The NAWAB who left his BEGUM(s) for DOGS

Introduction

You must have heard of stories about the pet lovers and people go to the extent to take care of their pets or dogs. From bizarre stories of the Cat being a billionaire, to Dog owning a mansion, this story comes from the time when the Nawab(Muslim Ruling Prince) left his Wives for his Dogs when war was brewing between the two arch-rivals in Aug 1947.

Nawab of Junagadh

Junagadh was a small princely state in India which was once ruled by Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III. The Nawab was known for his love for animals especially his dogs and his profound interest in music and dance. Nawab also gave a pompous party during the Wedding Ceremony of his beloved dogs with an approximate cost of Rs. 20 Lakhs which was a huge sum back then.

 After the independence 15 Aug 1947, only three other princely states were still revolting against India and wanted to join either Pakistan or wanted to become independent country. One of them was “Junagadh” which wanted to become part of Pakistan where the Strategic naval base of Pakistan could be set up in Veraval (part of the Junagadh province at that time).

Due to the majority hindu population in the state and internal revolts in the province, the Indian govt. refused to give up Junagadh and as response of aggression by Junagadh, Govt. sent the Indian Army to capture the province.

As the Army entered the province, Nawab fled to Pakistan with his favourite dogs and some of his Begums(wives) leaving many of his Begums behind in the province, thereby proving his utter love and dedication for his canines. Making this as one of the most bizarre story of “Dog Love” which went down on pages of History.

WHAT WENT WRONG IN BRAZIL?

“A fool always find a Greater Fool to admire him.”

Introduction

After USA, Brazil has become the hotspot for COVID-19 with 332,382 total cases and 21,116 deaths as of 23 May 20. Brazil falls way beyond (yearly tourism revenue $56.3 Billion) in terms of tourism when compared to countries like Japan, Germany, UK, France etc. But the COVID-19 count has surpassed all these countries, in this article we will focus on what went wrong for Brazil in last few months due to which it has become the hotspot.

RIO Carnival

The pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan was first reported to WHO(World Health Organization) country office in China on 31 Dec 19. WHO declared it as a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30 Jan 20.

Rio Carnival, Brazil which is the world largest carnival was organized between 21-29 Feb 20 where the dance groups and people across the globe come for being part of this grand fest. According to Brazil Govt. data, around 07 Million from across the country and Globe participated in the event, even after corona virus was declared as Public Health Emergency by WHO.

Threat to COVID-19 Response – Brazilian President

British Medical Journal –“The Lancet” declared Brazilian President Bolsonaro as biggest threat to successfully combat the spread of virus in the country. In the editorial, The Lancet said President’s disregard for spread and flouting of lockdown norms is sowing confusion across Brazil which has become the Corona hotspot now.

Earlier when asked about the Corona virus threat, President in a sarcastic manner gave an answer – “I planned to have 30 friends over to the presidential palace for the barbeque.” Later in the day, he joked that he may extend the invitation to thousands more, including political supporters and members of press. He even interacted with groups without any protective gears or following social distancing norms on 16 Mar 20 where many gathered to meet the president.

Conclusion

It’s still controversial from where the Virus originated from, but now definitely due to ignorant attitude by some of governments, citizens and prominent public figures it has turned into a man-made disaster.

With inefficient government rules to lockdown defying people especially in USA which is heading the COVID-19 cases with almost 100,000 deaths, citizens are everyday protesting against lockdown, against Masks. All these things just don’t make sense and now with increasing revolutions, movements and defying the lockdown norms in different countries like Israel, India, Pakistan(where markets are open for 1 week with no restrictions whatsoever for Eid celebrations), USA, UK etc. the worst is yet to come.

MARKETS OPEN IN PAKISTAN FOR EID CELEBRATIONS

PANDEMIC AFFECT ON TOURISM INDUSTRY

Introduction

One of the most affected industry due to spread of COVID-19 is Tourism across the globe. There are many countries and island nations whose GDP is solely dependent on tourism, for e.g. Maldives, Iceland, Malta, Philippines, Thailand and list goes on. According to non-profit World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism contributed about $8.8 Trillon to the Global Economy in 2018 and was responsible for 10.4% of the economic activities across the globe.

According to Physics, the damage caused to any mechanism is maximum when it is stalled suddenly which happened during this pandemic. In a period of 02-04 months all major economies were shutdown with almost nil international flights operating, thereby the worst fears of Tourism industry were brought to life. This article discusses about the plight of the industry, challenges ahead and a possible road to recovery.

The Power Brake

Power brake is a safety feature which is now a days common in almost every type of vehicles, which is used to suddenly stop a vehicle in case of emergency. Similarly lockdown is that “Power Brake” which has completely stopped operations of tourism, thereby giving no response time to build strategies or recovery tactics. The lockdown has even affected Cruise Liners, Aviation Industry, Hotel chains etc. with little hope for revival in time ahead. Until now 03 regional airlines as well as some Cruise Liners have filed for bankruptcy in USA and UK.

Most of the countries which are solely dependent on Tourism for their GDP are generally developing and poor countries which have a very small population and economy like that of Malta, Thailand, Maldives etc. Iceland houses around 332,459 citizens and receives more visitors in a year than the current population of the country. Similarly about 1.5 Million people visited Maldives in 2018, with island population of 430,000, thereby making such countries overly dependent on tourism.

Testing times for Tourism Industry

Recently in a briefing, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that – “Novel Coronavirus continues to be extremely dangerous, and will remain around for long time.”

TOURISM REVENUES OF THE WORLD

Even after the lockdown is lifted in major economies, there will always be an imminent threat of the spread of the virus. The International flights are not likely to start anytime soon and even if they start also, people will be more cautious and will not be travelling to foreign destinations anytime soon for vacations . Due to the high maintenance cost involved, the Tourism industry will have to suffer heavy losses.

In India alone, the tourism industry produces yearly revenue of about $41.6 Billion providing employment to around 40 million people in organized sector and number could even go significantly up, if unorganized sector is also included in the calculation. One can imagine the magnitude of this pandemic just my assessing this single industry which will result in some serious job losses and things are not going to get any better at least for next two quarters.

Even some of the bigger economies of the world will take a major hit e.g., USA tourism industry amounts to $488 Billion, China tourism industry amounts to $224 Billion, Germany tourism industry amounts to $130.8 Billion and list goes on. There will be a significant drop in revenues for all these powerful players also.

The Road Ahead

India is betting big on reviving the domestic tourism post COVID-19. Tourism is seen as an opportunity to revive the dying economy of the country, for that plans are being formulated by ministries and different state governments. Govt. after assessing that there will be a significant fall in foreign tourists has come up with a unique initiative – “Dekho Apna Desh (See Your Country)”. It is a webinar series hosted by experts who share key nuggets and information about different parts and states like that of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, NE states etc.

Most of the foreign countries like Italy, Spain, UK and European countries who are largely dependent on tourism which forms a larger chunk of their GDP are likely to suffer for a longer time as WHO(World Health Organization) have predicted that the Second Wave of COVID-19 is likely to hit in Winters. During winters, the celebrations for festivals like Christmas and New Year is at peak especially in European Countries which are festive getaways for many tourists across the Globe, the European markets will feel a greater pinch these winters due to absence of the tourists.

Conclusion

In my opinion COVID-19 will affect each and every one of us but Tourism and Hospitality industry will suffer the maximum damage. Even during this crisis, maintenance of lavish properties, Swimming pools, Hotel rooms etc. is being done even when no tourists are there in these properties.

The clock is ticking and all the governments across the world have to come up with some innovative measures to boost this industry which is bread and butter for millions across the globe.

References

  1. “The tourism industry is in trouble. These countries will suffer the most.” www.foreignpolicy.com
  2. “Which countries are most dependent on tourism industry?” www.howmuch.net

THE “GREAT” INDIAN MIGRATION

Introduction

The spread of Corona Virus has resulted in World-wide lockdown and India too has implemented lock down in all its states for last 02 months. This led to closing of some of the major industries like automobiles, infrastructure, tourism, manufacturing etc. which are biggest stakeholders of organized and unorganized sectors in India. Most of the people working in these sectors are daily wage workers who do not have fixed income or benefits but solely relies on everyday wages. The closure of all these sectors has led to one of the biggest crisis which we will face in future due to – “Great Indian Migration”. This article majorly focuses on current migration of labourers, the roots of migration and future ahead for these migrants.

Urbanization in India

Rapid urbanization being pervasive has been a cause of concern for India since decades. The urbanization has picked up paced in recent years due to growing disparity in average incomes of Rural and Urban Indians. The development in rural areas is very slow, even some of the villages lacking the basic infrastructure of Hospitals, High schools and basic amenities leading to rise in migration.

Global urban population is growing at a rapid rate from 17% in 1951 to 20% in 2001 and expected to increase to 41% by end of 2020. India being no different has topped this chart, where the number of migrants increased from 27.81% in 2001 to 31.16% in 2011 census.

Fast rate of urbanization led to increased need for the growth of new areas for housing, social amenities, commercial and other urban land uses. The lack of clear urban limits led to encroachment of government areas, forests, green belts thereby adversely affecting the environment, increasing man-animal conflicts, depletion of green areas which led to degradation of quality of life in urban areas too.

The Sudden Jerk – Ruralisation

Imagine driving on a Express highway at a speed of 100-120 Km/hr (kind of top speed for most vehicles in India) and you suddenly take a 90-1200 turn, the most possible scenario with Indian rides would be your vehicle will topple damaging yourselves and the vehicle. The most optimistic scenario, you being the “Baby Driver” will survive, but causing a great deal of damage to machinery.

On similar grounds, due to shutdown of all the major and minor industries in India the rapid pace of urbanization has now taken a 1800 turn and converted itself into Rapid Ruralisation in a very short span. The Economic Survey of India 2017 estimates that the magnitude of inter-state migration in India was close to 09 million annually between 2011-2016, while census of 2011 states the total number of internal migrants stand at 139 million. Generally these reports take into consideration – the organized sector, as there is no exact data made available for the unorganized sector which houses a bigger majority. The data is of year 2011 and today is 17 May 2020, the very real figure by taking into consideration 09 million annual figure the number today would be 230-250 million migrants at least. The number could even be on a very higher side, but this is the minimum number which amount to about 250 million migrant labourers in India.

Now just imagine suddenly one day, 100 million(still a very low number based on optimism) out of these 250 million start returning homes within a short span of 01-02 months. I just can’t calculate the extent of damage which the country is going to bear in coming days. One thing is evident, the result of this migration would be catastrophic.

Fate of Migrant Workers in Past few days

From horrendous Accidents to Starvation to Scorching Indian summers(40-420 C) to Crossing the rivers and list goes on. The humanity has reached its all-time low in this decade and below are few videos and pictures depicting the struggle of these migrants.

25 MIGRANT LABOURERS KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENT
MAJORITY OF THEM COVERING 1000-1500 km ON FOOT
CROSSING THE RIVER TO REACH HOMES
KID FULLY EXHAUSTED SLEEPS ON THE TROLLEY

Conclusion

The Govt. need to understand this is a State of Emergency, not a regular budget session where the relief package is announced over a leisure period of 05 days. With every passing day it is a matter of life and death for someone who is on the roads trying to reach their home.

The stimulus package announced by Govt. is full of futuristic goals, but it need to be understood that “If we don’t survive today, there will not be a future for most of us.” The actual expenditure of govt. finances out of this 20 Lakh Crore package would only be 66,500 crore or 0.34% of the GDP as predicted by Barclays, which is a very nominal relief package in this moment of crisis.

Govt. should have come up with setting up of community kitchens in various parts of India where the migrant inflow and outflow is maximum. In this article, I just raised the economic issue but now let’s address the Elephant in the room –“COVID-19”. After seeing these videos and photos it would be over-optimistic to say or predict that Corona spread had been contained. In my view, what we accomplished in last 02 months has all been reduced to Zero, it’s just a matter of time now as India has become a ticking Time-Bomb.

TECHNOLOGY NOW A NECESSITY, NOT A LUXURY

“Modern Technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.”

Introduction

It is the 21st century and no one would have thought, that we would need the technology to such extent that it become a tool for survival of entire human race in a fight against COVID-19. Governments are sharing advisories, Dos and DONTs on various social media platforms, cable TV, Radio and all possible media sources are being used to spread awareness. But the question is, if everyone has the capacity to afford smart devices/phones on which such information can be read/shared, what is the level of penetration for technology in current scenario.

Importance of Technology during Pandemic

The most effective and protective measures against COVID-19 is to maintain social distancing and wash hands on regular intervals. A technology which can help eliminate the need of touching such surfaces which are used by multiple users is IoT(Internet of Things) which includes smart devices like AC, Fridge, TV sets etc. which can be controlled by various AIs(Artificial intelligences) like Alexa, Google Assistant etc. Smart water and beverage dispensers are also being used at corporate houses to avoid any kind of human touch and thereby curb contagion at work place.

Not only IoT, several governments across the globe have come up with various applications on smartphones which indicate any potent infected area or person nearby a user thereby giving warning.

Even hard cash/money transactions are being banned in many countries fearing the spread through currency notes and only online payment gateways and internet banking practise are used for any type of transactions.

Due to closure of schools and educational institutions, online classes are being taken by teachers and faculties to make up for the losses of students and to continue their studies in next standard or semesters.

Scenario in Poor and Developing Countries

Countries like China( 1.45 billion population), India(1.3 billion population), Pakistan, Bangladesh, African countries where high population density has dragged down the development rate, Technology still seems a long ball game for these countries.

According to World Bank, Rural population in India was reported at 65.97% in 2018 which is around 0.86 billion people residing in areas where the technology awareness as well as cover is at minimal rates. Many of the villages suffer from critical shortages of electricity with 12-16 hours of power cut in a day, by this one can imagine the extent of technology cover in these areas. The situation in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, Kenya etc. is even worse.

The guidelines, Dos/DONTs which is being circulated by the governments are not reaching a larger chunk of the overall population who is in desperate need of this information due to pre-existing unhygienic set ups they are being living in, this is the “Technological Lag” built due to economic disparities in our society.

How it’s affecting the Children?

Most of the schools and educational institutions are closed due to lockdown. Children with higher social and monetary status are able to continue their studies by enrolling in online classes, but the poor are stranded with no such means of laptop/smart devices to continue their studies which has led to high rate of dropouts in many schools.

This will not only adversely affect the literacy rates, but will also lead to less educational and vocal skills which may later translate to child labour. Nearly 1.6 million children from poor families are affected in New Delhi which is the capital state of India; one can imagine the rate of disruptions in India and on global level.

UNESCO has said over 154 crore students around the world are affected due to the COVID-19 related school closures and has suggested a six point strategy to combat the problem which includes:-

  • Leveraging teachers and communities
  • Adopting appropriate distance learning techniques
  • Considering the digital divide
  • Safeguarding vital services
  • Engaging young people

Conclusion

In the Poor and Developing countries where people are fighting for their lives to secure a one-time meal in a day for themselves and their families, this six point strategy looks nothing more than a joke.

In countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. where the people are migrating in large numbers, few years back all these countries were suffering from crisis of Rapid Urbanization, where many feared loss of Food security because of the migration of people in huge volumes from rural to urban areas with less people left in villages to support the existing agricultural machinery. But this pandemic has reversed the process now, the extent to which ruralisation will happen now is unknown and it will open new challenging fronts for the governments in coming times.

Technology was considered a luxury until now, but this pandemic has turned the tables making it a necessity for all of us. Now lies a herculean task in front of the governments of equipping their citizens with basic technological tools especially in places where people are still devoid of basic necessities of life like food, shelters and work.

RISE IN CHILD LABOUR DURING CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC

“LIFE OF LITTLE ONES ARE DESTROYED, WHEN CHILD LABOUR IS EMPLOYED.”

Introduction

Corona Virus is not only depleting the physical and mental health of the world but is slowly crippling the future also; a new feather in its cap has been added by a latest UN report in the form of – “Child Labour”. The on-going territorial wars, skirmishes, civil wars now and way before this deadly spread has deeply affected the children all across the globe. This article will focus on issues relating to Child Labour, overall effects of COVID-19 on child labour and various steps need to be taken by governments for the damage control.

What is Child Labour?

The ILO(International Labour Organization) has defined ‘Child Labour’ as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and dignity and that is harmful to physical and mental development. It refers to work that:-

  • Is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children.
  • Interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, obliging them to leave school prematurely or requiring them to attempt to combine school attendance with excessively long and heavy work.

How COVID-19 leading to rise in Child Labour?

UN reports have revealed that around 19 million children were displaced within their own countries in 2019 due to conflicts, wars and violence. This number is of year, 2019 now the present number of displacements after the COVID-19 spread is much more and still under the process of assimilation.

The cramped up refugee camps or informal settlements which are already overcrowded are making this threat to children more eminent. The internally displaced children faces risks like child labour, child marriage, trafficking and getting recruited for criminal or terrorist organizations.

ROHINGYA REFUGEE CAMP IN BANGLADESH

At present, the Global estimates based on data of ILO, UNICEF and World Bank indicates that 168 million children aged 05-17 are engaged in Child labour. Millions of them suffer the worst form of child labour like trafficking, sex slaves, child pornography or used in illicit activities like smuggling, drug trafficking etc.

An estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty added to the estimated 386 million children who were already in extreme poverty in year,2019. The children who have lost their parents or guardians in fight against COVID-19 would be more vulnerable to such predators and criminals.

Rise in Child Labour

Children are not the face of this pandemic but the overall effect on children will be catastrophic and among the most lasting consequence for the society.

The economic hardships faced due to job loss in developing and poor countries like Kenya, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Panama etc. would lead to higher child mortality rates reversing the progress which was achieved in last 2-3 years in terms of child care and health in these countries. The cases of child labour will climb in these countries where the population is on a much higher side and surveillance machinery is already overburdened in terms of maintaining law and order situations.

Conclusion

Children are considered the building block of a nation, the key foundation. But now due to this building stress the foundation is likely to crumble so one can imagine how deeply it will affect an entire nation in coming times.

UN has issued guidelines and SOPs to nations for curbing the rise in violence, child abuse and child labour activities against children, but nations are facing a bigger threat and no one is interested in hearing the plight of these children who are now on streets fighting for their survival.

Stricter laws and acts need to be enforced against the culprits; most of the countries don’t have any strict laws in place which lead to such crimes. For example, in India the maximum penalty for employing a child labour is imprisonment between 06 months to 02 years, under many cases due to lack of evidence and poor judicial system in place most of the culprits are set free by paying a minimal fine of Rs.20000-50000 which is a very nominal amount for these rich and powerful people.

In these times, it has also become an equal responsibility of the parents and relatives to take of their wards and children. Many news reports have come under which in last few months relatives have been caught selling the orphans to traffickers. The Police should maintain a database of all these orphaned and dependent children and could round them up on yearly basis for assessing the whereabouts and well-being of a child.

Governments should plan immediate rollout of relief packages or expansion of social services group to all the underprivileged and poor families. Securing of food supply chain and local food subsidiaries will ensure the food security for these children and their families.

References

  1. www.ILO.org
  2. https://www.unicef.org/media/65991/file/Technical%20note:%20Protection%20of%20children%20during%20the%20coronavirus%20disease%202019%20(COVID-19)%20pandemic.pdf

3. https://unsdg.un.org/resources/policy-brief-impact-covid-19-children

WUHAN LOCKDOWN VS WORLD LOCKDOWN

Introduction

World is blaming China for developing and spreading the COVID-19 spread, one of the main reason for this argument is that presently there are 295 active corona cases out of the 1.6 billion population whereas researchers speculate countries like USA, Brazil. India, Pakistan are yet to achieve the peak. In this article I am not supporting China in any way but just trying to show the difference in reports which we got after Wuhan lockdown and the incoming pictures from lockdowns of other countries.

Wuhan Lockdown

Wuhan lockdown was a military lockdown, the steps were announced by the top official leading the country’s response to the virus, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan. They evoked images of the emergency measures taken to combat the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed tens of millions people worldwide. Despite the severity of the new measures, however, they offered no guarantee of success. The city and country face “wartime conditions,” Ms. Sun said. “There must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever.”

After the imposition of lockdown these images of Wuhan were published in the chinese and world media:-

Jiangtan Park, Wuhan
WUHAN

These images are the mere proof of the strong will of govt. as well as the people to eradicate this virus from their home ground.

World Lockdown

USA is one of the worst affected country where active cases have reached 975,306 and deaths stand to 74,809. President Trump have given a statement where he presumes that the death toll will surpass 100,000. In California some are even protesting for closing up of the beach, I just don’t get it and reminds me of a famous joker dialogue – “Is it just me, or is it getting CRAZIER out there?”. Some images from the lockdown in USA :-

COVID CAN BE A LIE, but DEATH is TRUTH

With 35,757 active cases and 1,787 death cases India is not far in line. Some images from India :-

LINE FOR LIQOUR

With 10,329 active cases, Cases are increasing in Bangladesh at a faster rate now. Some images from Bangladesh:-

FUNERAL PROCEEDINGS AMID LOCKDOWN

Conclusion

There’s nothing much to say after seeing these images that as to why the Wuhan lockdown was successful and why other countries are not able to control the spread, these photographs are a living proof about the seriousness of the governments as well as the people. There are thousands of such photographs from other countries also like Russia, UK, Pakistan, Brazil, African countries which are facing the rapid spread of the corona virus on their home turfs but still no effective measures being taken by people as well as the governments.