Green Earth Movement

Next month, Mumbaikars will sing to save Powai lake

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Next month, Mumbaikars will sing to save Powai lake

Vijay Singh, TNN | Apr 28, 2013
MUMBAI: The ever-rising pollution in the 120-year-old Powai lake has spurred citizens' groups to come up with unique ideas for its restoration. One group has lined up a karaoke singing competition in Powai next month; part of the proceeds will go towards the lake's restoration. Another recently did its bit to raise awareness about the fast degeneration of the water body.

On the 43rd Earth Day last week, the Young Environmentalists Programme Trust distributed green cloth bags at the lake's embankment.
Environmental NGO Vanashakti will get 50% of the revenues earned from the 'Karaoke Singing Championship' to be held on May 7, for the lake's long-term revival plan. Environmentalist D Stalin of Vanashakti said since there is no regular maintenance of the lake, floating green hyacinths are slowly choking it. To top it, sewerage water regularly flows into it. "We have learnt from the BMC through the Right To Information (RTI) Act that one five-star hotel and some localities in Powai have been discharging untreated sewage into the lake. This must stop.''

Elsie Gabriel of Young Environmentalists Programme Trust added, "Once the monsoon sets in, a lot of silt from neighbouring areas will wash into the lake. This has to be avoided by putting up silt traps. We citizens want to do our bit, along with municipal authorities, to save the lake and undertake its regular maintenance.'' She added that the BMC has not yet renewed the contract for the de-weeding and de-silting of the lake. A BMC official from the hydraulic department said they will tie up with forest officials, IIT-Bombay and various environmental and citizens groups to renew the process of cleaning the lake. Mumbaikars keen on participating in karaoke competition can call 9833633955.

Toddlers recall brands, fail to recognise birds: Survey

Shreya Bhandary, TNN | Apr 27, 2013, 01.27 AM IST

MUMBAI: Parents often pride themselves on their children's skills but a recent survey might leave many embarrassed. A survey of 2,000 kids in the city, all aged between three and four years, revealed that an overwhelming majority could identify fast-food brands and television channels, but failed to identify a sparrow or a cow.

The survey was conducted by a suburban school which tied up with various schools in the city. "Children learn many things from watching television, especially commercials. Brands are not something parents or schools teach, but kids automatically absorb the information because it comes from a very colourful

medium," said Swati Popat Vats, director of Podar Institute of Education, which conducted the research. She said the aim was to know if children had better recall of brand logos they regularly saw on television or the general concepts of birds and animals they see around them. "We made sure all children were from the same socio-economic background," said Vats.

According to the survey, almost 85% of kids recognised the difference between brands of chocolates. The younger kids defaulted in identifying the right brand but the four-year-olds were accurate. "Even for brands of powdered milk energy drinks, most children could recall brand name, though it was not taught at home or school," added Vats. Not surprisingly, when it came to fast food and pizza joints, almost every kid recognised the brand logos presented to each of them.

When it came to recognising television channel logos, the kids outsmarted each other. Almost 85% of the kids recognised two cartoon channels while 55-65% kids could also recognise various channel logos which air family dramas and other reality shows. "Often, parents forget that by making their own opinion loud and clear, they are also rubbing it off on their children. This survey has given us insight on how parents' behaviour and the environment in which kids grow up makes a huge difference on young minds," says the survey.

However, pictures of various birds and animals as well as fruits proved difficult for many kids. While everybody easily recognised tigers and leopards, close to 70% of the kids could not recognise a sparrow and one in every five children surveyed could not identify a cow. "It told us that common birds and animals are not given much preference in books and conversations or stories, which is why kids are not able to recognize very common ones," said Vats.

Experts said changing trends in the way parents bring up children is leading to such results. "We are raising a generation of consumers who consider brands more than bonds," said Dr Samir Dalwai, a developmental paediatrician. He said parents need to be more aware of their child's environment. "Eventually parents must understand that media exposure will decide what their child will turn into," he added.

Govt to auction 17 coal blocks falling in forests

TNN | Apr 29, 2013, 04.15

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