On this day in 1857 women textile workers in New York went on strike to protest against low wages and
poor working conditions. The strike was reported to have been forcibly repressed; it allegedly ended in a violent
struggle with the police. In 1907 and the next few years strikes were held on the same date to ask for women's
suffrage and reasonable working hours. In 1910 a German newspaper made the observance a formal International Women's Day.
The next year more than one million women in Austria, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany demanded suffrage and right to hold
With the rise of the women's movement the day also acquired importance. In 1977 Unesco proclaimed this date as the International Women's Day.
A day marked for governments and pan-national organisations to plan for saving forests.
From the health and medicinal point of view forests are fascinating, They are an inexhaustible source of
raw material for drug research. We still do not know what panaceas they can offer. It is estimated that Indian biomes have
over 45,000 plant species. We haven't been able to study all of them. We know that Quinine (for Malaria) comes from the Cinchona
tree and Digitalis (for heart ailment) comes from the foxglove plant. A recent discovery is taxol (used in the treatment of
ovarian cancer) from Yew tree. Apart form crucial reasons like loss of topsoil, flooding, climatic changes, disappearing forests are
loss of a great drugs lab, especially in India, that relies so much on herbal medicine.
In India, 19.45% of the geographical area is under forest cover. But we are losing forests at the rate of 23,350 hectares annually.
Fuel wood removal from forests is about 235 m cubic metres while the renewable limit is 48 m cubic metres. A large percentage of the 450 million
cattle also overgrazes forest land. The most positive contribution from India in the realm of forest conservation is the Chipko movement
where simple villagers hugged trees to save them from being cut.
March 24 is celebrated as World Tuberculosis Day. Every year a new theme is chosen to highlight the serious health burden that TB places on the world. Some epidemiological TB facts:
One third of the world is infected with TB
Each year, 8 million new people develop TB and 2 million patients die
More women die of TB than maternal mortality
On 24 March 2004 the 2nd “Stop TB” Partners' Forum in New Delhi will coincide with World TB Day '04.
The theme for World TB Day 2004 (and beyond) is: "Every Breath Counts - Stop TB Now!"
The organisers of this observance feel that there is an inseparable link between the act of breathing, a central human act and Tuberculosis.
A R Rahman, an icon of popular music from India , has been appointed the First Global Ambassador of the “Stop TB Partnership”.
More on TB