When healthcare was out of their reach
The ‘Saporis’ or the riverine islands of the Brahmaputra in Assam are the pieces of land that are built, reshaped and destroyed by the course of the mighty river. The people residing on these islands can only access the cities and mainlands through ferries and country boats. Most of the islands are devoid of electricity, clean drinking water, schools and healthcare facilities. But almost 10% of Assam’s population dwells in these Saporis.
One incident changed it all
It was in 1996, the news of a pregnant woman dying on a Sapori because she missed a ferry to go to the city, reached the ears of academic journalist Sanjoy Hazarika. Hazarika was moved by the story and he tried to devise a solution to this problem. In 2004, he came up with the idea of Boat clinics that reaches the Sapori dwellers to provide them necessary healthcare facilities as they struggle to reach the cities.
The power of one
His idea got rewarded by World Bank and he received an innovation award. The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES), a trust founded by Hazarika in 2000, won the prize and was given $20,000. A year later, a wooden boat called MV Akha, made with that money was sent to Dibrugarh, for the Saporis on the Brahmaputra. That was just the beginning. Today, 14 such boats commissioned by C-NES, ply across 13 districts in Assam, providing healthcare facilities to over 1.5 million people. It was made a public-private partnership in 2008 by the National Health Mission. The funds are now entirely taken care by the state government. Every month these boats reach out around 20,000 Sapori residents who don’t have any other hope of getting medical help.
The initiative reminds us all what one person can do to change things for good. Awareness and empathy towards our surroundings and the issues it faces can spur any and every individual to take up social causes and provide solutions for the same. Hazarika was the one in this case, let us all get inspired by Hazarika and bring the change we want to see.
“Researchers Find 12,000 Pieces Of Microplastic Per Litre Of Arctic Ice”
“80-Kg Polythene Waste Removed From Cow’s Stomach After A Three-Hour Surgery”
“Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now Three Times The Size Of France”
These are a few news headlines from the past couple of months. No matter how much we try to deny it, over the course of time, plastic has become a part and parcel of our lives and it is destroying the environment and also endangering lives of animals.
While we have been made to believe that plastic is an indispensable part of our lives, it is destroying everything around us. According to UN Environment, about one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute around the world. Also, up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. This means that almost half of the plastic created in the world is thrown away after a single-use.
All this plastic now ends up either in landfills or in the ocean. The marine life is heavily endangered because of plastic. Reports of aquatic animals dying of plastic pollution are increasing every day. A study from 2015 found around 44,000 incidences of animals getting entangled in plastic debris since 1960s. Plastic, that disintegrates into smaller pieces, are often eaten by smaller fish, which the ultimately ends up in our stomach. That is carcinogenic for human beings.
It is in this context that Indiabulls Home Loans has decided to do its bit and contribute to a plastic free environment. Setting the tone in its own offices, the company has decided to do away with single-use plastic bags and bottles at work.
As a special Independence Day initiatives, they have come up with a beautiful video #PlasticSeAzaadi. In the video, set against the backdrop of an Independence Day celebration at school children discuss the demerits of plastic use and how it is detrimental to the environment.
As with many important matters in life, it is children who recognize the right path and set the example. If they can, then why it is that adult can’t?
The Logical Indian appreciates Indiabulls Home Loansfor such a noble and necessary initiative to make our world a better place. We might not realize now, but the effects of excessive plastic could lead to ultimate destruction of Earth. We are ready to give up plastic, are you?