relationship with the Earth and its ecosystems, the UN declared April 22 of every year as “International Mother Earth Day”. Recognised nearly a decade ago, this day reaffirms the UN”s effort to achieve a “balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, besides promoting harmony with nature and the Earth”. Every year, a specific theme is attributed to this day to address the current issues on a global level. This year”s theme is “End Plastic Pollution”, owing to the ever expanding piles of plastic garbage and water bodies choking on plastic trash.

Why was this theme chosen?

Chasing ease and convenience, man invented plastic. And everything changed. From poisoning the marine life to 50-feet tall landfill mountains, plastic is everywhere. Here are some surprising facts about our plastic consumption:
1. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
2. 50% of the total plastic is just used once and thrown away.
3. At least 8 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year.
4. 60-90% of marine litter is plastic-based.
5. There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

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What can we do to end plastic pollution?
We all use plastic in one way or another. Take a look around, and 90% of the things around you are made of plastic, whether it is a chair or a computer. The proposed benefits of plastic are far outweighed by its drawbacks, due to the toxicity it has introduced in our lives.

The amount of plastic garbage that we have generated is a grave problem that doesn”t come with a quick-fix solution. We all must understand our role, change our habits, and adopt an alternative lifestyle that minimises the use of plastic. Here”s how we can help in defeating the monster that we have created:

1. Reuse shopping bags, water bottles, plastic containers, etc. as many times as possible.
2. Say no to single-serve packaging and disposable plastic items. Carry reusable items and utensils wherever possible.
3. Volunteer at a beach/river clean up drive.
4. Say no to small plastic items like straws, lighters, etc. and go for traditional alternatives.

The Ponty Chadha Foundation is doing its part in curtailing the use of plastic and the pollution caused by it. Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan ”“ a school run by PCF, encourages and facilitates its specially-abled students to make eco-friendly products. These products are showcased at exhibitions and sold both online and offline. This activity not only makes them financially independent but instills in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

This International Mother Earth Day, let”s learn from our kids at MBCN, and pledge to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we can. Let”s end plastic pollution together!

Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

Specially-abled Friendly Heritage Sites – Because It’s Their Heritage Too!

World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. It brings a sense of unity amongst people as it does not belong to a specific group, caste or community. It belongs to everyone, which includes specially-abled people too. While we talk about providing equality to specially-abled people in every aspect of life, academic or corporate, we often forget about them when it comes to providing access to heritage sites. Some heritage sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, do not have braille signage, while others do not have basic facilities like wheelchair ramps and toilets for specially-abled tourists.

In an unprecedented move by the Indian government, under the initiative “Accessible India” Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been asked to audit more than 100 sites across the country. This audit aims to gauge the kind of facilities needed to make those sites accessible to specially-abled people. Though the process will take some time to finish, the groundwork has started at some famous monuments like Taj Mahal, Hampi and Akshardham.

As the world celebrates World Heritage Day on April 12, let”s recognize the 5 heritage sites in Delhi-NCR that are completely or partially accessible to people with special abilities:

1. Qutub Minar ”“ A UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, Qutub Minar is world”s tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 metres. An exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture, it attracts more than 3.9 million tourists every year. It is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it has ramps and public toilets for people with differences of all levels.
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2. The Red Fort – Built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, this timeless piece of architecture is located right in the heart of Old Delhi. This fort attracts tourists from all over the world. The Red Fort is completely accessible to specially-abled tourists as it is equipped with ramps, and accessible toilets.
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3. Humayun”s Tomb ”“ Built in 1570, this ancient tomb was the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It is located on Mathura Road, Delhi, which is near the famous tomb of Nizamuddin Auliya.
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4. Akshardham Temple ”“ An architectural marvel, this temple attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi. It is situated on the banks of the Yamuna river, which are adjacent to the Commonwealth Games Village. Apart from its world-class structure, Akshardham Temple also boasts of an IMAX feature show, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens. This temple is partially accessible to specially-abled tourists.
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5. Jantar Mantar ”“ One of the world”s oldest astronomical observatories, the Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. It is a remarkable structure which consists of fourteen geometric devices used for measuring time, forecasting weather changes, predicting behaviour of planets and finding extra-terrestrial altitude. Jantar Mantar is partially accessible to the specially-abled tourists.
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It is quite a welcome move from the Indian government who is finally working on the lines of empowering the specially-abled tourists. Other state governments must take inspiration from these heritage sites which are setting a great example for all.

It”s time that we make “Accessible Heritage” a major part of the “Accessible India” campaign and help our specially-abled citizen, who too have an equal right to cherish the beauty of our history and rich heritage.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – Celebrating the Contribution of Sports to Our Lives

Sports is a universal language that transcends every border, real or imaginary. People across nations, religion, cultures and belief systems have joined hands time and again in the name of sports. To celebrate this international phenomenon of people coming together for sports and its contribution in shaping our society, the General Assembly of United Nations has declared 6th April of every year as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The date 6th April was chosen to commemorate the inauguration of the first Olympic games of modern era, in 1896, in Athens (Greece).

Sports has played an important role in everyone”s life, be it in the form of a competitive sport, physical activity or recreational play. Children learn to function in competition for the first time while participating in sports, and adults learn to put their differences aside while playing or watching sports. Sports is a great educator, and this is the sole reason it has grown to be an integral part of our society.

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan, a school for special children, understands the importance of sports in the physical development of its students and its ultimate role in educating the society. Keeping this in mind, MBCN has designed its curriculum in such a way that there is equal focus on academics as well as sports. MBCN encourages and empowers its students who show an interest in sports. It provides in-house training for various sport related activities and events. MBCN students have proven their mettle in various sports such as football, softball, cycling, badminton, etc. at national level championships. Here are MBCN’s 12 shining star sportspersons:

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of children like these, who have risen above their physical condition and achieved what they truly deserve. On this day, let us recognize the growing contribution of sports to the societal development and the empowerment of our younger generations.