You are lucky that you can read. You have one of the basic tools that is required at this point in human
evolution: literacy. Not many Indians are this lucky. Less than half our population gets as far as eighth grade.
World Bank estimates that about 33 million Indian children between ages 6 and 10 do not get to school at all.
Illiteracy, lack of skills and consequent unemployment sets off a chain of social ills that strangulate any attempts at
progress. Think about it. If you can, sponsor a child's education.
The slogan for this day is "Save Our Skies. Be Ozone Friendly". The Ozone layer is a fragile shield
of gas that protects the earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on earth. But human activity
releases gases (such as CFCs, HCFCs, halons, methyl chloroform and methyl bromide) that can contribute to ozone layer depletion.
How can you help? United Nations Environment Programme has some suggestions. Be an Ozone-friendly consumer.
Buy products (aerosol spray cans, refrigerators, fire extinguishers, etc.) that are labelled "ozone friendly" or "CFC free".
Ask for more information from the seller to ensure that the product is ozone friendly. Tell you neighbour that you are the proud owner of
"ozone friendly" products.
Be an ozone-friendly homeowner. Dispose of old refrigerators and appliances responsibly. CFC and HCFC
refrigerants should be removed from an appliance before it is discarded. Portable halon fire extinguishers that are no longer
needed should be returned to your fire protection authority for recycling. Consider purchasing new fire extinguishers that do
not contain halon (e.g. dry powder).
Be an ozone-friendly citizen. Read and learn more about the effects of ozone depletion on people,
animals and the environment, your national strategy and policies to implement the Montreal Protocol, and what the phase-out of ozone
depleting substances means to your country. Get in touch with your country's National Ozone Unit and learn how you can get involved
on an individual level.
The word cancer comes from the Greek word karkinos meaning crab-like. The crab disappears into the sand and you
might forget about it. But it surfaces again, a little further away, in some unpredictable place. Similarly, with cancer,
it is difficult to determine how it will spread and how well it can be localised. WHO estimates that nearly eight million people
will have cancer as the cause of death as we enter the new millennium.
Take heed of the environmental causes of cancer: Tobacco, Alcohol, Diet (Smoked fish is related to stomach cancer,
beef is related to bowel cancer, high fat diet to breast cancer), exposure to certain chemicals on a regular basis, virus etc.
More on Cancer
Do you work or live in a noisy environment? Noise can be any unwanted sound: such as badly maintained machinery,
heavy traffic, loudspeakers or heavy-duty machinery like pile drivers. Urban areas are major noise pollution centres.
Go for audiogram check-ups yearly if you are in the ambit of high noise levels.
No clear data is available but estimates say that about 2% of Indian population is speech and hearing impaired.
Deafness can be a birth defect or it can be acquired in old age (close to 60). In India, facilities are available in urban areas
and outreach programmes are limited. Catching it young can solve many problems. Today cochlear implants are possible and
the deaf may hear again.
Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) is usually observed in the last week of September, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the Deaf, which was held that week in 1951.
Deaf Awareness Week was initiated by The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD). WFD is an international organization composed of 120 national associations of the deaf which, in collaboration with the United Nations, helps in enhancing the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people. Seminars, celebrations and observations held this week help raise awareness about the culture, heritage, and language unique to deaf people of the world.