Green Earth Movement


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Green Earth Movement
An E-Newsletter for the cause of Environment, Peace, Harmony and Justice

Remember - “you and I can decide the future”


  • GEM Inspirational series

  • Readers’ Letters
  • What rubbish, say citizens as ragpickers take over sidewalks

  • Cyclothon plan to save Oshiwara wetlands

  • 'Take gas pipeline along highways, spare farms'
  • Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board orders Sterlite plant closure

  • SC directs Sterlite to pay Rs 100 crore for polluting environment in Tamil Nadu
  • Now, any citizen can move National Green Tribunal to report violations

  • Manipur Christians protest dam project

  • Dr B M Hegde releases John Monteiro's book on corruption

  • Reconsider holding IPL in drought-hit Maharashtra: BJP

  • Address problems of drought: Cardinal Gracias

  • Christians submit demands to Bihar chief minister

  • In Mumbai, 85% eyes, 95% skin donated by Gujaratis, Jains

  • Diocese adopts 900 children on Easter eve

  • Obama White House embraces Yoga amid conservative contortions

  • The Pope with a difference

  • A close-up on Pope Francis, with one of his oldest friends

  • Muslim leaders seek closer relations with pope

  • Dr Fr. MD Thomas awarded ‘Icon of India 2013

  • Malala Yousafzai signs $3 million deal to publish her memoir

  • Delhi girl becomes CA, Cost Accountant and Company Secretary at 23
  • Airport customs lose their top dog

  • GEM PLUS – vacancies, appeal etc


Thought for the week

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Okhla (New Delhi): Notes from a compost pit

Two weeks ago, when the Okhla compost plant in Delhi was awarded carbon credits by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 35-year-old Leju Valson, Manager (Operations) at the Okhla plant, hadquietly chuckled. The plant, he says, had been accumulating carbon credits since 2009, but this time when credits swelled to 18,225, making it India's first municipal compost plant to receive carbon credits, it had finally made news. "We're the first compost plant to receive carbon credits. These credits are like shares which are traded on the carbon market by nations. Developed nations have a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and one way they can do this is by investing in environment-friendly technologies in developing countries that accrue carbon credits," says Valson.

It's 9 am. The plant's morning shift had already begun at 6 am. Fresh piles of municipal solid waste have just arrived at the plant. Deliveries of municipal waste come at least twice a day. Heaps of waste are stacked in orderly rows—fresh malodorous heaps right out in the front, with stray animal and bird visitors, older mounds behind the fresh ones, darker and browner, ready for the composting process to take over.
Construction is on at the six-acre facility, located in the dust-laden backyard of Delhi's sewage treatment plant, for expansion in capacity. By June, the plant will be able to process 500 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day from the current capacity of 200 tonnes per day. Delhi generates 7,000-8,000 tonnes of waste per day, most of which goes to dump sites where anaerobic decomposition occurs which leads to greenhouse gas emissions. "There are two-three landfill sites, but they really are dump sites.
A landfill is a pit that is coated with a liner into which waste is placed and sealed but that's not the case with our dump sites," says Valson. The Okhla compost plant, which is a PPP between Delhi's municipal body and IL&FS Infrastructure, along with the Timarpur Waste Management plant across the road, an IL&FS plant at Burari, the Ghazipur plant and the Narela-Bawana plant, will together harness 5,800 tonnes of waste a day into useful energy sources by 2014, which is still not enough to handle urban waste generated in Delhi.
"Waste is a misplaced resource," says Valson. "It's primarily a city problem and

it needs to be treated in the cities. After collection of municipal waste from households, there are three ways of disposal—composting units, bio-methanation to produce bio-gas, and recovering heat energy in the form dry fuels from combustible fractions." Municipal solid waste from households comprises organic waste, moisture, plastics, sand and combustible fractions. One of the major problems in treating urban waste comes at the very first stage of collection fromhouseholds. For composting units, segregation of waste to collect only organic waste is the most laborious task. "Our societies don't behave like western countries, where they segregate waste at household level. Ideally, when household waste is collected, food/organic waste should be separated from plastics and ceramics," Valson says.

Of 200 tonnes of waste per day, about 15-20 per cent is converted into compost. "When garbage comes from sabzi mandis, it is rich in organic waste, so we get a higher yield of compost," says Valson, laughing that the smells are also richer on those days. The composting process takes about seven weeks, with 10 hours of pre-screening processes per day. The waste is subjected to multiple levels of mechanical screening and refining. First the waste is passed through 200 mm screens—trommel separators with rotating screens—then through 80 mm screens where air density separators are employed to pick out heavier organic particles. By then, moisture, ceramics, plastics and dry combustibles have been removed to leave organic waste behind. After four weeks, the organic waste is passed through 35 mm screens, and finally through 16 mm screens that remove fine sand and silt and also have magnetic separators to remove nails. Seven weeks later, fine, pure compost is ready for use in the farming sector.
As the bobcat machines rev up to separate silt from the waste, Valson says, "There is no waste that can't be put to use…except for plastics!" This isn't his first brush with managing waste. At home in Kottayam, Kerala, Valson says he grew up watching his father compost household waste. "I remember, for my sister's wedding, we had 700-800 guests. My father made compost out of all the waste from that wedding and used that in the fields. We used to compost all the household waste on a weekly basis."

Besides fertiliser companies that are mandated to stock natural compost, 60-70 nurseries in Delhi also stock the compost produced at the Okhla plant. "In this plant, all wastes are utilised—organic waste for compost, combustibles for dry fuel, sand and glass for ceramic industries. But the other problem that waste-management industries face is of sustainability. The transport costs of distribution are borne by us and they're equivalent to the production costs. The government has laws for hazardous waste, batteries, e-waste, plastics, but there are no incentives for people to get into this industry," Valson says of problems plaguing the industry.

The Okhla plant has processed more than 200,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste since operations began in 2008. Put simply, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced by the plant is equivalent to having a vehicle-free Delhi for a day.


Potato Chips

A little boy wanted to meet God.  He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man.  He was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons.  The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase.  He was about to take a  drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.  Again, he smiled at him.  The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug.  He gave him his biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God."  But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what?  He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"   He replied "I ate potato chips in the park with God."  However, before his son responded, he added,  "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime!  Embrace all equally!

Have lunch with God.......bring chips.


Thanks for regularly sending  your newsletter.  i do look forward to it and find it very useful.  Keep up the good work.

James Mascarenhas, S.J.







It is not justified to compare a highly populated country to a very less populated one. I am associated with a Swedish company since last 10 years and I had been there in sweden for many times. What I felt is due to very limited population, implimentation of all control methods/norms are effective and people's are also accounted for it. They follow all pollution control norms and never try to bypass the same. If any waste (solid/liquid/gas) is generated there would be a system for converting those waste either to power, fuel with a system for ZERO liquid discharge!. Example, SYNGAS (fuel) is generated from garbage waste material. there many more.... One similar project had initiated by BMC for treating our domestic wastes but disappeared somewhere. The sad thing is that no such projects are taking up by our authorities as their interest is for something else and we are also not bothered. You may notice that most of the garbage collections are used for landfill and finally converted to posh complexes.. examples INORBIT mall, newly propossed hovercraft point at GORAI filling etc... These soft convertions bring more money to the officials. Finally, the citizens including you and me, and all are bothered only for our personnel gains and not bothered for ecology, any polution control system are responsible for the present system...hence we are forced to live with it...


Best regards..


Johnson George

It is good to see that Sweden is garbage free. We, in India should not dream like that. I am a very positive person and relieve body pains and tensions of suffering people. I come in contact with many people in the course of my practice of Company Secretaryship as also pain relief work. I see that people are just chasing money, by hook or crook. All the people in power try to grab as much power or money or both, be it in politics, admin, business or NGOs. It is a very sorry state of affairs. 
I tell you one small example. I am starting construction of my house on a small plot of land. I visited some houses for planning my own home. I saw that most of the houses are build violating the basic building norms. People say that everyone does that. The architects tell that more than 70% buildings violate building norms. I cannot do this and happy to stay within the law.

Happy Easter!
I need your help. Make this event known to all your contacts in different ways: email, face book website twitter etc. I will be very grateful to you. Sending this to you! You can change if you wish the style to present and promote the event.

Thanks so much and God bless you.

Sending you also the soft copy of the event in the attachment .



AMAR, Media Centre along with the team and the Salesian Sisters are organizing, “A Melodious Evening” of Song, Music and Dance titled ‘Rejoicing in Jesus’ on Saturday, 20th April 2013, from 6.00 pm to 10.00 p.m on Auxilium Campus, Wadala W. Mumbai INDIA Featuring well-known Gospels Bands- Open Secret and Grace after Glow, Testimonies by lay invitees, a short discourse, Spiritual Dances, Choirs honouring Jesus and a well-known compere will be part of the event.

May many people and the young derive some meaning, unravel their spiritual side and realize immense faith in the power of Jesus and also within them.

You are all invited and do tell your friends about it . Make it known through the Facebook and other means of Media. Passes are available for Rs. 20 only. Thanks and God bless you. Open to all - Christians as well as friends of other Faith are welcome.

Sending you also the soft copy in the attachment of the event.

Take care,

Sr.Hilda Braganza




The following report on my Chandrapur visit is for circulation through your GEM newsletter - DR. LEO REBELLO

The 2nd Climate Change and Sustainable Development Summit was held in Chandrapur on Sunday, 24th March 2013 with 80 participants in attendance. It was inaugurated by Prof. Leo Rebello, Senator-Minister (Asian Affairs), International Parliament for Safety and Peace, from Bombay.

Dr. Rebello observed:  33 years ago when he had visited Chandrapur it was so nice and green. Today, the same Chandrapur was the 3rd most polluted city in India. He reminded top ranking representatives of various industries, Govt officers and others present to make it the cleanest


city in India in next five years by active Citizens participation.


Prof. Rebello, who has written 41 books and delivered lectures in 65 countries, cautioned against fragmented development taking place due to lack of foresight, managerial skills, leadership qualities and rampant corruption.

"Sustainable Development" he said "was like sustaining Western mediocrity that leads to enslavement. Instead, we must all look at Holistic Development both at micro and macro level" he advised and added: "Every citizen of Chandrapur should think globally
but must act locally".
Prof. Rebello, who contested the Indian Presidential elections in 2012, quoting official statistics cautioned: "About five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and diseases as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll is likely to rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use and
industrial waste and pollution were to continue". He further observed that the dust, chemical and other pollution was very high in Chandrapur and unless the locals took interest and worked to improve the abysmal conditions, another Bhopal may happen in Chandrapur.
Organiser of the event, Shrinivas Kannur of Green Globe Society for Research and Development, welcomed the gathering and introduced the Chief Guest, Dr. Leo Rebello. Explaining the role of the the Conclave, Kannur said, "We are here to Cooperate and not Confront" and asked the representatives of the Coal, Mining and Cement Industries to work to improve Chandrapur.

The others who spoke on the occasion included: Mr. Sudhir Paliwal, Chairman, Science, Technology and Environment Forum, Vidarbha Industries Association, Mr. Rajesh Shukla,

Chief General Manager of Birla Gold Cement, Mr. Shriram Panherkar, Social Activist of Chandrapur, Mrs. Vandana Manape, Member of Chandrapur Panchayat Samiti,  and Dr. Wabade of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.


Mementos were given to speakers at the hands of Dr. Leo Rebello at the closing function, at which Mr. Shriram Panherkar proposed a vote of thanks.

On 25th March, Dr. Leo Rebello also conducted a 3-hour long workshop on 10 Commandments of Health:

1.. Eat twice a day, preferably raw.
2.. Drink minimum 8 glasses of water to wash out toxins.
3.. Exercise for minimum 15 minutes daily and stand up and walk straight.
4.. Meditate twice a day, for good mental health and stress-free life.
5.. Fast once a week to give rest to vital organs.
6.. Do not smoke, or take drugs, or drink alcohol.
7.. Do not gamble or cheat.
8.. Normal, natural sex is good for health, for prostate, kidneys, heart and brain. 
9.. Sleep well for 6 to 8 hours minimum.
10.. And come what may, go on Smiling. 
This Holistic Health workshop was organised at short notice by Mr. Avinash Nimbalkar, Executive Engineer at HVDC. 75 officers and staff of the HVDC plant who attended, enjoyed the talk and wanted to hear more. They said they would invite him to lecture again or help Dr. Rebello to set up a Holistic Health Hospital in Chandrapur.
Dr. Rebello also paid a visit to Anandvan (of late Baba Amte) and met his old

colleagues and presented four of his books to Anandvan public library, namely, (a) World Without Wars, (b) Dr. Leo's Lens, (c) Pen Power and (d) AIDS and Alternative Medicine. Mr. Shriram Panherkar and Mr. Avinash Nimbalkar joined him. 

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